Vote, by Russell Mondy, http://www.flickr.com/photos/v63/7990134241/
This is a guide to assist Oakland residents with the upcoming election. Oakland Local is not endorsing any candidate or proposition, simply providing information to the community and linking to other meta-guides for your convenience--so if you need more data, here's a handy list to work from.
The Alameda County Registrar of Voters has provided a guide to all the polling places in the County.
Different Bay Area groups have provided guides to the election, some with recommendations:
Public Radio Broadcoast KQED supplied a helpful guide to the state propositions, clearly breaking down each one. Similarly, the nonpartisan non-profit California Voter Foundation put out a complete guide to the elections. Oakland social justice organization the Ella Baker Center also offered their choices, as well as Oakland Rising.
As with the previous election cycle, Oakland will have ranked-choice voting, also known as instant runoff voting, where voters submit their first, second and third choices for the office. This eliminates dealing with a tie later on. In the case where no candidate has a majority of the vote, second and third place votes are take into consideration. This is how Jean Quan won her bid for mayor in 2010, even though Don Perata won more first place votes, Quan had more combined second and third place votes.
Jane Brunner — Attorney/Councilmember
Barbara Parker — City Attorney, Appointed
From the City Attorney’s office, here are the candidates for city council, and their current positions.
City Council District 1:
Dan Kalb—Environmental Policy Director
Amy Lemley—Children’s Policy Director
Gordon “Don” Link—Small Business Owner
Donald L. Macleay—Machinist/Network Engineer
Len Raphael—Certified Public Accountant
Richard Raya—Budget Director
City Council District 3:
Nyeisha DeWitt—Small Business Owner
Lynette Gibson-McElhaney—Non-Profit Housing Director Alex Miller-Cole—Small Business Owner
Sean Sullivan—Non-Profit Vice-President
Larry Lionel Young, Jr.—Realtor/Consultant/Teacher
City Council District 5:
Noel Gallo—School Board Member
Aracely “Shelly” Garza—Business Person
Mario Juarez—Small Business Owner
Dawn McMahan —Community Organizer
City Council District 7:
Larry E. Reid—Councilmember
Sheryl Walton—Community Health Educator
Beverly Williams—Administrative Assistant
City Council At-Large:
Theresa Anderson—Business Owner
Ignacio De La Fuente—Oakland City Councilmember
Mick Storm—Software Engineering Manager
Carol Lee Tolbert—Entrepreneur/Educator/ Administrator
School Board District 1
School Board District 5
Rosie Torres—Children’s Lawyer/Entrepreneur
State Assembly race: District 18
Bonta is generally considered to be the more established politician, having served as Vice Mayor of Alameda, and is supported by California assemblymember Sandre Swanson, as well as State Controller John Chiang, and U.S. Representatives Leland Yee and Judy Chiu.
Abel Guillen is experienced as a community organizer, and is supported by the local SEIU and the California Teachers and Nurses Associations, as well as many other local labor unions.
U.S. House of Representatives District 13:Barbara Lee, who has held the seat since 1998 is challenged this year by Marilyn Singleton, an M.D. and pro-business candidate who vows to "put Washington on a diet!".
Barbara Lee is known for being one of the most progressive members of the U.S. House, and supports most of the social services that Singleton would cut.
According to the Secretary of State’s office, Proposition 30 will work to raise funds for education through two kinds of taxes: a tax increase on individuals making more than $250,000, and couples making more than $500,000 annually and a ¼ cent sales tax increase each year for four years. Taxing the wealthy is generally considered a ‘progressive tax’, while a sales tax is considered regressive, since it has the most negative effect on the poor. However, without measure 30 the state would be required to make drastic cuts to education -- cutting 5 billion starting in the 2012-13 school year, according to KQED.
The revenue from this measure would be collected in a fund that is part of the general fund. 89% would be spend on K-12 education, and 11% on community colleges.
Proponents: Governor Jerry Brown created the measure after the state legislature rejected a similar proposition. The League of Women Voters, California Teachers’ Association and California Federation of Teachers, State Workers’ Union SEIU Local 1000 all support the measure. The San Francisco Chronicle and the East Bay Express both recommend voting Yes on 30.
Opponents: The main opponents are the conservative-minded Howard Jarvis Taxpayers association and Joel Fox, president of the small business action committee.
This is a complicated proposition that would do change 9 operations of the California state government. It authorizes new community action plans, and changes how lawmakers balance the state. It also requires that legislation be published at least 3 days before it is voted on, and permits the governor to cut budgets unilaterally in cases of fiscal emergency.
