Election Day is today, Nov. 6, and the flow of campaign advertisements will end, but not before the final ballots are cast.
Many people have gone in for early voting, but for those who haven't you can still go to your polling place today, but there are a few things to keep in mind before doing so. Here are some general reminders of the dos and don'ts for Election Day.
Polls in California open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. If you're in line to cast a ballot at 8 p.m., but haven't reached a voting booth, don't worry because you will be allowed to vote. An election judge stands behind the last person in line at 8 p.m.
According to the Secretary of State, the law guarantees that you can take up to two hours off from work on Election Day without a loss of pay.
To be able to vote, you only need to bring one thing – some form of ID such as a driver's license, passport, state ID, military ID, a California school ID, tribal ID, etc.
Being informed about who and what you will vote for is also important which is why you can also bring a filled out sample ballot to remember how you want to vote. But you should remember to take it with you after you leave and don't have anything that shows who you're voting for when you arrive at your polling place.
In the age of social media, it might be popular to share that you voted, but you can't take a selfie with a filled out ballot. You could take a picture of your ballot before filling it out though or you could just wait and take a picture with your sticker saying that you voted.
Few races this year feature a starker contrast than the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction. On one side, you have Tony Thurmond, a former school board member and current legislator with deep ties to our public schools. On the other side, you have candidate Marshall Tuck who's a former Wall Street investment banker and CEO that's raked in millions from billionaire charter school backers.
As a product of public schools himself, Thurmond is a longtime advocate for fully funding our local schools so that kids have every opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in life.
As a school board member, Thurmond spearheaded efforts to lower truancy rates and provide after school programs to help those from low-income families reach their full potential. In the state legislature, he was a strong supporter of working people and education, serving as chair of the Assembly Labor Committee.
As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Thurmond's priority is to increase investment in public schools to lower class sizes, support teachers, and provide more funding for preschool and after-school programs. He will work to end the school-to-prison pipeline by investing in a quality education for all children.
Thurmond is endorsed by The California Federation of Teachers, The California Teachers Association, The California School Employees Association, The California Democratic Party and the California Labor Federation.
Charter school billionaires are spending millions of dollars on this race to push their agenda, which siphons money away from local public schools to unaccountable charters. Tuck and the billionaires backing him are looking to use this office as a springboard to take the charter agenda, championed by Trump, DeVos and other conservatives, statewide in California.
Thurmond is running to prop up public schools by increasing per-pupil spending, supporting teachers, championing after school and pre-school programs to help at-risk youth. This race will help define the future of our kids' education. For working people, the choice is clear, Tony Thurmond is the right choice.
Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond, the two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction, are of one mind on many fundamental educational challenges in California. Their campaign platforms includes the need for more school funding, the importance of solving a teacher shortage, and a focus on closing disparities in achievement.
Their strategies in confronting those challenges often read like variations on the same theme — informed by different personalities, backgrounds and job experiences, not disagreements over policy. Tuck, a school reformer, has been as an administrator of Los Angeles charter and district schools.
The state superintendency is a non-partisan office, but both Tuck and Thurmond are Democrats.
Their areas of agreement even extend, in a broad sense, to charter schools. Both say ineffective charters should be shut down, and for-profit charters should be banned in California.
But the retirement of Gov. Jerry Brown, who used his veto power to ward off challenges to charter schools, has created uncertainty about their future, magnifying the differences Tuck and Thurmond do have.
Tuck is more emphatic in defending parents' right to choose a charter school, but neither he nor Thurmond would characterize himself as pro- or anti-charter. Both favor banning for-profit charter schools and shutting down those that consistently perform poorly.
But scratch deeper, and differences emerge. On one issue expected to go before the Legislature next year, Tuck opposes letting districts reject a charter school it decides could have a negative financial impact on a district.
Tuck has fought the California Teachers Association on workplace laws. As CEO of the semi-autonomous Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, he helped instigate a lawsuit in 2010 that challenged teacher layoffs in Los Angeles Unified based on seniority, which led to massive layoffs in several partnership schools. Tuck argues seniority should be one factor, not the sole factor, in teacher layoffs. The CTA defends the current state law.
Thurmond has the solid support of the state's unionized teachers. Tuck has the charter schools behind him. The challenge for voters is to choose the candidate they like based on issues where the state superintendent can make a difference, and we believe that Tuck is not the right person for the job.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. The state of California allows any voter to request a ballot by mail or in person. California also offers early voting.
If you can't make it to your polling place on Tuesday, don't worry, LA County has ten locations open this weekend, Nov. 3-4, before the general election. The location for the early voting centers can be found here.
You don't need to bring anything with you, but they recommend having your Sample Ballot booklet. Additionally, there is no restriction on where to go, you can visit any Weekend Early Voting site.
Important Things to Know Before Arriving:
– These locations are also drop-off locations. If you already have your Vote by Mail ballot you do not need to wait in line.
– You will not be using the ink-a-vote system used at a polling place. You will fill in your selections on a Vote by Mail ballot.
– If you are in line before 4pm you will be able to vote.
– If you missed the registration deadline for this election you will still be able to vote. Under California Election Law, Conditional Voter Registration CVR allows a prospective voter to conditionally register and cast a provisional ballot.
For more information or if you have any questions, you can contact the LA County hotline (800) 815-2666.
Democratic Senator Ricardo Lara would be the first openly gay statewide officer holder if he gets elected as California's insurance commissioner. The winner in the November election will replace Dave Jones, a Democrat who served the maximum two terms and made an unsuccessful run for attorney general.
Like many Democrats, Lara bills himself as an opponent of President Donald Trump. His campaign platform also mirrors many Democrats as he is in support of universal healthcare.
On his campaign website, Lara said he believes that "California needs a strong defender, and a counterpuncher, who will stand up to fight our bullying President, Donald Trump, and his increasingly reckless federal government on issues from healthcare access to economic security and more."
As a senator, he authored a failed bill that would have provided state-run health insurance, but he said that that still remains a top priority of his when he wins the election this November.
