Monday, October 18, 2010

Jesse's November election picks!

Berkeley Rent Board- Progressive Slate:
Dave Blake, Asa Dodsworth, Katherine Harr, Lisa Stephens, Jesse Townley, Pam Webster
(remember, vote for the candidates whose last letters of our last names spell SHERRY!)

City Council races are ranked choice voting this year, which means you can rank up to 3 people in order of preference for the seat. You can choose 1, 2, or 3 names. I've listed who I would rank (not in all races), in descending order (choice #1, choice #2, choice #3).

City Auditor – Ann Marie Hogan
City Council District 1 - Linda Maio, Jasper Kingeter
City Council District 4 – Jesse Arreguin only
City Council District 7- Kriss Worthington only

City Council District 8 - Jacquelyn McCormick, Stewart Jones

Measures H & I- YES- these reauthorize existing property taxes that support Berkeley schools.

Measure R - NO- this is kind of a waste of time. It's not an actual plan, just a guide for the City Council. There was a 5 year Downtown planning process that had mostly things that everyone liked. Drama ensued. Instead of putting forward the detailed compromise put together by this 5-year planning process, a majority of the City Council put this nice-sounding ballot measure up instead. Send a message that they should either send the full plan to us OR find some courage & vote to approve it or another plan themselves, which they can do.
Not only that, but $25,000 of the $32,000 raised so far has come from one major downtown property owner, Equity Residential, founded & run by by zillionaire investor Sam Zell. If this measure had major green credibility, the lion's share of its money wouldn't come from a slash-and-burn investor like Zell & other major downtown property owners like Lakireddy Bali Reddy. Yes, THAT Lakireddi.
More on Zell:
More on Reddy (this IS an incredibly biased site, but even so the facts pretty much conform to this site's retelling of the incredibly tragic saga):
No matter what happens, this will come back to voters in one form or another.

Measure S - YES Tax on Cannabis Businesses- legalize it, tax it, help pay for services with it!
Measure T- YES Medical Cannabis Ordinance Amendments- cleans up & clarifies existing zoning language & treats dispensaries like other legal businesses.

Alameda County:
Superior Court Judge, Seat 9- Victoria Kolakowski
EBMUD, Ward 4- Andy Katz

Measure F - County $10 Vehicle Registration Fee - Yes. The state's been stealing- er, appropriating- money from the counties, who've in turn appropriated money from the cities. This is a start to ending that vicious cycle (but only a start).

State Propositions:
19 - Legalize Marijuana - Yes. Legalize it, tax it, regulate it, make $$$ off of it, just like we've done with the much more dangerous and deadly drug called alcohol.
20 - Congressional Redistricting - Yes. Makes the non-partisan commission that redistricts state legislature seats also responsible for redistricting House of Representatives seats. The reason I supported the 2008 prop that created this commission (and won, barely) is the then-current gerrymandering & creation of "safe seats" in the dysfunctional state legislature has inherently undemocratic results.
21 - Vehicle Fee for Parks - Yes. The state's been stealing- er, appropriating- money from the counties, who've in turn appropriated money from the cities, all of whom promise to pay it back with interest (with what money?). This is a start to ending that vicious cycle (but only a start), and the funds stay within the park & wildlife conservation systems.
22 - Local Government and Transportation Funds - Yes. This says that the state cannot steal- er, borrow- money designated for counties & cities in order to balance the state budget. This is a big step forward in stopping the vicious cycle mentioned in Prop 21 & Measure F.
23 - Gutting of Greenhouse Gas Laws - No. Hole in sand, meet head.
24 - Repeals Business Tax Loopholes - Yes.
25 - Approval of State Budget by Majority Vote - Yes. Holy moly, our state budget process is an annual embarrassment and a major impediment to getting incredibly necessary work done at the state level.
26 - Extends 2/3 Vote Requirement to All Revenue Items - No. This would make the current situation even worse.
27 - Returns Redistricting to the State Legislature - No. The whole point of removing redistricting from the legislature is because it was corrupted by both parties gerrymandering ridiculous "safe" districts.

Statewide and Congressional races:
First: Why are the 2 major party candidates excluding Green party Governor candidate Laura Wells from the debates and having her arrested when she tries to enter the hall? It's business as usual from the 2 parties that have a stranglehold on US politics.

Second: Meg Whitman & Carly Fiorina are disasters-in-waiting and I shudder to think what harm they'll do to California. These are excellent examples of why Ranked-Choice Voting is great- vote your heart and vote strategically at the same time- unfortunately that's not available state-wide (yet).

Third: Last election's horrendous Proposition 14 excludes all but the top 2 vote-getters in November elections, meaning future state elections will be all Dem-Dem, Dem-Rep, or Rep-Rep. No Green, no Libertarian, no Peace & Freedom- no way to express dissatisfaction with the 2 major parties.

Even so, you all are on your own for these races- while I'm a proud Green Party member since 1992, the state-wide Green races strike me as quixotic and a huge drain of energy and resources. I'd rather see the excellent Green candidate Laura Wells become a Green mayor (like Mayor Gayle McLaughlin of Richmond who's up for reelection, hint hint!) and move up into state-wide office that way. Real political power as a party comes from having... real power. Local race by local race, we and other 3rd parties ought to be battering down the barred doors of the 2 major parties until they cannot refuse us entrance anymore because we are already inside due to voter support.

I'm torn on whether to recommend the excellent Green candidates for these races (Governor, US Senate, US House, State Legislature, etc) or to recommend the mainstream Democrats running against creeps like Whitman & Fiorina.

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