June 2010 Elections

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Participation in the electoral process is an important way of voicing your opinion on social issues. It is critical that community members pay close attention to policies addressed by the electoral process.

The community was deeply impacted by continued budget cuts, especially in 2009. University fees have risen, teachers were fired, and low-income housing and health and human services were cut. Because much is at stake in the state government's budget and fiscal policy, voters need to pay close attention to these issues.

Contents

KRC's Recommendations

No on Proposition 13

Currently, when building owners improve their building, the value of the property is reassessed and property taxes may be adjusted according to the value increase. If Proposition 13 passes, improvements would be exempt from the reassessment if the improvement's purpose is earthquake preparedness.

The proponents argue that this measure provides incentives for improving earthquake preparedness. However, in the midst of a budget crisis triggered by a low tax-based income, the wisdom of an income reducing measure is questionable. KRC recommends a No vote on this measure.

More at MIV's website: miv:Proposition 13: Limits on Property Tax Assessment
No on Proposition 14

If approved, Prop 14 will create an “open” or “top-two” primary election system for congressional, statewide and legislative races. All candidates will be lumped together for the primary vote, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election.

KRC recommends a NO vote because we should not limit choice from voters.

More at MIV's website: miv:Proposition 14: Top Two Primaries Act
Yes on Proposition 15

If approved, Prop 15 will create a voluntary system for candidates for Secretary of State to qualify for a public campaign grant with strict spending limits and no private contributions.

Proposition 15 could open doors for many local candidates with good ideas but few resources. By abolishing existing law that prohibits all city and county governments in California from adopting fair election laws, Prop 15 could make running for office immediately more accessible at the grassroots level to immigrants and working class communities of color.

KRC recommends a YES vote because a candidate's policies should be more important than fundraising.

More at MIV's website: miv:Proposition 15: California Fair Elections Act
No on Proposition 16

If approved, Prop 16 will require 2/3 voter approval before local governments can choose an alternative energy provider. KRC recommends a NO vote because we shouldn't make it harder to seek cheaper, greener sources of energy.

More information at MIV's website: miv:Proposition 16: New Two-Thirds Requirement for Local Public Electricity Providers Act
No on Proposition 17

If approved, Prop 17 will allow drivers who go five years without a 90-day lapse in coverage to keep their “continuous coverage” discount when they switch insurers. While this covers most California drivers, those who have not retained continuous coverage may be charged surcharges.

KRC recommends a NO vote because we should not punish low-income drivers from failing to maintain continuous insusrance coverage.

More information at MIV's website: miv:Proposition 17: Auto Insurance Surcharges Initiative Statute


Important Dates

Voter Registration Deadline
Monday, May 24th
*Registration Forms must be postmarked by this date.
* You must re-register if you have changed your address or name.
Vote-By-Mail Application Deadline
Tuesday, June 1st
  • Your application must be postmarked by this date.
  • You can also fill the enclosed “Application for Permanent Vote by Mail Status” and never have to file the application again.
Election Date
Tuesday, June 8th, 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Your polling place location will be printed on the back of your sample ballot.
  • First time voters must show a photo ID or a document that states their name and residence address at the poll site.
  • VBM ballots must be received by the local county clerk’s once by Election Day. On Election Day, you can drop off VBM ballots at any polling place within your county.

The California State Budget

A Crisis for Our Community

Before 2009, the General Fund of California's budget was about $103 billion. However, a $60 billion deficit over two years was filled by budget cuts, temporary tax increases and federal government support. Hence, the budget was reduced by 18% - from $103.4 billion to $84.6 billion.

As a result, UC tuition fees saw a 32% hike, and thousands of teachers were fired. Health and human services, as well as funding for low-income and senior housing were deeply cut, affecting the community.

The Governor’s proposed budget reduces billions from education, reduces SSI payments from $845 to $830 (originally, $907 just two years ago), eliminates 87% of IHSS workers, denies 37,000 senior’s access to adult day care, denies 203,300 children from Healthy Families government healthcare and eliminates Medi-Cal and CAPI (SSI) for legal immigrants.1

Corporate Taxes and Property Taxes

Why do we face continuing budget problems? Is it because California government spends too much? That can’t be true, nearly 18% was cut from the budget in a two year period, mostly affecting education and health and human services.

California has faced deficit issues since it lost its ability to raise taxes - in particular property taxes and corporate taxes. Individual income taxes make up nearly 50% of the state tax revenue while corporate taxes make up only 11%.2 Property taxes, which mostly go to local governments, made up only 13% of total state and local tax revenue in 2005 as opposed to 28% in 1977. And corporate land owners are paying yesterday’s tax rates for property taxes.3

It is common sense for a government to balance the budget by adjusting its income and spending. But because of Proposition 13, passed in 1978, the state legislature is limited in its options, and unable to respond to short term changes. Proposition 13 (1978) allowed corporate land owners to pay yesterday’s tax rates and placed a cap of 1% on property taxes. It also forced the legislature to rely on a 2/3 supra majority instead of the normal simple majority for passing a budget or raise taxes. As a result, a minority of conservative congress members gained a de facto veto power to stop tax raises at the cost of stalling the budget process.

KRC seeks to engage in further dialogue with voters like you to find a solution to the budget crisis and repeal Proposition 13 (1978). The lives of working students, low-income families, and seniors depend on it. Join us!

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