[Every time an important election rolls around, Denise D’Anne, former co-president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, sends out her recommendations. Although I don’t always agree with her (for example, I’m voting yes on E and F on November 4), her analysis of each measure this time around is particularly sound and sane].
from DENISE D’ANNE
“One wonders who spends their waking hours devising these convoluted ballot measures. And who has the patience and the time to wade into these ballots?” Ms. D’Anne asks. “Where are the jobs, housing, health and transportation measures that support all our citizens not special interests and greedy corporate overlords? Please, spare us your pain!” Her local and statewide ballot initiative recommendations are as follows:
SAN FRANCISCO BALLOT RECOMMENDATIONS 2014
NO ON PROPOSITION A – General Obligation Bond for $500 million +$350 million interest
It is a Faith-Based measure because the language is so vague it can do what it likes with the money and not what it purports to do. If you say maybe I will or maybe I won’t who is going to trust you. Well, that is exactly the language MAYBE instead of the legal and enforceable wording SHALL OR WILL. Also, 50% of the bond cost in increase taxes to landlords can be passed on to the tenants.
NO ON PROPOSITION B – Adjusting Transportation Funding for Population Growth
The Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) is notorious for not spending money allocated for programs outlined in their funding requests? The money MTA is requesting is a set-aside. Set-asides come from the General Fund that requires cutting other essential programs. The MTA has abused its fiduciary responsibilities in the past and is not likely to improve this time around.
NO ON PROPOSITION C – This is a Charter Amendment measure to increase the set-aside for the Children and Youth Fund for 25 years
This Amendment is another set-aside. It burdens the City’s budget with a mandate to spend a certain amount. This spending does not allow the City to make fiscal decisions in relations to other needs that may come up. City Controller says this measure would have a significant impact on the cost of government.
YES ON PROPOSITION D – Health Benefits for Former Redevelopment Agency/Successor Agency Employees
A matter of fairness. A caution too: If we had Universal Health Care as most industrial nations do, we would not have to negotiate for health care of any worker. It would translate to an incalculable savings for taxpayers.
NO ON PROPOSITION E – The Sugar Tax
GOOD INTENTIONS. BAD IMPLEMENTATION. This is known as a regressive tax on the very people it is supposed to help. People in poor areas where there are few options for healthy foods usually buy sugared drinks. Our usual method of trying to change people’s habits is to punish them not help them (note our drug laws). The measure does not have an education component or ways to rehabilitate, or provide better healthful choices but plenty of ways to spend the money from the tax. Money that should be coming out of the City treasury and not out of the pockets of addicted buyers of soft drinks.
NO POSITION ON PROPOSITION F – Pier 70 Development
It appears surrounding neighborhood favor this development even though it raises building height limit to 90 feet. Didn’t we just defeat the 8 Washington Project? What happened to the idea of carrying capacity? How much more buildings can we afford on this scarce 49 square mile land. And how long are we going to worship at the altar of Developers. And what the heck is “affordable housing” touted in this measure? And why can’t we just have a 28-acre park funded by the City by reducing our $1.5 billion yearly payroll for City Managers?
YES ON G – Specular Tax on Transfer of Residential Property Sold Within 5 Years of Purchase
This might be our path to stop relying on developers where we give away more than we get. This proposition would impose an additional tax on the total sale price of certain multi-unit residential properties (not single family residences). Lowest tax rate 0.5% for property sold for $250,000 to 2.5% for property sold for $10,000,000 or more.
YES ON PROPOSIITION H – Keep soccer field in grass and eliminate stadium lights
Honor the safety of our children by rejecting those manufactures that convert toxic rubber tires into artificial turf. As usual they trot out the children sob story. ‘How they need soccer fields.’ Yes, they do but without stadium lights, stadium bleachers, concrete parking spaces. Hey aren’t children supposed to be in bed or at least doing their homework at 10 pm when the bright lights finally go out. And pity the poor birds losing their navigation abilities because of he artificial lights.
NO ON PROPOSITION I – Brought to you by the Twitter tax break Mayor
Once touted as a job creator? Now you are supposed to believe that the Recreation Park Department, without funding, is going to renovate children’s playgrounds, walking trails or athletic field. We don’t need a proposition for what should be ongoing park maintenance for our parks unless you are trying to defeat Proposition H. Where’s the funding for park personnel?
YES ON J – Raise Minimum Wage – Pitiful attempt but a start
Why don’t we insist that McDonalds, Walmart, and other multimillion $ businesses pay their top management the minimum wage. They can afford whatever wage we determine is adequate for worker survival and we should not worry our pretty little heads with how this inadequate minimum wage is going to hurt these businesses.
NO ON K – Housing Action and Neighborhood Stabilization Plan
Again brought to you by the Twitter Mayor. I have the Brooklyn Bridge I can sell you. Trust goes a long way and this City administration is not to be trusted. And will someone please describe the term “affordable housing’?
NO ON PROP L – Balanced Transportation Plan Featuring the Automobiles
San Francisco has never implemented its vaunted Transit First policies. Are we supposed to feel sorry for the automobile, the cause of disease causing pollution, accidents and deaths? The automobile uses more land space, more funding for road maintenance, policing, and emergency personnel. The burden falls on all San Franciscans but has a more deleterious effect on the working class.
CALIFORNIA STATE PROPOSITIONS 2014
NO ON PROPOSITION 1 – Formerly Proposition 43
This is an anti-environment water bond. It does little to relieve the drought or improve regional water self-sufficiency. It threatens our rivers and streams.
NO ON PROPOSITION 2 – State Budget Stabilization Account
Parents want to protect schools and this proposition limits districts ability to save. Parents say that this is a rainy day fund that leaves kids soaking wet.
YES ON PROPOSITION 45 – Healthcare Insurance Rate Changes
This limits health insurance rates and requires review from the Insurance Commission and subsequent judicial review.
NO ON PROPOSITION 46 – Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors
Raising the malpractice award cap is responsible. However, random testing is the problem with this measure.
YES ON PROPOSITION 47 – Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties
Criminal offenders who commit certain nonserious and nonviolent drug and property crimes would not be tried as a felony. We have the highest rate of incarceration of people in the world and this should reduce our prison populations.
NO ON PROPOSITION 48 – Indian Gaming Compact – Non-reservation gaming expansion
Breaks promise that Indian casinos would be on original tribal land. Bringing more crime and pollution to the Central Valley.