Lara and his opponent, Poizner, both vowed not to take insurance money. Earlier in his campaign, Lara had to give back money he took from the political action committee of the nation's largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer.
Lara spent nearly $1 million on the race, the most of the main three candidates from the primary election.
Lara is endorsed by the California Democratic Party, Sacramento Bee, California Latino Legislative Caucus, California Legislative, LGBT Caucus, California Young Democrats, LGBTQ Victory Fund, Equality California EQCA, HONOR PAC, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, NARAL Pro-Choice California, Sierra Club California, California League of Conservation Voters CLCV, California Environmental Justice Alliance CEJA Action, Hermandad Mexicana Political Action Committee, Stonewall Democratic Club, San Diego Democrats for Equality, and many more.
Lara will work tirelessly to represent the great people of California, not the corporations, the billionaire class, the pharmaceutical or the insurance companies. He plans to work with anybody who is willing to come to the table, but his allegiance will always be first and foremost to the consumers, the patients, working families, and the most vulnerable communities in the state. For these reasons, SAC.Media believes that Ricardo Lara should be the next State Insurance Commissioner.
We know California considers itself at war, at least rhetorically, with the Trump administration. But not every elected statewide official needs to be in the bunker.
That's one reason we're endorsing Steve Poizner for California insurance commissioner. In his statements, on his website and in conversations with reporters, he appears more focused on Californians than on our famously antagonistic president.
He talks more about things like forest fires, flooding and consumer protections. Those are the things we want an insurance commissioner to concentrate on – not the latest Trumpian outrage.
That's not to say Trump's worst impulses can be ignored. Trump has tried his best to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, mainly because it's often known as Obamacare – and Trump despises anything to do with his White House predecessor.
We need a California insurance commissioner who will insist that health insurance remains affordable, that insurers won't walk away from promises for full coverage and that those who suffer from disasters aren't victimized all over again by the fine print. It's also important to have someone in office who understands that insurance is a business, and that if insurers can't make a profit they won't operate in our state. It's a balance.
Providing that balance is what Poizner was known for during his first term as insurance commissioner, 2007-11. He stood up to big insurance companies that tried to gouge policyholders while making sure the industry made enough to cover claims, make a profit and remain in the market.
The top two vote-getters advance to November's ballot. Poizner is the candidate with the most well-conceived plans for dealing with shrinking insurance markets, specific consumer protections and ways to deal with the costs of disasters driven by drought, deluge, cyber breaches, wildfires, fraud and the crises provoked by Trump's continued attacks on the ACA.
If Poizner has a problem, it's that he's not a Democrat. In California, that makes it tough to win a statewide election. He's not a Republican, either, no longer stating a party preference – though he ran for governor as a Republican and worked on the presidential campaign of Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
Poizner has proved he can be a top-notch insurance commissioner. He has a chance to prove he can be a commissioner for all Californians – consumers, insurers, immigrants, the impoverished and the native-born.
Judge Steven Bailey acknowledges he has an uphill battle as a Republican in a one-party state like California, where it is not unusual for not a single Republican to be elected to statewide office, and where the state's "Jungle Primary" often puts two Democrats on the ballot of the General Election.
Bailey, a superior court judge in the Lake Tahoe area for eight years, retired in August 2017 to run for state Attorney General. "It was impossible to have a full calendar as a judge and try to run for statewide office," he said. While he was on the superior court bench, "Unlike other judges I handled the part of the criminal calendar that included extraditions, working with judges in other states, the entire civil l calendar. Everything from small civil matters to complex matters because of all the resorts. He was also presiding juvenile court judge for the county for four years. He was also a probate court, veterans court and behavior health court judge.
As far as Bailey is concerned there are three major public issues: "public safety, public safety and public safety." But there are side issues, one of the hottest being, "Being honest when you write initiative titles and descriptions." For example, when an initiative to repeal last year's 30 cent gas tax qualified for the November ballot, Becerra wrote that it would take away money to fix roads. "It doesn't take away anything," says Bailey. "It stays enforcement of the law. In this case it's a constitutional amendment."
Bailey was accused of using his office to further his statewide campaign, improperly accepting gifts and steering business to a firm where his son worked — all in violation of judicial ethics. Bailey served as an El Dorado County judge from 2009 through the end of August 2017.
No decision is expected from the commission until well after the Nov. 6 election. Bailey eventually could be publicly admonished even though he is no longer a judge, but not disqualified from the attorney general's race.
Few positions are more important to Californians in this year's election than the job of attorney general. In addition to being the state's top law enforcement official and its most significant consumer advocate, the attorney general is the state's most important defender against federal overreach on the environment, immigration and a host of other issues.
Thanks to President Trump and a Republican-dominated Congress, Xavier Becerra, California's current Democratic attorney general, has been very busy.
"I consider myself a defender of California values," Becerra said in a meeting with The Chronicle's editorial board. "It's important for us to show the rest of the country what can be done."
Becerra has not hesitated to defend California's values against the Trump administration. He's brought 31 lawsuits against the administration, on issues ranging from the travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries to the attempted rollback of fracking regulations on public lands.
Becerra's defense of California against the Trump administration is not the only reason that he is receiving SAC.Media's endorsement over his challenger.
As Becerra said, "Having experience helps you know how to get results." Becerra launched his career as a deputy attorney general in California, before serving in the Assembly. From there, he won election to Congress in 1992, representing Los Angeles. In the House, Becerra became known as a stalwart defender of immigrant rights. He also worked on changes to the tax code that would assist low-income workers and disadvantaged communities.
That's excellent experience for the turmoil facing California. The next few years could include an economic downturn that will almost certainly bring more battles with the federal government over environmental regulations and immigrant rights. Becerra said his priorities will include expanding services in consumer protection and environmental justice.
The battle to become California's next state treasurer will feature Fiona Ma, a state Board of Equalization member and former San Francisco supervisor, facing off with Republican Greg Conlon, to replace incumbent John Chiang.
