Fiat Lux!
October 17, 2018 10:00 AM   Subscribe

Next month, California votes on 11 propositions covering everything from rent control to transportation funding to taking control of the shared concept of time itself. State and local offices, judges, and local ballot measures on everything from homeless services to a public bank are all up for grabs, not to mention several competitive House races. Register to vote by October 22nd (or anytime through Election Day) or check your voter registration. Then find your polling place and your ballot. We'll take the state propositions one-by-one, and everyone can discuss what's on the ballot in your part of the state.

Voter guides and endorsements are available from:

League of Women Voters of California, Los Angeles Times, LAist/KPCC, San Francisco Chronicle, KQED state proposition guide, and the San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters. Comment with your local favorites.

The state propositions, with links for some of the most debated ones:

1 Authorizes bonds to fund specified housing assistance programs

2 Authorizes bonds to fund existing housing program for individuals with mental illness

3 Authorizes bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance, and groundwater sustainability and storage

4 Authorizes bonds funding construction at hospitals providing children’s health care

5 Changes requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property tax base to replacement property. | Prop. 5 offers tax breaks for older home buyers, but could shortchange schools and cities

6 Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding. Requires certain fuel taxes and vehicle fees be approved by the electorate. | What If Californians Repealed the Gas Tax? Proposition 6, Explained. SPUR Talk: Prop. 6 Would Make State Fall Apart

7 Conforms California daylight saving time to federal law. Allows legislature to change daylight saving time period | No matter how Californians feel about daylight saving time, Proposition 7 promises to do precisely nothing

8 Regulates amounts outpatient kidney dialysis clinics charge for dialysis treatment

9 Split California into three states. Kicked off the ballot

10 Expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential property | Costa Hawkins, California’s rent control law, explained. Should Californians Allow Rent Control to Expand? Proposition 10, Explained. CalMatters Podcast: The rent control war. Rent control arguments pile up across California, featuring links to further opinions pro and con. Why Rent Control Is a Lightning Rod. Even before the election, landlords are making threats: Landlords are threatening rent hikes if Proposition 10 passes, activists say

11 Requires private-sector emergency ambulance employees to remain on-call during work breaks. Eliminates certain employer liability

12 Establishes new standards for confinement of specified farm animals; bans sale of noncomplying products
posted by zachlipton (88 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm confused on Prop 7? The legislature can currently change DST with a simple majority vote. Why put a 2/3rd barrier up on that change if you want to get rid of DST.
posted by jmauro at 10:16 AM on October 17


Also, UC Berkeley's Institute for Governmental Studies Library published their annual California Election Guides
posted by gyusan at 10:17 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


To get things started, here's how I'm currently planning on voting, with reasons. None of this is ironclad if people want to give more info to change my mind. I'm particularly stuck on Prop 8, which feels like a business dispute that made it into an initiative, but then someone (on the megathread?) linked to this LA Times article which says the dialysis industry has been gouging us for a while and I'm less sure.

My general rules of thumb:

1. Legislative statutes generally get the benefit of the doubt, since they've been through a process, and initiative statutes don't.
2. Related to #1, if one side is heavily endorsed, that carries weight with me. I don't expect my own research to trump that of others who have put a lot more work into it.
3. I think efforts to cut taxes are bankrupting our federal government, so I'm generally inclined to vote no on any efforts that reduce taxes, doubly so if its by initiative.
4. I personally don't give to charity much or overly worry about private conservation efforts (though of course I recycle) because I think these kinds of problems can't be solved without collective action, so when I see a chance to fix them legislatively, I'm inclined to vote yes.

Having said that, where I come out on the propositions:

1. Yes. Housing is a problem, this is a step toward a fix, and the endorsements all seem to be in favor. Also a legislative statute so not a close case for me.

2. Yes. We're not spending the mental health money on services anyway. That's it's own problem, but in the meantime if the legislature thinks this is a good thing and good use of money, I'm not going to second guess them.

3. No. Majority of newspapers, the Sierra Club, and League of Women Voters all say no. Initiative statute funded in large part by major agribusinesses. Farmers can pay for their own water.

4. Yes. I want children to have good hospitals. Yeah it's money going to private entities but they're non-profits. Lots of newspapers also endorse.

5. Hell no. Baby boomers have already done enough to lock in their ridiculously low property taxes. If you're moving into a nicer house, you can pay taxes just like everyone else. Also screw you for asking.

6. Hell no. I don't mind the tax and I definitely mind an effort to make it harder to impose taxes in the future. We deserve nice things, but that means we have to pay for them. We've done enough damages with our broken property tax system.

7. No. This is a weird one. It looks like California wants year-round DST. Even if this passes they'll still need federal government to allow it, and I don't want year-round DST. I like the sun to be up as I'm driving to work.

8. See opening paragraph above, I'm really torn on this one.

10. No. Second hardest one on the ballot for me. I tend to like allowing local legislatures more freedom. I'm also an econ major and don't like regulating markets. It's a close call.

11. Yes. Another close call, and maybe I'm a hypocrite given my inclination on prop 8. It's another industry asking for a special exception via initiative. What pushes me to yes on this one are a few things: (a) this used to be the rule until a recent court case; (b) the initiative does require that workers get paid while on break, so it's not a money-grab, it's an effort to not have to increase workforce; (c) it doesn't seem too onerous to me for an ambulance driver to have to keep their radio on while they eat; and (d) it's healthcare related and that's expensive enough already. Expectations are that this increases costs another 100 million.

12: Yes. I'm not a vegetarian, because I like meat and because I don't think my personal eating habits affect the global meat market. But animals in our farms are treated incredibly cruelly. So in line with my last rule of thumb, this is an easy yes to fix a collective action problem on some really bad stuff.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 10:18 AM on October 17 [9 favorites]


YAAASSS I think you were literally posting this while I was bitching about having to decode our 16 propositions (including San Francisco ones) in the "why don't young voters vote" thread.

In every California election thread, I have to shout out my boy Terence Faulkner, the former chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party who writes opposing opinions to whatever propositions he can win the opinion lottery for in ALL CAPS. (PROP J: IT'S JIVE LOGIC!) He's conspicuously absent from the voter guide this year and I miss him. I hope he's okay.

I organized a ballot discussion event this past Sunday and I'm not sure how helpful it was, but I think I successfully turned everyone against Prop 5, at least.
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:33 AM on October 17 [5 favorites]


The Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles Chapter Electoral Politics Committee's Voter Guide to the 2018 General Elections: None of these candidates are endorsed by DSA-LA, which would require our whole membership to vote to endorse a candidate, and would likely include a commitment for the chapter to devote time and money to that campaign. But our chapter has voted to endorse Prop 10—Yes on 10!—and Measure B—Yes on B!

