Ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, the Daily Trojan’s Editorial Board has compiled a list of the state measures and select candidates for state offices Californians will be voting on. Here are our recommendations for how voters should cast their ballots on Tuesday.
Dianne Feinstein (Senator)
While State Sen. Kevin de León offers a promising progressive platform, incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s experience and resume make her deserving of another term. The California Democratic Party’s endorsement of de León indicates the party’s progressive pathway, but the more moderate Feinstein has shown an ability to compromise that de León might not possess. She has generally voted against the Trump administration’s policies — and if she narrowly wins, Feinstein may be coerced to move more to the left.
Gavin Newsom (Governor)
California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has been groomed for the governorship, having long been embedded in California politics as the mayor of San Francisco prior to his current position. Newsom was ahead of even most progressives in 2004 when he ordered the San Francisco city clerk to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses, and he has a grasp on state politics and issues that his opponent, Republican businessman John Cox, does not. Cox is inexperienced and his platform is vague, making Newsom the clear choice for governor.
Ed Hernandez (Lieutenant Governor)
State Sen. Hernandez has an edge over fellow Democrat Eleni Kounalakis due to his extensive work in state politics and expertise in health care. He is a legislator of experience and substance, having fought against special interests in the pharmaceutical industry, and will bring a strong moral compass to the position.
Alex Padilla (Secretary of State)
Democratic incumbent Alex Padilla deserves a second term as California’s secretary of state because he has delivered on most of his first-term campaign promises, including improving voting technology and voter accessibility. What’s more, his challenger Republican Mark Meuser has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims that California and the nation have been corrupted by voter fraud.
Xavier Becerra (Attorney General)
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has made a name for himself as attorney general for taking on the Trump administration, suing it 44 times on policies including immigration, the environment and health care. Becerra has shown a willingness to fight for Californian’s interests, and he deserves a full term to continue in the position.
Tony Thurmond (Superintendent of Public Instruction)
While both California Assemblyman Tony Thurmond and fellow Democrat Marshall Tuck prioritize fulfilling the need for increasing school funding and addressing the teacher shortage, Thurmond’s platform gets the vote because of its emphasis on students’ overall well-being. Thurmond sees a correlation between attendance and the criminal justice system, and hopes to keep students out of jail by integrating more after-school programs.
KEY BALLOT MEASURES
Proposition 1: YES
Specified Housing Assistance
This measure authorizes $4 billion for existing affordable housing programs for veterans, working families, low-income residents, seniors and disabled people. Prop 1 is a worthy investment in alleviating California’s housing crisis, one of the worst in the nation.
Proposition 2: YES
Housing for the Mentally Ill
California is currently prohibited from spending money on supportive housing for mentally ill homeless people. This measure is a valiant effort to clear that obstacle by using $140 million per year of county mental health funds to pay for housing.
Proposition 3: NO
Water Supply Projects
While this measure provides funds in state general obligation bonds for various infrastructure projects, it serves only a few specific interests or regions. However, aside from granting money to organizations, this measure will not produce one drop of reusable water.
Proposition 4: YES
Children’s Hospital Construction
Prop 4 increases capacity, provides new technology and advances research to serve the over 2 million sick children in California’s Children’s Hospitals each year. This measure makes it possible for hospitals to upgrade their buildings to accommodate a growing need.
Proposition 5: NO
Property Tax Breaks
Aside from gifting wealthy homeowners with the ability to keep their lower property taxes, this measure transfers property tax burdens to cities, counties and school districts. To add to this, the proposition fails to build new housing or help people purchase homes for the first time.
Proposition 6: NO
Gas Tax & Infrastructure
Prop 6 is opposed by organizations comprising first responders because it jeopardizes the safety of bridges and roads and eliminates $5 billion in local transportation funding, and would only hinder repairs and construction of infrastructure.
Proposition 7: NO
Daylight Savings Time
Subject to federal approval, voting no would allow California to maintain its current daylight saving time period (early March to early November) instead of giving the legislature the power to end the biannual time changes.
Proposition 8: NO
Kidney Dialysis Clinics
This measure caps dialysis center revenues without effectively enhancing patient care and would drive much-needed clinics out of business. Voting no is the right choice because it would not require dialysis clinics to pay rebates or limit their revenues.
Proposition 10: YES
Yes on Prop 10 would give cities the ability to enact or expand rent control laws and protects local communities by putting annual caps on the amount landlords can raise rent. If passed, this measure will keep tenants in their homes and reduce homelessness rates.
Proposition 11: YES
Emergency Ambulance Employees
This measure would make it clear that paramedics and emergency medical technicians employed by private companies must remain reachable during paid breaks, following the status quo of other emergency responders. It would maintain current emergency response times and keep Californians safe while also improving mental health services for medical responders.
Proposition 12: YES
Farm Animal Confinement
Prop 12 takes a strong stance against farm animal cruelty by requiring larger quarters for egg-laying chickens and other animals raised for human consumption. Though farmers will most likely have to spend more money to update their facilities, the cost to consumers will be minimal and the improvements in animal welfare will be rewarding.