As the state's banker, the treasurer is elected to a four-year term to manage California's investments and finances. The treasurer's responsibilities include investing state funds, financing public works such as schools and transportation projects, and serving on both of the state pension plan boards — the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System — which administer billions of dollars of pension funds to millions of public workers in California.
Ma, a CPA, is member of the State Board of Equalization and was a member of the California State Assembly from 2006 to 2012. On her website, Ma said she will oversee "socially responsible" investments with state funds in affordable housing, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, first responders, environmental protection and transportation. Ma also emphasized working to make the state's investments more transparent and accountable.
In her candidate statement, Ma also said she will make housing more accessible in California through a first-time homebuyer program and that she will work to alleviate high student loan debt.
"Many parts of our great state still lag behind in economic recovery, the gap between the wealthiest and poorest Californians continues to grow, and the growth in our cities must be effectively managed to ensure shared prosperity," Ma said on her website. "As Treasurer, I will make sure we have access to the capital necessary to complete the projects Californians deserve while also helping to create good jobs and keep our economy growing."
Cal Berkeley Democrats has endorsed Ma, as have many of the biggest names in the California Democratic Party, including U.S. Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, and U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Incumbent treasurer Chiang has also endorsed Ma. The California Teachers Association and California Small Business Association have backed Ma as well.
As the state's banker, the treasurer's responsibilities include investing state funds, financing public works such as schools and transportation projects, and serving on both of the state pension plan boards — the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System — which administer billions of dollars of pension funds to millions of public workers in California.
Overhauling those retirement plans is a priority for Conlon. He called the current state of California pensions "irresponsible." He advocates for a defined contribution plan for new state employees, which would mean the growth that employees receive in their state retirement plans would depend on the amount of money they contribute and the performance of the investments they choose.
"We must reform California's Public Pension System," Conlon said on his website. "This is a real crisis with very real consequences to the state and to public employees. It is not fair to leave a $300 billion dollar unfunded pension liability to future generations."
Conlon's other platforms include improving California's credit rating and eliminating the $800 minimum state franchise income tax — which taxes corporations' net income a minimum of $800 — to attract and promote new businesses.
Conlon spent more than 20 years as a certified public accountant, or CPA, at the Arthur Andersen accounting firm. Conlon served on the the California Public Utilities Commission as president for two years. He ran unsuccessfully for treasurer against John Chiang in 2014 and also ran for the U.S. Senate in the 2016 primary.
"California needs a Republican who can exercise prudent fiscal responsibility to fix the State's vulnerable financial condition," Conlon said in a statement.
The Republican served as president of the California Public Utilities Commission and on the California Transportation Commission under former Gov. Pete Wilson. He's a CPA and has worked as a consultant and conducted financial audits of Fortune 500 companies.
Conlon, who also ran for treasurer in 2014, takes a darker view of the state's economic condition. He sees the state's stellar credit rating as misleading, and has pledged to push for tax cuts and focus on the state's pension and health care obligations to future employees.
The California Republican Party, the American Independent Party and former U.S. secretary of the treasury George P. Shultz have endorsed Conlon's campaign.
Incumbent Betty Yee has focused on getting the state ready for a downturn, rooting out fraud and waste by conducting audits of small cities and Central Valley water districts with weak financial controls and gutting the Board of Equalization.
Yee's campaign platform is her commitment to addressing economic changes that she expects Californians to face in the coming years. Yee has centered her platform on four points: developing a fair tax structure, ensuring retirement security, combating climate change and providing affordable housing.
She plans to "frame the conversation" around tax reform because it's not sustainable for California to continue relying on a small group of wealthy people to fill the state's coffers. The same is true for the operation of CalPERS and CalSTRS, which she says will also be the focus.
According to Yee, she has been in public service for 35 years and she says the work she has done so far as controller makes her "imminently qualified" for re-election. Yee said, if re-elected, she will address the state's fiscal resources while aiding its transition to clean, renewable energy.
Yee is endorsed by the California Democratic Party and Gov. Jerry Brown, among other public officials and organizations that can be found on her campaign website.
Although Yee and Konstantinos Roditis, her opponent, say they will take different approaches to handling California's finances if they are elected, Yee's focus on responding to broader changes and patterns in California's economy emphasizes her commitment to fulfilling the role as controller as effectively as possible, and that is why Californians should re-elect her as state controller.
The position of California state controller is up for election and is being sought after by Republican candidate Konstantinos Roditis.
The state controller is the chief financial officer for the state of California, responsible for the accountability and disbursement of the state's financial resources. The controller also independently audits government agencies that spend state funds, and administers the payroll system for state government employees and California State University employees, according to the state controller website.
Konstantino Roditis, a businessman from Orange County. His campaign platform is far-fetched, in which he plans to broaden the state's tax base and restructure the tax code using what he calls "trickle-up taxation."
Roditis' experience consists of being the president and CEO of multiple businesses, a city commissioner for Anaheim, and both treasurer and member of the board of directors for the Anaheim Performing Arts Center Foundation.
Roditis also said he opposes the gas tax because it is a "regressive" tax, and added that the California government needs to use its money wisely before imposing such a tax. He also opposes current state controller, Betty Yee's "sales tax on labor" that will generate $120 billion, according to the report on the plan.
If elected, Roditis said he will focus most of his energy on putting it on the 2020 ballot. He has been heavily endorsed by the California Republican Party and the California Taxpayers Union.
California needs a secretary of state who will fight for the truth over partisan hyperbole, and will be as committed to enforcing election security as he or she is to expanding the state's anemic voter rolls. In the fierce battle for the position, incumbent Alex Padilla is the serious and right choice.
A former Democratic senator from Los Angeles, Padilla was elected on promises to modernize the state's antiquated voting and campaign finance systems, as well as increase voter registration and turnout. He has kept his promises.
Four years ago, for example, California had about 17 million registered voters. Today, that number is closer to 19 million and, by the end of the year, it's likely to top 20 million thanks to legislation Padilla sponsored that automatically registers eligible voters when they get or renew a driver's license.
Tens of thousands of high school students have also pre-registered to vote under a separate initiative.