The San Diego chapter's Electoral Committee Voter Guide also endorses Prop 10. (The remaining official endorsement: Monica Montgomery, for SD City Council (District 4).)
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:34 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


The lightning rod here in San Francisco is Prop C, which raises business taxes to combat SF's homelessness problem by raising substantial new funding for public housing and mental health services. Mayor London Breed and hot-state-senator-of-the-moment Scott Weiner have come out against it, on the theory that it will drive away business and that the city needs to fix the way it is managing the current funding before trying to sink more money into the problem. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has come out aggressively in favor (he's tweeting about it as I type this).

I'm a supporter of both Breed and Weiner, but their objections seem disingenuous to me, and for my part I've decided that "Yes on C, No on 10" is the right vote.
posted by eugenen at 10:36 AM on October 17


10. No. Second hardest one on the ballot for me. I tend to like allowing local legislatures more freedom. I'm also an econ major and don't like regulating markets. It's a close call.

Voting yes on Prop 10 is not, itself, a vote for regulation. It's a vote to allow the kind of freedom that you say you like:

"I personally don't give to charity much or overly worry about private conservation efforts to end homelessness (though of course I recycle) because I think these kinds of problems can't be solved without collective action, so when I see a chance to let residents and local governments fix them legislatively, I'm inclined to vote yes."
posted by Anita Bath at 10:37 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen a link to Ballotpedia in this thread, so I'll drop this here. I find the site a useful collection of information about the various initiatives at the state and also the county level.

Also, first post!
posted by codewheeney at 10:38 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Hey L.A, vote for the public bank and be a model for the rest of the country in getting off depending on the institutions that fund wars, pollution, and crash our economy for fun.
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 AM on October 17 [7 favorites]


From the Vote Save America voter guide on Prop 11
According to the state Supreme Court, state labor law mandates that rest breaks must be considered off-duty and uninterruptable, including in the event of an emergency. There are two options here for ambulance companies, hire more ambulance workers to cover incoming calls so that regular breaks can be taken. Or require that employees be on-call during their breaks but pay them for their time. Proposition 11 does the latter. It would allow ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during their breaks if they are paid at their regular rate. It would also require employers to provide additional training and to cover some mental health services for EMTs and paramedics.

One thing to note: The backer of this initiative is American Medical Response, the country’s largest provider of ambulance services. AMR is currently being sued for failing to pay its employees who respond to calls during their breaks, and this initiative could absolve AMR of any responsibility in its current suit.
This seems like a sketchy way for AMR to get away with screwing their employees. (I'm also biased because I have a friend who's a former EMT.) I'm a No.

Direct link to Prop 11; you need to enter your ZIP code or address to access the Vote Save America voter guide first.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:46 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Ballotpedia: California 2018 ballot propositions
posted by kirkaracha at 10:50 AM on October 17


I'm a supporter of both Breed and Weiner, but their objections seem disingenuous to me

I'm glad you brought up Prop C (San Francisco). I'd really want to be able to trust Breed and Weiner, and I'm just pissed at them over this.

I don't love a lot of things about Prop C. I try to be against budget set-asides out of principle. The funding model isn't my ideal (I usually like broad tax bases and low rates), and I'm sensitive to not wanting to blow up the balance we just reached with the gross receipts tax. The money, which we desperately need today, is likely to be tied up in litigation for ages as businesses fight the legality of the measure. And in my gut, I still don't feel super-confident that the money is truly likely to be well spent in a way that tangibly improves thousands of people's lives.

But what Breed and Weiner and other opponents are saying over and over is that we need a "stakeholder discussion," "stakeholder engagement," we need a "meaningful discussion." And look, it's 2018. It's simply unacceptable for our city leaders to declare that we need to start over and have a discussion yet again from first principles about homelessness. We urgently need to build homes and provide mental health services, not have yet another discussion to solicit Jack Dorsey's views.

And that's why I'm so furious at our city leaders. If they have a problem with Prop C, I expect them to, well, lead. They've known about Prop C for quite some time. They've had plenty of opportunity to put forward their own proposal. If the Mayor came out and said "I can't support this because [reasons], but here's what I think we should do to make meaningful progress right now, and I'm committed to getting this through the Board of Supervisors this year if voters vote no on C," I'd be inclined to trust them and at least give that serious consideration.

But they've got nothing. They have objections, but no alternative plan. And in the meantime, I'm stepping over the bodies of people desperately in need of help on a daily basis. I'm a Yes on C. If they want to convince me that their objections have merit, I need to see some real leadership from them, not just another opportunity to discuss homelessness as if we haven't been doing that for decades.

Also, first post!

Welcome!
posted by zachlipton at 11:07 AM on October 17 [12 favorites]


I'm a supporter of both Breed and Weiner, but their objections seem disingenuous to me, and for my part I've decided that "Yes on C, No on 10" is the right vote.

There are a whole lot of renters who live outside SF, and we need the protection. Please vote yes to give local governments the flexibility to control out-of-control rent increases (mine went up 10% a couple of months ago).
posted by donatella at 11:19 AM on October 17 [10 favorites]


kingjoeschmoe: I'm particularly stuck on Prop 8, which feels like a business dispute that made it into an initiative, but then someone (on the megathread?) linked to this LA Times article which says the dialysis industry has been gouging us for a while and I'm less sure.

This Last Week Tonight episode on dialysis as a business (and who profits) might help provide more context.
posted by Snacks at 11:30 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Also: I do a pro-labor and pro-public ed voter guide every election, and have already sent it to a few MeFites. I show my work on the Facebook post (which I’m not circulating here but will MeMail if you’re interested), but here’s how I’m voting:

1: Yes
2: Soft no, open to switching if I see real numbers re: how many supportive housing units will be built (I read the entire proposition and didn’t see that info in the text).
3: No
4: Yes
5: No
6: No
7: Yes because I drive to work in the dark anyway
8: Yes. SEIU is working hard to get this one passed. It’ll incentivize clinics to invest in patient care, staffing, and equipment. The counterarguments (such as “omg inner city clinics will close!”) seem like BS since this proposition will force clinics to reinvest in their facilities.
10: Yes, and if you or your family/friends rent then please help us out.
11: No, it’s a sketchy change in working conditions done without bargaining with the workers.
12: Yes
posted by donatella at 11:32 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


For "No on 10" people: since you oppose rent control, do you also oppose the existence of a minimum wage? What arguments for regulating wages (a case where working people face a power imbalance against capital, which holds a resource they need to survive) do you feel apply that don't apply to housing (a case where ordinary people face a power imbalance against capital, which holds a resource they need to survive.) The situations seem so analogous to me that I honestly can't see how you can support one without supporting the other.
posted by contraption at 11:34 AM on October 17 [8 favorites]


Here in Oakland we got a mailer that said “if prop 10 passes, housing prices could drop by $97,000!!!” Which was an argument against prop 10, but I kept it and was like “hey look, maybe we’ll be able to afford a house someday!”

“Watch out, real estate will be cheaper!” Oh yeah, jeez, would hate for that to happen.