Proponents: It was funded by the reform-minded group, California Forward. The California Republican Party also backs the measure.
Opponents: The California Democratic Party, California Teachers’ Federation and the League of Conservation Voters all oppose the measure, saying that it would cost the state tens of millions of dollars annually.
Proposition 32 is one of the more talked-about propositions of this election. Proponents who back the measure say it's an effective example of campaign reform, but opponents point out that it reduces union voices in government, while granting unlimited spending to super PACs. According to KQED the measure might do some good, for example ban government contractors to give donations to the campaign of someone who has a role in awarding their contract. The proposition would specifically reduce the ability of unions to fundraise, which is one reason most left-of-center California entities are opposing it.
Proponents include the California Republican Party.
Opponents include The California Democratic Party, most labor unions, and most Bay Area Newspaper editorial boards, including those of the East Bay Express and SF Chronicle.
Proposition 33 would allow people who have had car insurance for a number of years to switch companies without getting a higher rate under something called “continuous coverage.” Drivers who are uninsured or who let their insurance lapse will be charged a higher rate when they resume their coverage.
The main proponent of the bill is George Joseph, president of Mercury General Corporation, which happens to be an insurance company. Joseph created a similar measure in 2010, called proposition 17, which was defeated at the time. Joseph says that this measure would help so-called responsible drivers.
One of the main opponents is the Consumer Watchdog group. Several other consumer interest groups and the California Nurses Association oppose the measure saying it would unfairly target those who are currently uninsured, and that California’s main goal should be to make sure more drivers have coverage.
Proposition 34 abolishes the death penalty. Currently, someone can be sentenced to death for being convicted of murder in some circumstances. According to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as of July 2012 about 900 people have been sentenced to death since the death penalty was reinstated in 1978. However, only 14 of those have actually been put to death. Keeping an inmate on death row is expensive, and abolishing the death penalty would save the state millions of dollars annually. The proposition would change the penalty of death to life without parole, and would subsequently change the sentence for the 725 people currently waiting on death row.
Proponents say that abolishing the death penalty would be a victory for human rights as well as the state budget. Major proponents include the California Democratic party and the ACLU.
The California Republican Party, as well as many law-enforcement organizations oppose the measure, saying it would allow criminals to “escape justice”, according to KQED.
Proposition 35 is a measure designed to target child traffickers and other sex offender criminals. It would broaden the definition of sex trafficking to include, for example, someone who copies and or distributes child pornography even if the person in question has no contact with the child. Since most sex trafficking cases go to federal court, this measure would affect only the small number of cases that stay in the California courts.
Proposition 36 would change California’s “three strikes law” so that the penalty for people convicted of a third felony that is non-violent or “non-serious” will be double the sentence, instead of the current life in prison with an option of parole after 25 years. About one-third of the California’s 9,000 inmates who are jailed because of the three strikes law will be eligible for a reduced sentence.
Proponents say this measure will help save the state millions of dollars and curb the overcrowding of prisons.
The major opponents are state and local law enforcement agencies.
Proposition 37 is the controversial genetically modified food (GMO) labeling bill. The proposition states that food companies must be responsible for labeling GMO food products.
Food advocates like Alice Waters support the measure, as well as many California Democrats and organic food companies.
Those who oppose the measure say it's unclear and may drive up the price of food. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Monsanto and Kellogg oppose the measure.
Proposition 38 is very similar to proposition 30, in fact, EdSource, a California Education resource, made a graph comparing the two.
A California philanthropist, Molly Munger, backed the proposition, which would raise income taxes accross all income levels, except for the very poor -- people making less than $8,000 per year. This revenue would also be held outside the general fund, which is where Prop 30 Revenues would be held. Only one of the two propositions can be enacted, and if neither does, education cuts will happen.
Proponents say keeping these funds outside the general fund would help make sure the money is used for education.
Opponents say that the tax increase would hurt lower-income families and small business. The California Teachers Association also opposes the measure.
This proposition raises taxes on multistate businesses, in order to fund clean energy. It would make multi-state business pay state taxes based on the percentage of their revenue is in California. This means that companies would no longer have a tax incentive for keeping California staff small. The money raised, up to 550 million would no into a new fund, the Clean Energy Job Creation fund.
Organizations that support the bill include Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, managed almost entirely by the hedge-fund manager who supports the bill.
Opponents say it would unfairly target businesses who want to keep jobs in California.
This proposition maintains certain voter district boundaries created by the 2010 census. A yes vote would maintain the districts put in place by the census, but if the measure doesn’t pass, citizens redistricting committee would be allowed to redraw the districts.