Where Padilla has perhaps made his biggest impact, though, is in making it easier for Californians to actually cast a ballot. Under the newly created Voter's Choice Act, early voting will last 10 days, there will be same-day registration at vote centers, which will replace traditional polling places, and all registered voters will automatically get a ballot in the mail.
Most counties will adopt the new system in 2020. But Sacramento and four other counties are doing it for the June primary, notably with new touchscreen voting equipment that's not connected to the web and still spits out paper ballot to thwart the kind of hacking that can taint vote totals.
It's critical that the next secretary of state continue to prioritize election security because the threats of the past few years — both real and imagined — aren't going away.
California needs someone who will concentrate on solving the problems of reality, including conducting a successful Census in 2020 and continuing to bring voters into the electoral process. Alex Padilla is that candidate.
In the race for the office of California's secretary of state, attorney Mark Meuser and incumbent Alex Padilla are both vying for voter support in the November election.
The secretary of state's job includes serving as the state's chief election officer, which entails managing state ballot initiatives. The secretary also registers businesses in the state and commissions notaries public.
Meuser, a Republican candidate, officially announced his candidacy for secretary of state in October 2017. He said his primary goal in this position would be to maintain California's voter rolls to "ensure integrity" in the voting process. Meuser added that with questions of cybersecurity in recent elections, he wants to increase the encryption of voter databases to impede hacking. He also wants to institute more investigations and audits of voter rolls to prevent voter fraud.
Meuser said his background as a constitutional election law attorney provides him an understanding of election law and its practical applications, setting him apart from his opponent. He said his knowledge of election procedure, policy and law would give him an "informed perspective" in the position of California's chief election officer that would allow him to impartially maintain the voting process.
But in reality, Meuser freely traffics in fictitious tales about dead people voting and undocumented immigrants boarding buses and going from precinct to precinct to cast ballots.
While Meuser's platform heavily focuses on the need to clean up California's voter rolls, his insistence that elections have been "stolen" goes too far. It also plays into the hands of the Trump administration, which has continued to argue that there was massive voter fraud in the 2016 election — a claim that has been debunked multiple times.
We need a secretary of state who will concentrate on solving the problems of reality and continuing to bring voters into the electoral process. Mark Meuser is not that candidate.
Today, Oct. 22, is the deadline to register online and by mail. You can go to vote.org to register.
The deadline to register to vote in person is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Conditional voter registration is a safety net for Californians who miss the Oct. 22 deadline to register to vote or update their voter registration information.
Voters can use the conditional voter registration process from Oct. 23 all the way through Election Day, Nov. 6. Eligible citizens can go to their county election office or a designated satellite location to register and vote conditionally. These ballots will be processed once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process.
For Californians registering online, you need a California ID or a Social Security number to register. If you do not have a California-issued ID or Social Security number, you can still register to vote by mail.
You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using California's voter registration lookup tool.
For more information about about the California election, you can contact:
Secretary of State
1500 11th Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Democrat Eleni Kounalakis is a multi-millionaire real-estate developer who was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary by President Obama in 2010.
She was sworn into office by then-Secretary of State Clinton, and served until 2013. Prior to the appointment, she served as president of AKT Development, of which her father is founder and president.
Her campaign platform is about affordability. On paper, she is a great contender for lieutenant governor of California, but she is not the progressive she claims to be.
She fundraised heavily for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, to the point of being appointed an ambassadorship to Hungary. She moved on to be part of Hillary Clinton's inner circle. As she runs for California lieutenant governor, however, she has tried to market herself as a progressive, claiming she supports single payer healthcare and a lot of other causes dear to Berniecrats' hearts.
Apparently, it's all for show. In a 2016 interview with Politico, Kounalakis called Bernie Sanders policies – things like single payer healthcare, tuition-free public colleges, strong environmental regulations and banning fracking, stopping the TPP and re-regulating Wall Street – "pie in the sky and impractical" while describing Bernie as a "fringe candidate" who "is simply too radical and his ideas are just fiction."
While it is possible that Kounalakis had a change of heart, there is no indication that this has been the case. Beyond claiming these "pie in the sky and impractical" ideas for herself, she seems to have done nothing to advance them, either by lobbying for them at the Legislature or by supporting progressive candidates that will actually champion them.
Kounalakis is an example of wealthy people getting what they want because of money and connections. These types of people are power-hungry and most don't have the people's best interest at heart. We believe that in the upcoming election, voting against Kounalakis is good for all Californians.
Ed Hernandez is a Democrat running for lieutenant governor in the state of California. On most of the big issues, Hernandez and his opponent, Eleni Kounalakis, are very similar. They are pro-choice, advocates for environmental protection and public education, and dedicated to closing the income and opportunity gaps. Where they differ is how they came to be statewide candidates and what they plan to do with one of the lower-profile constitutional offices.
Hernandez is a 60-year-old from West Covina who runs his own optometry business in San Gabriel Valley and has more than a decade of California legislative accomplishments behind him.
He spent four years in the state Assembly and eight in the state Senate. Before being elected to the Assembly in 2006, he was president of the California State Board of Optometry, and his background in health is reflected in his platform.
As a healthcare provider, Senator Hernandez spent his time in the legislature advocating for more affordable and accessible healthcare for Californians.
Within his healthcare focuses, Hernandez emphasized his authoring of legislation to raise the smoking age in California from 18 to 21 in 2016 and to address the state's shortage of primary care providers in certain regions.
Hernandez's platform also focuses on improving the Californian education system, and he noted on his website that he has backed and helped write multiple proposed legislations that would increase K-12 and higher education funds. His platform touched on President Donald Trump's election as a driving force in his campaign.
As Californians, instead of complaining about the government we had, we should vote for the right people who will create a better government.
Between Hernandez and Kounalakis, we believe that Hernandez can and will do a great job in the position of lieutenant governor for California. His blue-collar background gives him an edge over his opponent.
As most of us are living barely above the poverty line, we recommend Californians to vote for Ed Hernandez because we believe that he knows our struggles. He lived it and he will help California to be better.
Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox is a businessman who has never been elected to public office, despite several tries. He grew up in Illinois, where he previously launched half a dozen failed bids for office. The people of Illinois didn't trust him to hold a position of power, so why should Californians trust him?
Cox has a long history of failed political campaigns: He ran for a suburban Chicago House seat in 2000 and the U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004 but never made it out of the primary. He lost a 2004 race for Cook County Record of Deeds and the Illinois Republican Party chairmanship in 2005. The following year, he announced his candidacy for president but dropped out early.
Since moving to California in 2011, Cox has reinvented himself as an advocate against what he considers the legal "corruption" of money's influence on the political process. He has tried unsuccessfully multiple times to qualify an initiative that would expand the California Legislature a hundred-fold by adding neighborhood-level representatives in each Senate and Assembly district.
Cox did not vote for Trump in the 2016 election but now says he backs the president 100%. Trump returned the favor with a May endorsement.
Trump's tweet appeared to elevate Cox's status enough to finish second in the June 5 primary.
Since 2006, no Republican has won a statewide race in California. With a Republican president who continuously spout unverified, misogynistic and sexist comments, we as Californians need to stand our ground and fight for the rights of women, the LGBTQ+ community, disabled, veterans, and the poor.
We should not vote for John Cox because if he won, he plans to repeal the California Environmental Quality Act. Furthermore, he is in favor of building the U.S.-Mexico border wall. We need to vote for someone who has the people's best interest in mind, someone who is strict but fair. That someone is not John Cox.
Legalization of recreational marijuana. Same-sex marriage. Stricter gun control.
These are some of the controversial issues that Gavin Newsom, a progressive Democratic candidate for the gubernatorial California election have supported.
Newsom, the current lieutenant governor, said in a speech that California needs to be a moral leader in a time of "temporary insanity" under President Donald Trump.
He shows support for increasing housing stock statewide by about 3.5 million units by 2025 and upping density near transit corridors to better help people afford to live where they work.
"Affordability is the one word I've heard more than any other word on this campaign trail — affordability as it relates to housing, child care, cost of education and addressing the vexing issues of California being the wealthiest and poorest state in the nation," Newsom said.
Newsom also advocated for a statewide plan to tackle homelessness, which he said is "like nothing we've seen in our lifetime," and increasing spending on mental health resources, particularly at earlier stages in people's lives before their symptoms become severe.
Mental health issues are one of the major cause of homelessness in the state. People with poor mental health are more susceptible to the three main factors that can lead to homelessness: poverty, disaffiliation, and personal vulnerability.
Because they often lack the capacity to sustain employment, they have little income. Delusional thinking may lead them to withdraw from family and friends which results in the loss of support, leaves them fewer coping resources in times of trouble.
Newsom also supports the reduction of carbon emissions through renewable energy, including wave and solar energies.
He also advocates to advance single-payer state health care through Senate Bill 562. Newsom said premiums under the current private system are expected to cumulatively increase by more than 94 percent by 2021.
"We were able to get (single payer health care) done for the city of San Francisco when I was mayor, and that was during a recession," Newsom said. "All of the other candidates (for governor) say they support universal health care, but it can't be done. I support it, and I say it can be done."
Newsom is endorsed by many groups such as American Federation of Government Employees, Sierra Club, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Professional Engineers in California Government, National Union of Healthcare Workers, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, California Federation of Teachers, California Professional Firefighters, Democrats for Israel Los Angeles, Equality California, California League of Conservation Voters, California Labor Federation, Armenian National Committee of America- Western Region (ANCA-WR), National Education Association, California Faculty Association, California School Employees Association, California Nurses Association, PawPAC – California's Political Action Committee for Animals, and United Food & Commercial Workers.
For all these reasons, SAC.Media believes that Californians should vote for Gavin Newsom. He will fight for the use of renewable energy sources, make healthcare and housing more affordable again, and fix our schools. He will hold our failed political leaders accountable. Because of all these, we believe that he is the right person to become the Governor of California.
After further research and due to the recent Los Angeles Times article, SAC.Media recommends a YES vote on Prop 8.
Major companies such as DaVita, Fresenius and other profit-making dialysis providers are spending millions in order to kill Prop 8 by claiming that it's bad for patients and it's not on their best interest, but in reality, Prop 8 is advantageous to them. It would make these companies very wealthy while those in need desperate need of help are suffering.
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Vote YES on Prop 8 to help save public healthcare programs and to stop major companies from profiting millions at the hand of our anguish and misery.
Whenever we need to call 911, we always hope that first responders arrive immediately, and that is exactly what Prop 11 promises. But, this measure is actually a wolf in sheep's clothing, which is why we should vote NO on Prop 11.
Prop 11 is a proposition that would change California's labor code, which currently guarantees workers at private ambulance companies time to eat and rest.
While those in favor for this measure rave on about protecting public safety, they don't take into consideration that it actually strips first responders of their rights to meals and rest breaks,
Thousands of California's first responders are in jeopardy of losing their right to meal and rest, worsening already difficult and grueling working conditions and potentially risking the lives they're supposed to be saving in the first place.
The measure is funded by American Medical Response AMR, one of California's largest private ambulance companies. Labor unions such as California Labor Federation and United Steelworkers USW, which represents some of the affected first responders, are opposed to Prop 11.
If the measure passes, it will rid AMR of the obligation to pay on millions of dollars worth of pending and future lawsuits for meal and rest break violations.
First responders work pressure-filled schedules and often deal in matters of life and death. Stripping them of guaranteed rest and meal breaks does nothing to improve public safety. In fact, it makes their jobs even more difficult. The measure also sets a terrible precedent that could be used to take away meal and rest breaks from other workers.
Taking breaks away from those we entrust with the lives of our families is never the answer. Protecting our first responders is our duty and a NO vote on Prop 11 is one way we could help the men and women risking their lives for us everyday.
For any of us who wants to sleep in an hour more in the morning, or for any parent who has to crawl out of bed to make sure your kid gets to school on time after the clocks "spring forward" an hour, the idea of doing away with daylight saving time probably sounds like a no-brainer. But, there is more to Prop 7 than meets the sleep-deprived eye, which is why we recommend voters to vote NO on this ballot measure in the upcoming election.