Also, probably not the right thing to be mailing to apartment buildings like mine. “Attention homeowners...”
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:35 AM on October 17 [20 favorites]


As long as we’re listing proposition guides, I want to add that I’m a pretty big fan of Pete Rates the Propositions, whose ratings basically mirror my planned vote this year.

He almost invariably has a liberal/progressive take with his ratings (so naturally not everyone will agree), but it’s his very cogent and well thought out descriptions and arguments about his decisions that make it worth reading, even if you disagree with one of his takes.

tl;dr: Come for the explanations of props 3, 8, 10 and 11, stay for the delightful poem about prop 7
posted by The Situationist Room with Guy Debord at 11:35 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Prop 5 bums me out because I'm getting close to officially being an "older homeowner."
I'm already an older-home owner.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:42 AM on October 17 [1 favorite]


While flipping through the California voter guide, I was struck by a significant omission. Democratic party candidate for governor Gavin Newsom did not submit an image or a candidate statement for the guide.

I don't think that I have ever seen that before. I wonder if he feels that the governor's office is already in the bag? Was this an oversight? Very strange.
posted by JDC8 at 11:50 AM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Candidates have to stay within a voluntary spending limit to get a candidate statement in the voter guide, and Gavin Newsom did not (SacBee). I don't know if that's a better or worse reason than just "ehh, fuck it," but there you go.

Also, thanks for that link to Pete Rates the Propositions - I'm not familiar with him but it's really helpful!
posted by sunset in snow country at 11:55 AM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Much as I don't love me some Gavin Newsom, it's not like there's other options.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:04 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


I'm relatively uninformed about the ballot initiatives this year — congress has been sucking a lot of my politics brain — but here's my takes:

1) Soft yes. Have to investigate, but in general, we're pretty good on bond spending and this went through the legislative process. It's also likely to be a worthwhile investment that pays for itself over time through reduction in other services.

2) Same as 1. Soft yes.

3) Leaning yes. I hate Howard Jarvis and that they're against this makes me for it. But I'll be reading up a lot more on it and could change my mind.

4) Weak yes. Construction earmark seems weird, but in theory should also pay for itself by saving lives.

5) Fuck no. Repeal 13.

6) Fuck no. Every single person voting for this is a moron and should be slapped. The "gas tax" has been reaffirmed by voters twice, and while a consumption-meets-sin tax of gas is a bad plan for long term road funding, damage from bad roads costs more than the tax.

7) Soft yes. This resolution does fuck all, but the switch on DST does actually kill people every year, so getting rid of it makes sense.

8) Soft yes. The dialysis industry is deeply corrupt and evil, and they've managed to defeat a bunch of legislative fixes. Which means they're facing a worse law at the ballot, and since it's not a constitutional amendment, it can still be fixed by the legislature afterwards, but this provides a starting point for negotiations.

10) Soft yes. Basically, rent control is a really flawed way to approach housing affordability, and about 10% of current rent prices can be traced to our current rent control laws. That said, I've seen more than a few land policy experts — Dr. Lisa Schweitzer at USC is one — argue that it's possible to fix many of the problems with rent control laws as they currently stand. My preferred option is still a land tax and subsidies for low-income renters, but that seems unattainable currently.

11) Soft no. Breaks are breaks. Making someone keep their radio on during a break is making them work through their break. Exempting private ambulance companies from the money they owe their employees is also some BS.

12) Soft yes. I don't think that this actually does much, as it's using a bad proxy of space for treatment of hens. Stricter enforcement of animal cruelty laws to include livestock seems a better option.

LA county W: Yes. Discouraging parking lots is good, discouraging impermeable parking lots is better. Using that money to pay for water reclamation is even better.

LA city charter B: Yes. A public bank would be a huge asset, and even if its only real function is allowing cash-based cannabis companies to deposit instead of holding everything in safes, it'll make LA safer and better funded.
posted by klangklangston at 12:08 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Oh shit, the debate between Feinstein and De Leon for US Senate is happening RIGHT NOW! I totally forgot about it until De Leon posted on Facebook. The moderator is asking about his handling of sexual harassment issues popcorn.gif (link is to live stream)
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:26 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


If it feels like from the stream that there’s no oxygen in the debate room and everyone is on the verge of falling asleep, I can confirm it feels the same in real life.
posted by zachlipton at 12:40 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah this is hella boring. I was just thinking I could have walked there from my office (and had a chance to get tickets through Indivisible) but I'm kinda glad I didn't. I'm pleased that it's happening though.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:45 PM on October 17


Apologies for the length of this, but here's my take on the initiatives:

Proposition 1 - HOUSING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM BONDS

I tend to vote in favor of most bond measures, unless I consider the stated intent and practical outcome blatantly at odds. California has a pathological housing market. The reason is simple: not enough inventory. NIMBYism is rampant, and the few projects that are able to squeeze in through the byzantine and frankly corrupt zoning and approval process become "luxury" residences and do little to bring the cost of housing closer to a rational level. I am sympathetic do the "NO" advocates who say that this bond measure is inadequate and that we need "far bigger solutions." Nevertheless, I consider this a net improvement over the status quo.

I am voting YES on Prop 1
My recommendation on Prop 1: NEUTRAL

_________________________________

Proposition 2 - HOUSING FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

There is a very long history of California's problems with adequately and humanely treating people with mental illness. I won't go into the history, but a transient population of patients with no safe place to live clearly makes those who suffer suffer far worse. Housing is desperately needed. The existing Mental Health Services Act which in part provides housing and related assistance to the homeless with mental illness has been hamstrung by lawsuits claiming that housing was not intended to be a part of that law. This proposition specifies that a fraction of the money currently collected and set aside for by the MHSA will be used to pay off bonds that will be sold specifically for housing, sidestepping the lawsuit and allowing the intended housing services to be provided.

I am voting YES on Prop 2
My recommendation on Prop 2: YES

_________________________________

Proposition 3 - WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS

This one is a slam dunk in my opinion. Investment into protection of watershed lands, water supply and facility infrastructure improvements and upgrades, flood protection (including Oroville dam repair). Opposed by some "Citizen Taxpayer Association" who invariably never seem to come across a social contract they don't want to shred. All signs point to yes.

I am voting YES on Prop 3
My recommendation on Prop 3: YES

_________________________________

Proposition 4 - CHILDRENS HOSPITALS

Another slam dunk. Updating/upgrading existing facilities and building new facilities for child health care is bog-standard bond territory. The only people who have come out against Prop 4 as far as I can tell refuse to countenance the use of bonds for any purpose.

I am voting YES on Prop 4
My recommendation on Prop 4: YES

_________________________________

Proposition 5 - PROPERTY TAXES

Proposition 5 is intended to allow those over 55 to sell their house and repurchase a new property, while still paying only the property tax level they had on their previous property. Proposition 13 as it is desperately needs partial repeal (only property still occupied by the original purchaser of the house should have its property tax frozen at purchase value, all commercial property and property no longer occupied by the original purchaser should be regularly reassessed based on market value), and Prop 5 only makes it even worse, allowing homeowners to pocket massive profits and purchase new housing while still paying decades-old property tax rates. Prop 5 is simply unconscionable.

