June 2018: Propositions

Here are my current thoughts on the propositions on the June 2016 ballot. (Spoiler alert: yes on everything except 70.)

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November 2016 Cheat Sheet

Here are my current recommendations in ballot order.

For more details, read my full posts on local propositions (Berkeley, East Bay regional, and BART), on state-wide propositions and on candidates.

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Pictures from an election

We’ll see how today’s election goes. I’ll be making calls all day.

In the meantime, a few pictures:

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November 2016: Candidates

Here are my current thoughts on candidates on the November 2016 ballot in Berkeley, in ballot order.

You can also read my thoughts on state-wide and local propositions, or see a cheat sheet summary.

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November 2016: California Propositions

Here are my current thoughts on the statewide propositions on the November 2016 ballot.

You can also read my thoughts on local propositions (Berkeley, East Bay regional, and BART) and on candidates, or see a cheat sheet summary.

Yes on 51?

Bonds for school construction. In general I am in favor of higher taxes to spend more on schools, and bonds are a good alternative to taxes for construction costs. Both state parties support this. Opposition is mostly the hard-line anti-taxers… and also Jerry Brown, whose opinions I usually respect but don’t always agree with. It is a shame that any of this goes to charter schools. But on the whole this seems worthwhile. Looking at the “general fund debt-service ratio” shows that this would not increase the amount we spend on debt service by an enormous amount.

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November 2016: Local Propositions

Here are my current thoughts on the Berkeley, Alameda County, AC Transit, and BART propositions on the November 2016 ballot.

You can also read my thoughts on state-wide propositions and on candidates, or see a cheat sheet summary.

BART (Alameda, Contra Costa, and SF counties)

YES ON RR

After 44 years, BART is aging. It needs major infrastructure work to just keep working at its current capacity, let alone keep up with the population growth and move away from car-reliance in the region. This bond is necessary to keep it from falling apart. My life (and choice of house purchase) is made possible by BART. I am pretty scared that this (2/3-required) bond will fail.

Honestly, the arguments against depress me. Most of them are people who are upset that BART employees are moderately well paid. Frankly — BART enables the economy of the Bay Area to work, and certainly enables my entire current lifestyle. I am proud that the employees who make the system work are paid well. They deserve it.

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My Biases

We all go into the ballot booth with our own background and biases. This is my general political worldview. If this doesn’t sound much like you, you probably don’t need to read this site at all.

I don’t believe that voting and organization around the electoral mechanism is the only or the best way to achieve positive change in our society or our government. But I do believe it is one way and one worth taking seriously. I do my best to research every candidate and question on my ballot for every election, and come to a well-informed position. I am sharing my opinions on this site because friends have noticed that I care a lot and often ask for my opinions. I don’t think my opinions are always the most well-informed or correct, but given that I have them, I might as well share them. (I have done this for years on private locations like LiveJournal and Facebook. Starting November 2016, I’m experimenting with doing it more publicly.) I try to ensure that “have strong opinions about my ballot” is not my only contribution to making our society a better place, but do not always live up to that standard.

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