If passed, Prop 7 would repeal the Daylight Saving Time Act, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 1949 that requires our clocks to fall back an hour each November and spring forward an hour each March.
In 1974, we've tried this and it was a disaster. An energy crisis led President Nixon to declare an emergency full-time Daylight Saving Time. It was supposed to last 16 months, but was stopped after ten months because people complained that the sun rose too late in the mornings.
To have permanent Daylight Saving Time year-round for us who live in Chino Hills, Rowland Heights, Pomona, West Covina, Walnut and the neighboring areas, the sun rise won't be until 7:30 a.m. or later from the months of November to February. This means we'll all be getting ready to go to school or work in the dark. Our kids will be walking to school or waiting for their school bus before the sun rises. For those of us who get exercise or attend religious service before going to work, we'll be doing it in the darkness.
Daylight Saving Time doesn't create more hours of daylight, it just changes when those daylight hours occur. If you live in the Los Angeles area, the sun will rise at 6:55 on Christmas morning this year but with Daylight Savings Time, it would be 7:55 a.m.
Some make the argument that Daylight Saving Time saves us energy or make us safer, but there is no scientific evidence of that. It's just a question of convenience. Being on Daylight Saving Time will put us out of sync with our neighboring states such as Nevada, Oregon, Washington, even Mexico.
Yes, it's a minor inconvenience when we "spring ahead" to get that extra hour, but avoiding these transitions is not worth the confusion with the other states and the months of dark mornings we;ll have to endure if we have permanent Daylight Saving Time.
It's no secret that there is a terrible housing crisis in California, and because of this one simple reason, A NO vote on Prop 5 is a must. This legislation will do nothing to make the affordable housing crisis better. In fact, it will even make the current situation worse.
Prop 5 will not build any new housing. It will not help first-time home buyers and it does not bring down the cost of rent. Even the issue of rampant homelessness in the state is not addressed in Prop 5.
I'm sure many of us would like to purchase our own homes someday, but Prop 5 makes it harder for us. Younger, first-time home buyers with less income will face higher housing prices, and renters will have an even harder time becoming homeowners.
For the last 30 years, older homeowners who move to a smaller and less expensive home have been able to bring their current property taxes with them. But Prop 5 changes this. If it's passed, a homeowner over 55 years old can use their tax break to keep buying more expensive house over and over, which drives the market value of most homes to skyrocket. In the end, the millennial generation would suffer.
Prop 5 will not only hurt us but also many local employees such as firefighters, teachers and nurses. This initiative will result in reductions to critical public services such as fire protection, police protection and healthcare. Public school funding comes primarily from local property taxes, and Prop 5 means less revenue for our public schools.
Many groups such as the National Housing Law Project, Congress of California Seniors, Middle Class Taxpayers Association, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Department of Finance, and League of Women Voters of California are all opposed to Prop 5.
The real estate interests who put Prop 5 in the ballot have decided to pit homeowners against each other. They are trying to scare seniors with lies and are using them, along with severely disabled taxpayers, as pawns to sell more expensive homes. The current law already allows seniors and severely disabled taxpayers to keep a property tax break when they move. Prop 5 is different – it's a new tax break for the highest incomes who keep buying bigger, more expensive homes after 55.
We can't afford Prop 5. Please vote NO on this legislation in the upcoming election.
Cancer. Sickle Cell Anemia. Cystic Fibrosis. Diabetes.
These are just some of the life-threatening diseases children all over the country are facing. There are eight not-for-profit Children's Hospitals and five more University of California Children's Hospitals in the state. Over two million times each year, children with complex medical conditions receive highly specialized care in these hospitals, no matter what a family can pay.
With each new research breakthrough, new life-saving technology discovered, the finest pediatric specialists in the state perform 97 percent of all pediatric organ transplants, 96 percent of all pediatric heart surgeries and 76 percent of all pediatric cancer treatments.
Prop 4 asks voters to consider investing less than $40 per year for each patient. The money would help build more capacity to cure more California children, which is why voting YES on Prop 4 is imperative.
In 2008, Californians supported the California Children's Hospital Bond Act. Ever since then, every dollar has been spent on building new facilities, modernizing older ones, adding more beds and purchasing the best and most advanced medical technology in order to help cure more children. Prop 4 intends to do the same thing, or even better things for California children.
This legislation is supported by California Children's Hospital Association, California Teachers Association, Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. On the other hand, a private citizen named Gary Wesley has written the official "Opponent's Argument" against Prop. 4. There are no major groups or elected officials who have stated their opposition.
Prop 4 helps over two million sick children every year, and as human beings, it is our privilege to vote YES on this legislation in order to witness the innocent strength in children, the love in their families, the resolve in the hospital staffs, and the triumph of the human spirit.
California voters just passed a $4.1 billion water bond in the June primary election. So, why is there another one on the Nov. 6 ballot?
The answer is a bit complicated and bears on why SAC.Media recommends a NO vote on Prop 3, which is much bigger than the June measure and dedicates all the funds to water projects.
Unlike the bond approved in June, which was placed on the ballot by state lawmakers in part to discourage outside groups from asking voters for even more money in November, with Prop 3 which did not go through the legislative process, that's exactly what has happened.
That means its spending commitments would not go through the annual legislative budgeting procedures to ensure funds go where voters are told they'll go.
Prop 3 is an irresponsible approach to California's water problems. The nearly $8.9 billion bond contains unfavorable elements that could directly harm the environment. The bond substantially benefits billionaire stakeholders and is a bad water deal for all Californians.
While Prop 3 claims that it would provide clean water to those in need, only 10 percent of the bond would go directly to disadvantaged communities. Taxpayers will end up paying for investments that the private sector would have been required to make, through enforcement of existing law if the measure passes.
The bottom line is that Prop 3 would provide back-door subsidies for wealthy private interests. It will not benefit Californians, which is why Prop 3 deserves a NO vote in November.