I am voting NO on Prop 5
My recommendation on Prop 5: NO

_________________________________

Proposition 6 - FUEL TAXES

Proposition 6 is intended to eliminate recently passed fuel and vehicle taxes, and require all future taxes to be approved by referendum as future ballot propositions. I would have been neutral on the repeal of the recently added taxes (and likely not voted on this measure), if it weren't for the horrible inclusion of a requirement that all future tax changes to be approved by state referendum. That is a bad -- no, HORRIBLE -- idea, and I am suspicious of the motives of those who propose it. They took a proposition I would be prepared to be neutral on and poisoned it so badly that I must strongly encourage a NO vote.

I am voting NO on Prop 6
My recommendation on Prop 6: NO

_________________________________

Proposition 7 - DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

Proposition 7 allows the legislature to request a change to Congress allowing California to permanently move to Daylight or Standard time in the Pacific time zone. The time change twice a year is, in my opinion, not only no longer necessary, but measurably disruptive both from an economic and public health standpoint. I think we should move to one time, all year.

I am voting YES on Prop 7
My recommendation on Prop 7: YES

_________________________________

Proposition 8 - DIALYSIS CLINIC REGULATION

For-profit health care for life-threatening illness at the point of service is, on its face, unethical. Proposition 8 is an extremely complicated proposal, which though I have read I do not fully understand -- furthermore it seems deliberately obfuscated and convoluted. While I strongly believe that stronger and stricter regulation is desperately needed to curtail profiteering on the most desperate, I do not understand Prop 8 well enough to vote in its favor. When in doubt, a NO vote on a proposition is a vote for no change.

I am voting NO on Prop 8
My recommendation on Prop 8: NEUTRAL

_________________________________

Proposition 9 - CALIFORNIA STATE BREAKUP

Prop 9 was removed from the ballot by the CA Supreme Court, but I remember it. I am decidedly against breaking up California into multiple states. Anyone who is in favor of breaking up California is only seeking further entrenchment and gerrymandering which already has badly lopsided the US Senate and means that California's 2 US Senators represent nearly 20 million constituents each while Wyoming's 2 US Senators represent around 1% of that.

_________________________________

Proposition 10 - RENT CONTROL

I believe the core problem in California of housing affordability is not enough housing inventory. Unless we fix that, we're only putting a band-aid on the problem. House prices and rent will continue to soar well above the median income's ability to pay. Requiring large-scale development of more housing, especially in the central urban areas, and most especially as an integral part of any new commercial development proposal, is the best way forward. Since that's not currently in the cards (for various and numerous reasons which I won't go into here and which involves malfeasance on the parts of property owners, developers, and local governments -- in other words, basically everyone who doesn't pay rent to live somewhere), a useful band-aid is rent control. In a market that is not distorted by the entrenched interests of property owners and NIMBYites, I would oppose rent control. But we do not live in that market in California. Therefore I believe cities should be allowed to determine for themselves whether rent control is appropriate for their city or not.

I am voting YES on Prop 10
My recommendation on Prop 10: YES

_________________________________

Proposition 11 - AMBULANCE EMPLOYEE PAY

In principle, I agree with all of the intended features of Prop 11, and had been considering endorsing it. However, Prop 11 is so narrowly focused that we should all be fairly suspicious of its presence on the ballot in any case, rather than having been enacted by the legislature. The basic story is that the company which has funded the Yes on Prop 11 campaign (American Medical Response) is in the middle of major litigation, and is the SOLE donor to the committee which placed Prop 11 on the ballot. I agree that ambulance employees and EMTs should be paid for all of their on-call time (and required to respond to emergencies at any time in their shift), but this Proposition isn't being enacted in a vacuum, and the initiative process is not the right place for this type of change in the law. I believe it should be worked out by the legislature.

I am voting NO on Prop 11
My recommendation on Prop 11: NEUTRAL

_________________________________

Proposition 12 - FARM ANIMAL CONFINEMENT

At the risk of it sounding like a joke, here is my honest and complete opinion: farm animals bred for food should live healthy, safe, and (to the reasonable extent possible based on limited human understanding) happy lives before being humanely and rapidly killed and processed into food. Were it not for food demand, say many people, these animals wouldn't live in the first place. I think that's more or less true, but woefully incomplete. There is no reason for animals to suffer for the sake of saving pennies, or even dollars, at the store. Previous propositions that banned certain types of cages among other things were a step in the right direction. This is a further step in the right direction. Cage-free hens, cattle, and swine should be the norm, not the exception. While I don't believe for a second that "happy cows come from California" as the ad says, I think that's a goal worth voting for.

I am voting YES on Prop 12
My recommendation on Prop 12: YES
posted by tclark at 12:48 PM on October 17 [5 favorites]


This makes me miss the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Their voter guides were always too far to the right for me, but at least it was a not-batshit-crazy starting point and set of default options for all the "who is this person and what does this office even do" and "this ballot measure doesn't seem to mean anything, why is it here," sections of the ballot.

Now that I live elsewhere and have a ballot with 75 judges (WTF?) and 10 water reclamation district commissioners, I wish we had a decent local equivalent.
posted by eotvos at 1:01 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Guides from state environmental organizations: California Environmental Justice Alliance (with a Prop 3 water bond endorsement), and California League of Conservation Voters (which is against Prop 3).
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:15 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


I'm so curious if the people who are pro rent control experience(d) the same San Francisco I did. Rent control without vacancy control (and basically no building) led to so many bad knock-on effects that it's a huge part of the reason I left. Essentially being trapped in the apartment you could afford five years before because moving was so much of an increase; knowing that if the building was sold or some qualifying reason to leave came up meant I was going to have to leave the city; knowing my dickhead multimillionaire boss was paying nothing for a two bedroom in North Beach that he didn't even live in most of the time because he had the good sense to be born before I was? The fact that I couldn't even get a two-month residency and sublet my place because the management company was terrified of someone else getting in on the cheap rate?

I get the allure of rent control, but the SF version is so bad (no vacancy control, doesn't apply to single-family houses, I believe?) that I wouldn't exactly be clamoring for it to come to my city.
posted by dame at 1:22 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


dame, I think you've laid out an argument for enacting universal rent control and vacancy control, not one against allowing rent control.
posted by contraption at 1:24 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


As for the single-family exception, that's part of the restrictions in the Costa-Hawkins Act that Prop 10 seeks to repeal. Rent control on single-family dwellings is not currently legal anywhere in CA.
posted by contraption at 1:26 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Yeah - Prop 10 would actually allow San Francisco to enact vacancy control (although some pretty epic changes in local politics would have to occur for that to happen, but right now it's a moot point because we're barred from doing it).
posted by sunset in snow country at 1:27 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


Passing the ability to do the first without mandating it come with the second seems bad is what I am saying. (I don't vote in Calif. any more but my parents do, so my opinions are only worth a little.)
posted by dame at 1:32 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


I was recently in California visiting my parents (I live in New York now) and had forgotten how much advertising there is for the ballot propositions.

