Proposition 1A—California High Speed Rail Bond: YES
It's time to stop talking about climate change and start doing something about it. As with Measure Q (see below), the SMART train initiative, it's time to prepare for the future by taking the initial fiscal hit that paves the way for tomorrow's transport.
Proposition 2—The California Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act: NO
Our modern industrial farm system is an outrage and needs to be fixed. Proponents of Proposition 2 would have us believe that this act would allow us to have happy animals and eat them, too. Unfortunately, that's not the reality. Based as we are in the state's egg basket, we will instead see area producers forced out of business. Prop. 2 is the right idea but the wrong bill.
Proposition 3—Children's Hospital Bond Act: YES
Authorizing the issuance of roughly $1 billion in bonds for hospitals that treat children with life-threatening illnesses, this serves as more evidence that the state and the nation need comprehensive healthcare reform. But don't let sick kids pay for our leaders' failures.
Proposition 4—Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy: NO
This would amend the state constitution to require notification of a minor girl's parents or legal guardian that she is planning to have an abortion, and a 48-hour waiting period following notification. This is just a cynical ploy to erode Roe v. Wade in yet another nasty grab at women's bodies.
Proposition 5—The Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act: YES
An expansion of Proposition 36, the 2000 initiative that established a drug-treatment diversion program for nonviolent drug offenders, Proposition 5 establishes a three-track system that takes into account offenders' criminal, substance-abuse and treatment histories.
Proposition 6—Police and Law Enforcement Funding: NO
Proposition 6 will add up to 10 years to the prison sentences of previously convicted felons who are caught carrying weapons, as well as gang offenders picked up for violent crimes. And it's a budget buster. Once law enforcement personnel have labeled someone a gang member, it's virtually impossible for that person to get off the list.
Proposition 7—Renewable Energy Generation: NO
Proposition 7 is opposed by most major environmental groups for three key reasons: it fast-tracks government approval of new clean energy plants, which could lessen oversight and weaken environmental protections; it would cap consumers' bills from renewable energy but not from fossil fuels; it would harm small-scale renewable utility companies. California is already committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020.
Proposition 8—Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry: NO
Proposition 9—Criminal Justice System; Victims' Rights; Parole: NO
Proposition 9 has nothing whatsoever to do with victims' rights. It deals only with convicts' rights—by decimating them, seeking to deny convicts the right to petition for parole every five years; parole hearings would come only after 15 years.
Proposition 10—Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy Bonds: NO
T. Boone Pickens, the infamous corporate raider and lifelong carbon mogul, has gifted Californians with a comedic gut buster otherwise known as this "Alternative Fuels Initiative." California needs a dynamic, comprehensive and fully funded clean green renewable energy and fuels program aimed at eliminating carbon emissions.
Proposition 11—Redistricting: YES
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put up nearly $2.5 million of his own money to get this measure on the ballot, arguing, as he always has, that it is a root cause of the very real polarization that often paralyzes Sacramento. This time, we believe him.
Proposition 12—Veterans Bond Act: YES
Since 1922, in 26 elections, California voters have approved $8.4 billion in bonds for low-cost loans to veterans through the Cal-Vet fund. All of that money has been repaid. This bond will allow 3,600 California veterans to buy houses.
Sonoma County: Measure Q: YES
As with Prop. 1A, the high-speed rail bond measure we recommend above, Measure Q is the right thing to do and now is the right time to do it.
Marin County: Measure B: YES
Measure B seeks to consolidate two separate financial offices into one, folding the auditor-controller post and the treasurer-tax collector office into one streamlined county government position. Marin saves money now and, ostensibly, into the future. That's hard to say no to.
Napa County: Measure P: YES
Extends open space rights for another 50 years. This is a no-brainer.