Let's presume for a minute that your family member — mother, father, brother, sister aunt, uncle or cousins — were getting necessary kidney treatment and California's government suddenly declared that the doctor could not include his staff's pay in any fees he charged. So, he fires his assistant, which in turn gives less time into caring for your loved one.
Would that give interference with the doctor-patient relationship, an act no sane politician would ever want to be accused of?
And yet, According to the Los Angeles Times, well over 569,000 Californians signed off on an initiative that would do essentially the same thing to the 139,000 patients now getting treatment at the state's more than 550 dialysis clinics. These are places where people whose kidneys have failed get their blood drained and cleansed of toxic substances several times weekly, the only way they can survive.
Prop 8 is an initiative that will be on the November ballot. Voting NO on Prop 8 is essential because it's almost a sure thing that dialysis patients will get lower quality care than they do today if it passes.
The initiative would forbid clinics from charging insurance companies for the work of physician medical directors crucial to maintaining quality care. It would not allow clinics to charge for the work of facility administrators, security personnel and professional services like accounting, payroll and legal expenses.
It does this by listing classes of work where payment is allowed, not by naming specific areas where payments are banned. The measure does not cover the significant percentage of California patients whose treatments are covered under Medicare and Medi-Cal.
It limits what clinics can charge to 15 percent above what is spent directly for patient care by nurses and technicians and the equipment and supplies they use. Clinic directors and the doctors who oversee operations would have to be paid from that 15 percent, leaving almost no room for profits.
Because of lack of profits, many clinics might be forced to shut down. When clinics close, dialysis patients end up in the ER, where care is more expensive. This legislation would increase cost for all Californians by hundreds of millions annually. Prop. 8 could make a flawed situation even worse.
If it passes, companies that have bought up many previously doctor-owned dialysis clinics, might sell off many of their facilities to buyers with unknown qualifications.
So, it's no wonder most physician groups such as California Medical Association, American Nurses Association, and American College of Emergency Physicians oppose Prop 8. They claim that Prop. 8's strict rules would force clinics to cut back indispensable staff, including supervising nurses who often are vital to solving patients' problems. And that, they say, could reduce access to dialysis centers.
In short, no previous measure has ever attempted to interfere so strongly with the medical care of any one patient group. Prop. 8 makes a bad precedent that could lead to more interference in other types of care, which is why it deserves a strong NO vote from all Californians.
If you take the I-5, you are driving on a highway that's more than 60 years old through some of the older (and in some cases, rougher) neighborhoods. If you take I-405, there are some graffiti zones a little north of LAX.
Because we live and commute through these areas, it's hard to see that our highways are definitely subpar compared to other states. Prop 6, which is currently in the ballot for the November election, proposes to eliminate certain road repairs and transportation funding.
Voting NO on Prop 6 is the right thing to do, especially because we have one of the most heavily used freeway system in the country. As such, the wear and tear are more pronounced. The same thing goes with our surface streets.
Passage of Proposition 6 would reduce California's tax revenues by an estimated $2.9 billion in 2018-19 and by $4.9 Billion in 2020-21. This means less money to spend on repairing state highways, local streets, and mass transit.
Another thing, the freeways in Los Angeles County aren't upgraded as were the freeways in Orange County – this is extremely evident when you cross the county border. Heading south in to OC on the 5 all of a sudden you go from three lanes to about six wide, modern lanes.
Finally, it's all about money. The state is in a "financial crisis" so approving Prop 6 makes no sense.
So far, the only thing we can do to help make our freeways cleaner is report graffiti, trash, broken infrastructure, illegal signs, etc. to Caltrans. But if we vote NO on Prop 6, the government will be forced to make our freeways a priority.
For many of us who can barely afford the never-ending price surges of common household products, a higher rent in this economy would definitely hurt our wallets. Allowing the government to make decisions about our housing and rent is not right, so a NO vote on Prop 10 is necessary.
I'm sure many of us millennials would want to own a house in the future. When we have our own families, we want to raise them in a beautiful home – one we can call our own. But, under Prop 10, this would be hard to accomplish.
Tens of thousands of renters, including senior citizens, veterans, the disabled and everyone else who has a fixed income, could be forced out of their apartments and communities under Prop 10. Under this legislation, wealthy corporate landlords would be allowed to turn apartments into condos and short-term vacation rentals that will increase the cost of renting and make it even harder to find affordable housing.
This legislation would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law that for 20 years has strictly limited local rent control laws. Under the law, local laws cannot apply to single-family homes, condos or any housing built after 1995. Prop 10 would remove those restrictions. It also would remove the legal requirement that cities allow landlords to raise the rent to market-rate prices on controlled units once a tenant vacates.
Many groups oppose Prop 10 such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, California Apartment Association, California Rental Housing Association, American Legion, AMVETS, Military Officers Association of America.
The sponsors of Prop. 10 want you to believe it will "magically" solve our housing crisis, but it's badly flawed and will just make the housing crisis worse. It does nothing to build new affordable housing that families desperately need.
Your opinion matters. How do you feel about rent control? The SAC.Media staff recommends a NO vote for Prop 10 because it hurts homeowners by authorizing a new government bureaucracy that can tell us what we can and cannot do with our own private residence. It could make homes even more expensive for future buyers and hurt families trying to purchase their first home.
For many of us who consume meat, eggs and dairy in our daily lives, we tend to overlook the fact that we don't understand how animals in the agriculture industry are raised, slaughtered and delivered to our local grocery stores and restaurants.
For those of us who enjoy eating at Chick-fil-A, Popeye's, Wingstop and many other food joints, voting YES for CA Prop 12 is a must.
This proposition establishes minimum requirements for confining certain farm animals, in order for them to have a more humane life.
Chickens, specifically egg-laying hens, are subjected to mutilation, confinement and deprivation of the ability to live their lives as active, social beings. They are treated simply as production units, selectively bred and fed for abnormally fast growth without consideration for their well-being.
Currently, chickens in these farms spend their whole life in "battery cages" which hold up to 10 birds. Each chicken in these cages are given an amount of floor space equivalent to less than a sheet of letter-size paper. Even though this sounds horrible, pigs have it even worse.