Then again, I only ever voted in one election as a California voter and haven't had cable or over-the-air TV service for a long time, so perhaps those are the reasons why.
posted by andrewesque at 1:49 PM on October 17


Prop 10 doesn't mandate anything, it just repeals Costa- Hawkins. San Francisco could or could not choose to change anything. It just gives cities more options.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:51 PM on October 17 [6 favorites]


I lived in a rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco from 1995 to 2009. It was a big, 2-bedroom place with a big kitchen, room-sized pantry, and a double-parlor. When I moved out the rent was about $1800/mo so the landlord hated us. (At the time the rent could probably have been at least double what we were paying.)

At one point he tried to evict us for 60 days to do "capital improvements" to the property. It was all minor stuff like moving the toilet a couple of inches to bring it into code and seemed more like a couple of weeks of work than two months. My roommate was a real estate attorney and very competitive, so we refused to move out and the landlord sued us.

The highlight of the trial was our attorney asking the property manager if there was heat in the apartment. The property manager said, "well, there's the stove" and our attorney said, "would that be the cooking stove?" It was.

At the lunch break the attorneys met with the judge, who was a former contractor. We offered to move out for two weeks so they could do the work and they refused. They never ended up doing the work and we were OK after that.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:53 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


I wish that instead of rent control, there would be higher, more progressive taxes and redistribution to people who are long-time residents in the Bay Area but who aren't wealthy. That seems like it would accomplish the same goal without distorting the housing market.
posted by value of information at 1:55 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Some states don't have citizen-initiated referenda/initiatives at all - Pennsylvania, I am giving you a hard look - but is there a reason why California always seem to have dozens? Is there an unusually low bar to getting on the ballot?

By comparison, Michigan has three items on the ballot this year.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:03 PM on October 17


There are some pretty obnoxious abuses of the initiative system this time around. Cough, Props 8 and 11. On principle, I'm almost certainly voting no on both. Prop 11's issues ought to be resolved in the legislature, and Prop 8 is an example of a special interest abusing the initiative system to its own ends, regardless of my support for unionization.

Easy YESes: Prop 1, Prop 2, Prop 4, Prop 7, Prop 12, Measure B, Measure W, Measure E

Easy NOs: Prop 3 (fuck you, pay for your own water), Prop 5 (fuck that noise), Prop 6 (but I have a sinking feeling it's going to pass...even the strong Dems I canvass in Rohrabacher's district like to spontaneously complain about the gas tax, although this is influenced by my deliberate avoidance of the wealthier parts of Dist. 48)

Unsure: Prop 10. At this point, the more I read about rent control, the less I feel I understand it. I'd rather spend my time before the election working on the House, not poring over articles online in an attempt to become an expert on rent control. Would someone mind helping me out here and explaining some things? First off: why would any rent control system allow landlords to increase rents however they want after a tenant vacates? Is this a concession to landlords that somehow became a near-universal (I guess?) element of how rent control is applied in the U.S.? I've just never understood why rent control would be attached to specific residents (for however long they stay in a unit), period, and it seems to me that this element of rent control is the one that causes the most problems. Shouldn't we just have a universal/statewide cap on yearly rent increases??

Secondly: how does one control for landlords taking units off the market, either by letting them sit empty or by selling the unit not to another landlord but to new resident homeowners? I'm assuming you'd try to impose massive penalties for either letting units sit vacant or for converting rental units to owned units, but has any municipality ever successfully instituted such rules?
posted by desert outpost at 2:05 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


FWIW on the gas tax - I know the GOP put a lot of money behind it getting on the ballot, but haven't spent very much since on actually trying to win it.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:09 PM on October 17


Is there an unusually low bar to getting on the ballot?


Yes, the bar is very low, in my opinion. It's 5% of the total number of people who voted in the last Governor race. Which are midterm years. In a slow year, the turnout could mean you can get something on the ballot with less than 400,000 signatures. Which sounds like a lot, but is practically nothing in a state with around 40 million people. You can get an initiative constitutional amendment on with 8%.

AND both normal initiatives AND constitutional amendments only require simple majority to pass. CA definitely needs ballot/initiative reform, and the place I'd start with is getting it onto the ballot. I'd change to 5% and 8% of the entire electorate, probably. And require state constitutional amendments to pass with a supermajority of 60% or more.
posted by tclark at 2:15 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Here's some polling on initiatives from Survey USA. They say, " Props 1, 6, 7, 11 Favored To Pass; Prop 8 Dicey; Prop 10 Likely to Fail."
posted by Chrysostom at 2:23 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


Why would any rent control system allow landlords to increase rents however they want after a tenant vacates? Is this a concession to landlords that somehow became a near-universal (I guess?) element of how rent control is applied in the U.S.?

Yes.

Secondly: how does one control for landlords taking units off the market, either by letting them sit empty or by selling the unit not to another landlord but to new resident homeowners? I'm assuming you'd try to impose massive penalties for either letting units sit vacant or for converting rental units to owned units, but has any municipality ever successfully instituted such rules?

A vacancy tax helps to get around the growing problem of vacant units (a growing issue in major cities even without rent control due to international speculation.)

Landlords deciding to sell can be seen as a positive outcome; you've got to give people some way to exit what was a lucrative, exploitative market and reinvest their money elsewhere, and putting those houses on the market helps deflate real estate bubbles and makes home ownership more attainable for people who would otherwise be stuck renting. If there really is such a glut of housing stock for sale on the market to the point that it's attracting new people to move to the rent-controlled area and buy, that's also going to be attractive to investors despite rent control (as with minimum wage, the idea is create fair guardrails on the market, not to make it completely unprofitable to own rental property.)
posted by contraption at 2:42 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


First off: why would any rent control system allow landlords to increase rents however they want after a tenant vacates? Is this a concession to landlords that somehow became a near-universal (I guess?) element of how rent control is applied in the U.S.?

In California, this is the result of a specific state law - the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act - that seriously curtailed the kinds of properties that may be subject to rent control and the forms that rent control policies could take. The right to raise rents after a tenant vacates is one of the things that Costa Hawkins explicitly protects. It also prohibits cities from establishing any kind of rent control or cap on housing constructed after 1995 or any single-family homes or condos.

Prop 10 is a Y/N vote to repeal Costa Hawkins. Right now, the vital-but-still-inadequate versions of rent control that are in effect are constrained by the protections described above. Repealing Costa Hawkins would allow local governments to implement rent control that could carry over after a tenant vacates, and/or on buildings constructed after 1995, etc.

