Our View | Ballot Measures, Endorsements Recap | #College. | #Students

By The Signal Editorial Board

One in a series of endorsements for the Nov. 3 election:

Over the past several weeks, we have offered endorsements in a variety of campaigns on the Nov. 3 ballot: 

On  Sept. 19, we published endorsements for state legislative seats representing the Santa Clarita Valley.

On Sept. 26, we offered endorsements for the governing boards of the William S. Hart Union High School District and College of the Canyons. 

On Oct. 3, we published endorsements for L.A. County district attorney and the SCV Water Agency board.

On Oct. 10, we endorsed candidates for the 25th Congressional District and Santa Clarita City Council.

You can find those editorials online at signalscv.com/opinion/editorials/. Today, we are adding our endorsements on several key ballot initiatives, and recapping the previous endorsements.

County Measure J, “Reimagine L.A. County”

Our vote: No

It would be more appropriate to title this initiative, “Defund the Police,” but “reimagine” sounds so much nicer, doesn’t it? While allocating funds to programs that benefit communities is a fine idea, this initiative would leave the Board of Supervisors hamstrung in perpetuity. 

It would amend the L.A. County charter to require 10% of the county’s unrestricted funds to be used each year for programs such as affordable housing, youth development, job training and alternatives to incarceration, including restorative justice programs and health services — and specifically prohibit those funds from being spent on law enforcement.

The county already spends a great deal on social programs, and as Supervisor Kathryn Barger pointed out, it would tie the supervisors’ hands in future years should any unexpected circumstances arise. You know, like a global pandemic that forces thousands of businesses to close down for months on end.

Barger, who represents the SCV, is the only member of the Board of Supervisors who had the good sense to vote against placing this initiative on the ballot. What’s really happening here is the supervisors are pandering to the anti-police sentiments stirred by the social unrest of 2020.

The measure is unanimously opposed by the Santa Clarita City Council, and we oppose it, too. 

State ballot measures

There are numerous state ballot initiatives on the ballot, and among those, we offer the following endorsements:

Prop. 14: Stem cell research

Our vote: Yes

This measure would allow California to borrow $5.5 billion to continue funding the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for stem cell research and other medical research, therapy development, medical training and construction of research facilities. This is important research that can yield positive health care impacts.

Prop. 15: Split roll property tax

Our vote: No

Known as the “split roll,” this measure would increase taxes on businesses and commercial and industrial real estate worth $3 million or more and the revenue would go toward funding schools and local government. This is the first attempt by Sacramento’s Democratic supermajority to nibble away at the taxpayer protections of Prop. 13, and the costs would be borne not just by commercial property owners — they would be passed on to every consumer and renter in California. And, it opens the door to go after Prop. 13 protections for residential property owners that seniors and those on fixed incomes depend on.

Prop. 16: Affirmative action   

Our vote: No

This measure would end the state’s ban on discrimination and bias in order to allow schools and public agencies to consider race, gender and ethnic diversity as factors in employment and college admissions. The measure would discard Prop. 209, which banned preferential treatment based on race, gender and ethnic diversity. In other words, Prop. 16 proposes to address racial inequities by legalizing racial and gender discrimination.  

Prop. 17: Allow parolees to vote   

Our vote: No

This measure would allow those on parole for felony convictions to vote in California. Currently, under the state Constitution, individuals with felonies cannot vote until their prison term and parole are completed. That should remain the case. Committing a crime comes with costs, and a criminal’s debt to society should be completed before his or her vote is restored. 

Prop. 20: Adding new felonies    

Our vote: Yes

This measure would allow theft crimes such as firearm theft, vehicle theft and unlawful use of a credit card to be charged as felonies rather than misdemeanors and require individuals convicted of specified misdemeanors to submit to the collection of DNA samples for the state database. California has become too soft on crime, and this would partially address that.

Prop. 21: Local rent control 

Our vote: No

Prop. 21 would allow cities to establish rent-control laws on residential properties over 15 years old. Landlords with single-family homes with no more than two properties would be exempt. However, this proposition is an anti-free-market government over-reach that would penalize many other “small” landlords.

Prop. 22: Exempting Lyft and Uber from Assembly Bill 5    

Our vote: Yes

This measure would define app-based transportation and delivery drivers, such as for Uber and GrubHub, as independent contractors and adopt labor and wage policies specific to app-based drivers and companies. A yes vote allows companies not to classify drivers as regular employees but provide them with some benefits that employees receive, such as minimum compensation, vehicle insurance, safety training and sexual harassment policies. AB 5 is a job-killing piece of legislation that failed to take into account the value of the gig economy to workers and the public alike.

Prop. 25: Cash bail

Our vote: No

This measure would uphold the 2018 law that eliminated cash bail statewide in favor of risk assessments for detained suspects awaiting trials. A “yes” vote would remove important leverage for the criminal justice system.

Following is a recap of our previous endorsements:

25th Congressional District

Mike Garcia 

21st Senate District

Scott Wilk

27th Senate District

Henry Stern

38th Assembly District

Suzette Martinez Valladares

36th Assembly District

Tom Lackey

L.A. County District Attorney

Jackie Lacey

Santa Clarita City Council

Cameron Smyth, Jason Gibbs

William S. Hart Union High School District governing board

Seat No. 1

Linda Storli

Seat No. 4

Steve Sturgeon

College of the Canyons

Seat No. 2

Tony Watson

Seat No. 3

Fred Arnold

Seat No. 4

Michele Jenkins

SCV Water Agency

Division No. 1

Gary Martin, Karla Waymire

Division No. 2

Piotr Orzechowski

Division No. 3

BJ Atkins

Maria Gutzeit


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