Pigs in farms live out their lives in a cycle of pregnancy, birth, and nursing until they are eventually sent to slaughter. They spend nearly the entirety of each pregnancy confined in crates which is only slightly larger than their bodies. This makes it impossible for them to lie down comfortably, stretch or even turn around.
Pigs and chickens are not the only animals suffering from these conditions. Cows used by the dairy industry are intensively confined, continually impregnated, and bred for high milk production with little concern for their health. Far from being the "happy cows" the industry makes them out to be, these typically playful, nurturing animals endure immense suffering on factory farms.
Cows spend their lives indoors, typically on hard, abrasive concrete floors, frequently connected to a milking apparatus. Within hours of birth, male calves are taken away from their mothers. These calves can become so distressed from separation that they become sick and lose weight from not eating. After, they are fattened on an unnatural diet until they reach "market weight" and are sent to slaughter.
Confining a baby veal calf, mother pig, or egg-laying hen inside a tiny cage is cruel. Products from these suffering animals threaten food safety. Nearly 500 California veterinarians, ASPCA, Humane Society of the United States, California family farmers and animal shelters, and the Center for Food Safety all endorse a YES vote for Prop 12.
The SAC.Media staff recommends our readers to vote YES on Prop 12 because it will establish new standards for confinement of chickens, pigs and cows and it will ban the sale of products that don't comply to this standard. This legislation would not only apply to the state of California, but the standard would also apply to farmers in other states that sell their products in California.
The SAC.Media staff endorses the CA Proposition 2, the Use Millionaire's Tax Revenue for Homeless Prevention Housing Bonds Measure, and we urge all our readers to vote YES on this important legislation in November. Prop 2 authorizes up to $2 billion in bonds to build housing for Californians who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and for those who have serious mental illnesses.
When you drive by Holt Ave. in Pomona at any given day, the street is rampant with homeless people. They are either asking for money or loitering in or around local businesses in the area. A few weeks ago, while I was at a laundromat in the corner of Holt Ave. and Fairplex Dr., David came came up to me and asked for spare change.
He told me that he didn't have enough money to put his clothes in the dryer. As we were both waiting for our clothes to dry, David and I started talking. He said he has been homeless for almost 15 years.
"It's been too long since I slept in an actual bed, maybe around 15 years," he said. "I didn't finish high school so it's hard to get a good job."
Because of his situation, he doesn't have the much needed skills in order to hold down a permanent job.
"I had a job at McDonald's when I first became homeless, but after a few months, I left. It was hard for me to go to my job, especially because I didn't have a car and it was far away, so here I am now," he said.
He added, "For a few years now, I set up by the gas station and ask for spare change there," he said. "I clean the windshields of the cars when people get gas and they give me 50 cents or a dollar."
The stability of owning a house doesn't just provide each and every one of us shelter from the unpredictable weather, but also contributes to a better life. One major problem many Californians are facing is stability in jobs and housing.
According to Jeff vonKaenel of News & Review, the California housing market resembles a horrible game of musical chairs, where the music stops at the end of each month. This means that rents and mortgages go up because an influx of people come into the state more than anticipated. In the end, more people end up without a place to live, but what's more devastating is that those who do have housing are paying more for it.
In a few weeks, when balloting starts for the November election, we can provide a partial fix for our housing problems. Yesterday, I gave you details about CA Prop 1, today I will inform you about another housing ballot proposition that will alleviate homelessness in the state.
According to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, more than two million children and adults are affected by potentially disabling mental illnesses every year in California. Because of the state's cut back on its services in state hospitals, many people became homeless.
To address this issue, Proposition 63 was approved by voters, and was enacted into law on January 1, 2005. It places a one percent tax on personal income above $1 million. Since that time, it has generated approximately $15 billion.
This upcoming election;s Prop 2, otherwise known as the Use Millionaire's Tax Revenue for Homeless Prevention Housing Bonds Measure, is on the ballot. If we vote yes for this proposition, it will allow the state to use revenues from Prop 63 for up to $2 billion in revenue bonds for homelessness prevention housing for persons in need of mental health services.
This means that if both Prop 1 and 2 are passed this year, up to $6 billion in housing bonds will be accumulated in order to help alleviate California's severe housing and homelessness problem. Obviously, both propositions will not come close to solving our housing problems, but they will help. These propositions are important first steps in order to eventually eliminate homelessness in the state.
To learn more about Prop 2, click here.
Our veterans are some of the most important and valuable people in our country but are often overlooked. Many find themselves broke, homeless and without support.
Our veterans have not only they served in numerous wars that changed their lives, but they have taught our nation how important it is to serve.
Veterans have fought so hard and have dedicated themselves 100 percent to serve our nation and bring us the freedoms we have today. They left their families, friends, significant others and whoever else to risk their lives to keep our country and people safe from any harm from other countries.
They brought back history of the wars they fought in, and kept our country under its own control of government. They are real-life superheroes, but sadly, some of them have a hard time adjusting back to living a normal life. Mental illness, financial troubles and difficulty in finding housing are some of the primary reasons for homelessness among veterans.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 50,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are either homeless or in a federal aimed program aimed at keeping them off the streets.
Despite of strong work ethic and dedication to mission accomplishment, many veterans continue to find it difficult to secure a position in the civilian workforce. This causes problems which sometimes result in them losing their houses or being homeless.
One way we could honor and give back to them is exercising our duties as citizens. We need to vote in our local elections in order to secure not only our future, but also theirs.
Prop 1 is the California Housing Programs and Veterans' Loans Bond. If the majority of voters in California vote yes on Nov. 5, the bond would approve $4 billion for housing-related programs, loans, grants and projects and housing loans for veterans.
The bond would help veterans purchase homes, farms, units in cooperative developments and mobile homes. These heroes would no longer have to worry about where to live, they don't need to be on the streets asking for lump change. If we vote yes, they could have homes where they can thrive and raise their children – our country's future.
Click here to learn more about California Prop 1.