Would it happen right away? Unlikely. What would it look like? TBD. But rent control looks the way that it does because of Costa Hawkins, so if those specific protections strike you as an overreach and you think that rent control policies should be able to address them, then I don't understand why you would consider voting "no" on 10.
posted by Anita Bath at 2:43 PM on October 17 [9 favorites]


Fighting over rent control while Prop 13 is still in effect just seems backwards to me. The first step on our agenda should be a full but gradual repeal of Prop 13. We're never going to solve the housing, rent, and fluctuating revenue problems we have here in CA until we bite the bullet and address Prop 13.

Don't old rich married white people have it easy enough without us shoveling more money at them?
posted by Justinian at 2:45 PM on October 17


San Francisco Pissed Off Voters Guide:

1: $4B Bond for Affordable Housing - Yes ✔
2: Allow Previous Bond Money to Be Used for Homeless Housing - Yes ✔
3: $9B Bond for Water Projects - Yes ✔
4: $1.5B Bond for Children’s Hospitals Yes ✔
5: Expand Prop 13 for Property Owners - Hell No ✘
6: Repeal Gas Tax and Require 2/3rds Vote for Future Gas Taxes - Hell No ✘
7: Start the Process to Eliminate Daylight Saving Time - Yes ✔
8: Regulation of Kidney Dialysis Charges - Yes ✔
10: Repeal Costa Hawkins! Allow Expansion of Rent Control! - Hell Yes ✔
11: Private Ambulance Companies Try to Mess with EMT Work Breaks - No ✘
12: New Standards for Confinement of Farm Animals - Yes ✔

Speaking as a SF renter, if you vote No on 10 you're a 1%er - rich assholes that already owns a house and would rather pay less taxes on yours than let those of us who will be renting when our kids go to college ever own. Screw you.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:24 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


A partial repeal of Prop 13 is already on the way.... at least for commercial property.
posted by tclark at 3:25 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


"and California League of Conservation Voters (which is against Prop 3).

Actually, they take no position on it. They're for some of it but worry that because the funding comes from anti-climate change money that it will leave the state worse off in the long run.
posted by klangklangston at 3:31 PM on October 17


A few thoughts on the Feinstein/de León debate conversation.

Like I said, it was really low energy. Small room, audience instructed to be silent, noon on a Wednesday, livestream only; these are not conditions conducive to a major event befitting the only debate for senate in the largest state in the country (or as we would hear repeatedly throughout the event, "the 5th largest economy in the world").

Overall, the two don't really disagree on much of anything, but it's a difference in tone. de León had some good lines about needing to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan (with a subtle swipe at the Senator who voted for these wars) and about stopping selling weapons to the Saudis, plus a nice piece on "in the Central Valley we have many Flint Michigans"; Feinstein talked about her record (the long-since expired Assault Weapon Ban is her thing) and pitched incrementalism on health care with a public option. de León used the phrase "export California values" a lot. Feinstein wasn't going there on impeachment; de León did, and broadly wants to lead the resistance. The headline story out of the event is that both of them would be up for reopening the Kavanaugh investigation if Democrats have control of the chamber.

But it was the contrast in approaches toward the end of the debate that really brought the differences. de León talked about the need to fight (all quotes are fairly exact from my notes, but I don't have a tape or transcript handy to check against, so take the exact wording with a grain of salt): "I wish Democrats in Washington would fight like hell for Dreamers just like Republicans fight for that stupid wall." He talked about the need to find ways to elevate the issues that matter to us even when we're in the minority.

Feinstein was, true to who she is, more realist about working in a Republican-controlled Congress: "there's a lock on power in Washington, and it's extraordinarily difficult...Sure you can protest and we do it, but they move their majority regardless...it's like hitting your head against a concrete wall: you can march, you can filibuster. It doesn't change anything...What does is elections."

And both of them honestly have a point. de León is right that there are levers of power beyond control of the chamber, and Feinstein is right that Democrats need control to exert power and that Republicans push ahead with their agenda regardless of Democratic objections (but see also last year's health care fight, in which non-electoral persuasion was enormously effective in averting disaster). Feinstein is the quiet, compromising, incrementalist experienced legislator; de León's got a little more fight. And with Harris embarking on a nationwide campaign, I'm not sure there isn't something to be said for having our other Senator be someone with the federal experience to more quietly work the process. But it's hardly inspiring stuff to be told that political activism is useless and that, at best, a Democratic Senate can move some great bills that will probably die a quiet death in a Republican House or on Trump's desk (Feinstein was conspicuously explicit that she was promising good stuff out of a D-controlled Senate, not actual passage of legislation). But that's who Sen. Feinstein is, she's not going to become a different person in this campaign, and given the polls, it looks like that's who is going to represent us for another term.
posted by zachlipton at 3:45 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


When Barbara Boxer retired (at age 75), we got Kamala Harris.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:38 PM on October 17 [4 favorites]


The East Bay Express has published their endorsement guide.
posted by Lexica at 5:03 PM on October 17


This conversation has been super helpful. Based on your points/cites, I'm revising my vote as follows:

Prop 8: No.
Prop 10: Yes.
Prop 11: No. (The undoing of previous violations is a step too far.)
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 5:20 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Here’s a “Yes on 8” analysis from the LA Times that ties the opposition to profiteers in the healthcare industry. I found it compelling.
posted by donatella at 5:39 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


I was having problems finding info about county-level candidates. Then I took inspiration from how the San Francisco League of Pissed-Off Voters decided on judicial candidates (they consulted two separate guides for conservatives, and " Go there, find out which judges they support, and then vote the opposite"). I found my county Republican org's endorsement slate and wrote NO on the sample ballot for anybody they endorsed. Anybody who's still R at this point, yikes.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:09 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Oh god, most of them I'm decided and then the arguments for a few of them make me go back and forth and back and forth and ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:27 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


It's a useful heuristic to look at Republican judicial slates, but note that the League of Pissed off Voters already revised their guide after deciding that some of the folks the angry Republicans liked were actually ok too. I'd appreciate more judicial advice if anyone has strong feelings.

On Prop 8, I'm torn between "profiteers in the healthcare industry" and "I really want to put my foot down that regulating dialysis finances is not a remotely acceptable thing to be done through the initiative process and should be handled by the legislature which passes hundreds of bills a year and is far better equipped to balance the competing interests of the....are we seriously going to vote on the health care industry piece by piece every election, because I will seriously lose it if I have to become an expert on endoscopy center fees next election." In conclusion, I hate everyone.
posted by zachlipton at 7:36 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


Prop GRRR: zachlipton hates everyone
posted by Chrysostom at 7:49 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


some of the folks the angry Republicans liked were actually ok too

Sure, I did observe that. I looked up folks that I had time to look up, to double check. My local Republican Women's club "guest speaker" page included a Latina school board candidate. When I dug a little deeper, I got 1. a local paper that soft-pedaled her as "perhaps too conservative for some" and 2. an article in a different paper with quotes from her defending Trump, and a photo of her with her Mexicans For Trump sign.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 9:00 PM on October 17 [1 favorite]


I really want to put my foot down that regulating dialysis finances is not a remotely acceptable thing to be done through the initiative process and should be handled by the legislature

