SF and Daly City: Vote For Change!

rotation01b.gifI won’t tell you how to vote, or tell you how I’d vote, but I do feel pretty okay telling you just to vote, in general. We have several propositions on Tuesdays ballot that will affect California’s economy, plus some interesting local props that need attention as well.  And then, of course, we have a primary election (and if you’ve been watching any of that mess, you know that “change” is the new catch phrase. Change, change, change. Well, we certainly can hope so!).

At a glance, here’s what you’re deciding:

91.     An initiative that amends the California Constitution to prohibit motor vehicle fuel sales taxes that are earmarked for transportation purposes from being retained in the state’s General Fund. You might be interested to know that even the original supporters of this initiative now urge a no vote.  It’s on the ballot still, however, as it secured the required number of signatures.

92.   Revises the constitutional formula for higher education funding to assure that as the pool of potential community college students grows – based on age demographics, plus the unemployment rate – the community colleges would be guaranteed more money. As a college teacher myself, that sounds great to me. The Chronicle points out however that “the operative word is potential enrollment; thus, the community colleges’ funding would not be tied to the number of students they actually serve.” Confused? Ah well, do your best.

93. Current law limits legislators to  tems of 14 years: six in the Assembly, eight in the Senate. Proposition 93 would reduce the lifetime limit to 12 years, but allow a legislator to serve it in a single house. The fineprint/loophole here is what you want to focus on:   “The initiative includes a ‘transition period’ that would allow 34 otherwise termed-out legislators to run for re-election this year – and another eight to do so in 2010. It does that by allowing an incumbent to stay in his or her current house for a full 12 years, regardless of previous service.” (Sfgate.com)

94, 95, 96, 97. Indian Casino propositions. These are more favorable to the California economy that previous casino packages have been, and seem to include provision for sharing profits with all tribes. Opponents say the amount of money given back to the state is not enough, and that the deal sets dangerous precedence for more casino construction to follow.

San Francisco propositions

A. Will generate $185 million for San Francisco parks, which seems like a good plan in like of the Governor’s budget plan which threatens to close several CA parks. The Neighborhood Parks Council states a convincing case for “yes” here.

B. This prop is based on the actions of other cities that have found “a creative way to encourage veteran officers to stay on the job past their retirement age – without the officers sacrificing their hard-earned pensions and without a net cost to the city.” (Sfgate.com) Interestingly, both the Chronicle and BeyondChron–sworn nemisis of the Chron– agree on “yes” for B.

C. Proposition C seeks to change the city of San Francisco’s policy toward Alcatraz Island, to transform the island, known best for the notorious prison that once operated there, into a global peace center. The Global Peace Foundation’s info is here. Some of the problems with the project can be read about in this Examiner article.

Sure, you’ll want more info before you vote: believe me, it’s out there aplenty, so get educated and get you to a booth. As to where to vote, check these links:

SF Dept of Elections

Daly City Online