I have a friend that always votes No on every proposal because it's the legislature's job.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:12 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


In many states, initiatives are the only way to get good legislation, since it never comes out of the GOP-controlled, gerrymandered legislature.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:21 PM on October 17 [3 favorites]


There is one county proposition here in San Luis Obispo, Measure G, which would restrict oil & gas drilling in the county specifically that using fracking. Chevron Oil is putting up most of the money on "No on G", about 5x the total "Yes on G" fundraising. They're claiming that it would shut down ALL oil production, a claim that is dubious at best. The other side is replying that the 3 worst environmental disasters in the county EVER were oil spills, all by a company that is now part of Chevron. And one of them was a multi-year multi-million-gallon slow leak that was rather recent. Of course, SLO County is also the home of California's LAST nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon (appropriate name) that PG&E plans to shut down by 2025 rather than do all the upgrades that new regulations require. So Energy Production and the risks thereof are a big deal around here. (PG&E is also building some of the largest solar and wind power facilities in California in some of the emptier parts of the county, so we've kinda got some things covered, except these facilities will employ a small fraction of the work force there is now at Diablo).
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:35 PM on October 17


This is the worst set of initiatives we've had to vote on since the last set of initiatives. Apparently forcing us to vote on whether people should wear condoms when filming the sex or face legal sanction wasn't enough so now we've got to become health care finance experts. Cool. Cool cool cool.

I look forward to voting on the minutiae of, like, regulating the temperature at which frozen embryos are stored. Or maybe we can get an initiative where we vote on whether fences facing a pedestrian walkway should be limited to 3 feet or 3 feet 4 inches. 'Cause I'm ready to become an expert on every single aspect of government, finance, health care, the environment, and every conceivable regulation you can imagine. Let's do this.

We actually have a mostly functioning legislature in CA now that we've kicked the dang Republicans to the curb. I would prefer they do their jobs instead of me doing it for them but I guess we are where we are.
posted by Justinian at 2:03 AM on October 18 [14 favorites]


I'll always love you, John Chiang.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:08 AM on October 18 [4 favorites]


> “On Prop 8, I'm torn between "profiteers in the healthcare industry" and "I really want to put my foot down that regulating dialysis finances is not a remotely acceptable thing to be done through the initiative process and should be handled by the legislature which passes hundreds of bills a year and is far better equipped to balance the competing interests of the....are we seriously going to vote on the health care industry piece by piece every election, because I will seriously lose it if I have to become an expert on endoscopy center fees next election."

I’d be more receptive to the “no on prop 8 due to High Principles about the Nature of Government” argument if the dialysis industry weren’t pouring so much money into opposing it, and if the dialysis industry didn’t have a habit of reducing the lifespans of people exposed to it.

As stands, this is an opportunity for the people of california to use democratic processes to save the lives of their fellow californians. this is an unalloyed good. Voting against propositions because of an opposition to the proposition process is about as effective at changing the proposition process as not voting at all is effective at fixing american democracy as a whole.

Instead of focusing on good-government procedural arguments, we should snatch up every chance at democratic control we can get, no matter how ridiculous, with the understanding that simply wishing for the establishment or reëstablishment of particular legislative procedures doesn’t ever cause those legislative procedures to happen.

Non-proposition-based californian government is gone and is never coming back.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:28 AM on October 18 [5 favorites]


If you live in LA County, early voting will be available on the weekends of October 27/28 and Novemer 3/4 at 10 locations around the county.

They recommend that you bring your sample ballot; you can visit any of those locations, regardless of your polling place.

You can drop off your vote-by-mail ballots at any of those locations; if you missed the registration deadline, you can register there and vote with a provisional ballot.
posted by mogget at 2:12 PM on October 18 [1 favorite]


We actually have a mostly functioning legislature in CA now that we've kicked the dang Republicans to the curb. I would prefer they do their jobs instead of me doing it for them but I guess we are where we are.

So over in the "we need to select Congress by lot," thread, Someone seriously proposed direct democracy, with everyone voting on legislation. I would have thought that the CA legislative process would have dissuaded people, but, well.

I mean, think of us going through all this as a weekly, or even daily thing...
posted by happyroach at 3:00 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


I'm especially grateful for the judicial guides people have posted, because that's always the part of the ballot that is the most opaque to me. I often leave that part blank, because I'd rather not vote for anyone than unknowingly cast a vote for Judge Zero-Tolerance. The better alternative, of course, is knowingly voting for the better candidate.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:05 PM on October 18


Is this the time for my semiannual rant about the ridiculous and awful nature of electing judges? Yes? Anyone? No? Oh. Ok... bye.
posted by Justinian at 9:44 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


> Is this the time for my semiannual rant about the ridiculous and awful nature of electing judges?

yes obviously they should be selected by lot

I'll see myself out...
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:00 PM on October 18 [2 favorites]


The headline story out of the event is that both of them would be up for reopening the Kavanaugh investigation if Democrats have control of the chamber.

Update: Sen. Feinstein gave an interview to KCRW where she contradicted this, then waffled a bunch. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by zachlipton at 10:59 AM on October 19


"Don't old rich married white people have it easy enough without us shoveling more money at them?"

I'm white, but not rich or married. I have a relatively high income because I happen to be the right kind of nerd who was in the right place at the right time, so I own(*) a home in Culver City that I could just barely afford to buy two years ago. From almost entirely market value changes it's up 25%(**). If my property taxes - which are already $10,000+/year - went up by 25% it'd make it even harder for me to afford. The recent "fuck you homeowners in New York and California" tax bill also means my federal taxes are going to be much higher this year, since my property taxes alone will eat up my entire SALT deduction.

I'm all for reforming 13 - I agree with everything tclark said about it - and I don't mean to complain about my financial situation - I'm doing fine - but I'm guessing there are plenty of homeowners who are in much more precarious situations and quickly rising property taxes could easily force them out of their homes.


(*) By which, of course, I mean I have some equity in a property a bank owns.
(**) I would be perfectly happy if my property value dropped and more people could afford to buy, prices are absolutely absurd
posted by flaterik at 1:45 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


I'm also no on 5!
posted by flaterik at 1:45 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


New study says rent control doesn’t discourage new housing

That’s been a real-estate industry argument for decades: Rent control will stop (private sector) developers from building housing, and what we need is more (private-sector) housing.

But a recent study out of the University of Southern California challenges that argument.

The USC study, sponsored by the California Community Foundation, suggests that rent control tends to keep rents lower even in uncontrolled buildings, helps preserve housing and community stability – and has little discernible impact on the construction of new housing.

posted by oneirodynia at 2:14 PM on October 19 [4 favorites]


I would support rent control AND more housing.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:53 PM on October 19 [5 favorites]


This might be too hyperlocal for this thread but I'm irrationally angry because I just got a mailer for Sonja Trauss and Catherine whatsernuts (guess all that tech money couldn't buy her name recognition, HEYO) in the District 6 race for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. I LIVE NOWHERE NEAR THAT DISTRICT. I'm so tired of the amounts of money tech is dumping into these local races, and now it's apparently so much that they can send glossy mailers to people in the Richmond? GrrrrrRRRRrrrrrr
posted by sunset in snow country at 8:21 PM on October 19 [1 favorite]


The USC study, sponsored by the California Community Foundation, suggests that rent control tends to keep rents lower even in uncontrolled buildings, helps preserve housing and community stability – and has little discernible impact on the construction of new housing.

And if developers tear down an RC building to build a larger one, giving the former residents units at the same price in the new building, I'm sure they still win.
posted by rhizome at 10:24 PM on October 19


'm white, but not rich or married. I have a relatively high income because I happen to be the right kind of nerd who was in the right place at the right time, so I own(*) a home in Culver City

I lived in Culver City until a couple years ago so I know it well. You're not rich compared to the wanna-be oligarchs looting the country. But if you have a relatively high income and own a $1,000,000+ house there... you're basically rich. Sure it's the kind of rich that the New York Times writes op-eds about how tough it is to make it at that level but those get roundly mocked in these here parts.

Your net worth and housing are currently being subsidized by much poorer people. That's how Prop 13 works. I'm not, like, yelling at you. I own a place up near West Hollywood. My net worth and housing are also currently being subsidized by much poorer people.

Neither of us should have that happen.
posted by Justinian at 12:08 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the medicine would be easier to swallow if I had said richer rather than rich. Prop 13 is a way to subsidize richer, whiter, and older people at the expense of poorer, browner, and younger people. That does not mean that every single person fits those descriptors, just that on average that's the effect.
posted by Justinian at 12:12 AM on October 20 [2 favorites]


and since it's not a constitutional amendment, it can still be fixed by the legislature afterwards,

NO NO NO! Please do not vote for a bad initiative hoping the Lege fixes it--because there's a good chance they constitutionally cannot do so.
Article II, Section 10, paragraph c:
(c) The Legislature may amend or repeal a referendum statute. The Legislature may amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective only when approved by the electors unless the initiative statute permits amendment or repeal without the electors’ approval.
However, that said, 2018's Prop 8 does allow for limited* changes ("...but only to further the purposes of the act."). But I'm not sure how limiting or expansive that phrase ends up being in practice.
SEC. 8. Pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 10 of Article II of the California Constitution, this act may be amended either by a subsequent measure submitted to a vote of the people at a statewide election, or by a statute validly passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, but only to further the purposes of the act.

I just don't want to end up suffering under Cali's version of Brexit or Trump because people "wanted to send a message to Sacramento" (something like Prop 13? maybe?).
posted by MikeKD at 3:25 AM on October 20 [1 favorite]


That's fair, Justinian. And really $2500 more a year wouldn't change my life. I do worry about people who got themselves into a situation where an abrupt large change in property tax would make them unable to afford to stay in their homes, and people here do make purchase decisions based on prop 13 already exists. It most certainly needs reform, though. And not in the direction prop 5 is going!

I definitely never complain about how hard my financial situation is, because it's not. I wish more people were having an easier time, and I'm generally in favor of me and people similar to me paying more taxes to support that.
posted by flaterik at 2:01 PM on October 20


flaterik: My assumption would be, if we god willing repealed all of Prop 13, that it would kick in immediately for new owners (and corporations) but gradually for existing owners to avoid just such a sticker shock situation. But this is a pipe dream 'cause how often do upper middle and lower upper class people vote to increase taxes on themselves?

and don't get me started on the (federal, sure) mortgage interest tax deducation.

I'll probably vote for prop 10 but not particularly happily because it barely even begins to address anything. We need a comprehensive housing and development package. AND IT ISN'T OUR DAMN JOBS TO VOTE IT IN PIECEMEAL. Do your jobs, legislature!

I haven't even looked at some of these proposition yet. Don't worry guys, I will. I promise. But it makes me angry. This year I get to learn all about health care funding for very specific procedures, the ethics and economics of livestock husbandry, estate planning, housing regulation, and frikkin' EMT training and certification. And that's not even touching all the bonds. For gods sake stop, California.

That said I wouldn't live anywhere else. We're the best, guys.
posted by Justinian at 7:24 PM on October 20 [4 favorites]


My friend Bob Wolfe, who drafted the brief that helped knock the destructive Proposition #9 (splitting California in three) off the ballot, weighs in with a very detailed California voter guide.
posted by Scram at 2:02 PM on October 21 [4 favorites]


Marshall Tuck would gut California's public schools in favor of charters. Vote Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:50 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


"However, that said, 2018's Prop 8 does allow for limited* changes ("...but only to further the purposes of the act."). But I'm not sure how limiting or expansive that phrase ends up being in practice.
SEC. 8. Pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 10 of Article II of the California Constitution, this act may be amended either by a subsequent measure submitted to a vote of the people at a statewide election, or by a statute validly passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, but only to further the purposes of the act.

I just don't want to end up suffering under Cali's version of Brexit or Trump because people "wanted to send a message to Sacramento" (something like Prop 13? maybe?).
"

Almost all do, because the requirements for implementation are generally beyond the ken of initiative writers. And since the purpose is:
(1)
It is the purpose of this act to ensure that
outpatient kidney dialysis clinics provide quality
and affordable patient care to people suffering
from end stage renal disease.

and for the prop to be revenue neutral, it would be relatively easy to tweak.

My assumption would be, if we god willing repealed all of Prop 13, that it would kick in immediately for new owners (and corporations) but gradually for existing owners to avoid just such a sticker shock situation. But this is a pipe dream 'cause how often do upper middle and lower upper class people vote to increase taxes on themselves?"

In general, unless explicitly written to take effect otherwise, the increases would happen upon sale or transfer of the property, triggering a reassessment. The idea that these would kick old people out of homes is bullshit cover for "their children wouldn't be automatic millionaires."
posted by klangklangston at 7:34 PM on October 21 [3 favorites]


That’s how it works now. I think in non prop 13 places assessments happen much more often.

I know I owe a form to the assessors office for some permitted improvements I did. It just won’t change my property taxes.
posted by flaterik at 10:56 PM on October 22


Yeah, my county does it every three years.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:27 PM on October 22


fyi, anybody who didn't know: on the ballot it says, "Signature must match your voter registration" but I checked my spouse's voter registration online, which has him as Firstname Lastname. But his signature is Firstname Middleinitial Lastname. Which, to my mind, wouldn't match. So I called the county elections office. They said, "We check the signature on the current ballot with Firstname, Lastname, and previous signatures. Your spouse's last registration where he filled out a card and signed it was in 2008, and on that card, he signed in the box as Firstname Middleinitial Lastname. So don't worry!"

(Why yes, as a kid I did always get a bunch of questions on multiple choice tests marked "WRONG" because I way overthought them, how did you know?)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:29 PM on October 25 [2 favorites]


« Older me, ordering a 3x3: is this a recuperation?   |   It's like battling a monster Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments