Decision 2012: A Qulture California Voters Guide

Qulture November 5, 2012 9
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Confused by the numerous propositions in this Tuesday’s election in California? Qulture writers Victor Yates, Mariko Pasion, and Antonio X. Garcia have dissected and weigh in on these ballot measures and also give their two cents  on whom they support for the next President of the United States.

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-PROPOSITION 30: Temporarily increases taxes on those with an annual salary of $250,000 or more for SEVEN years & a 1/4th cent sales tax increase to fund education, and public safety programs.

Antonio says…  VOTE YES

Year after year we witness our key future investment (education) taken to the chopping block by Sacramento. Hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars have been slashed from our schools and as a result California now ranks near the bottom in overall public education and our students have paid the price. Classes have been slashed and tuition has sky-rocketed. I say enough is enough! It is imperative we take a stand for our students and begin to repair some of the damage done.

A YES vote will increase funding to our schools and will also IMPORTANTLY prevent a massive $6 billion of additional cuts to education and public safety programs should this proposition fail.

-PROPOSITION 31: State budget constitutional amendment. Would pull regulatory power and funding from state capital and give to local city governments. Also authorizes governor to impose budgets without legislative oversight.

Antonio saysVOTE NO

Although Sacramento isn’t the best at handling our money, Prop 30 has DANGER written all over it! It would give local city governments the power to ignore and override state regulations such as environmental protections, and public health laws. It would also give the governor the power to impose budget cuts without the oversight of state elected officials. This is too much power for the governor. We need oversight. We elect politicians to debate and come to terms with a mutually acceptable budget proposal. This prop would gut that process.

-PROPOSITION 32: Prevents labor unions and corporations from using employee payroll deductions for political purposes.

Antonio saysVOTE NO

Where to begin… this has SPECIAL INTEREST written all over it. No really… it does! How many corporations use employee payroll deductions to donate their millions of dollars for political purposes? They rarely do. In fact, corporations rely on their treasury, NOT payroll deductions, to back political candidates and ballot measures. If Prop 32 passes it would create a Wisconsin- style government in California where labor unions, which represent the working class, would have NO VOICE in Sacramento and special interests, major corporations, and Super PACs would have the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money in order to influence elections. That is why Prop 32 is backed by wealthy conservative businessmen such as Charles Munger Jr, Jerrold Perenchio, the Tea Party, the Republican Party, and the Oil industry. VOTE NO!!!

-PROPOSITION 33: Auto insurance companies penalizing those who were unable to be insured continuously.

Mariko says… VOTE NO

Many Queer POC’s live in a cash economy, are undocumented, or are barely covering gas money to get to work let alone pay for insurance.  We cannot write in a law that gives discounts to those that happened to be in a more privileged situation allowing them to have continuous coverage and penalizing those who, for whatever economic reason, were unable to pay for car insurance.  Uninsured motorists are already penalized with license suspensions and other fines.  This would encourage more uninsured motorists.

-PROPOSITION 34: The initiative to end the death penalty in California. If passed, will replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Specifically, the proposition will: apply retroactively to prisoners currently sentenced to death, require those found guilty of murder to work to pay any victim restitution fines or orders against them, and earmark $100 million to go toward helping solve rape and homicide cases.

Victor saysVOTE YES

California taxpayers would save an over $100 million a year and funds will be allocated to solve rape cases, which are consistently backlogged due to lack of funding.

From the queer perspective, injustice cuts across sexuality, race, gender, and class. As Martin Luther King Jr. said “an injustice to one is an injustice to all,” and of course, there is a significant MSM population in the prison system, several of which could be on death row. If those inmates have families that they are supporting, outside of the criminal justice system, voting yes on Prop 34, could positively impact their families.

-PROPOSITION 35: Human sex trafficking initiative.

Mariko says… VOTE NO

Increases penalties that are already on the books for statutory rape, living off the avails of prostitution, pimping to 8-10 years, forces individuals convicted to register as sex offenders for life, and falsely conflates human/sex trafficking, pimping, sex worker and sex offender into ONE category known to them as “Human Trafficking.”  This gross generalization sweeps the livelihoods of many innocent people in its path.  LGBTQ youth are known as trafficking victims automatically if they are under 18.  These youth are often in the street economy trading various things of value to survive.  If you were to give this kid a cell phone as a gift, or buy him dinner you could be suspected of human trafficking if PROP 35 passes.

-PROPOSITION 36: Initiative to upgrade the “Three Strikes Law.”

Victor says… VOTE YES!!

According to the current Three Strikes Law, if certain offenders are convicted of a felony and they have two or more strike priors, they must be sentenced to at least 25 years to life in state prison. Strike priors can be nonviolent crimes such as burglary, grand theft, or property damage. Three Strikes Law can lead to unjust outcomes like giving someone convicted of robbery a longer sentence than someone convicted of second-degree murder.

Proposition 36 revises Three Strikes Law to impose life sentence only when the new felony conviction is serious or violent and authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences if their third strike conviction was not serious or violent and if the judge determines that the re-sentence does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety.

I recommend voting yes on Proposition 36 because: approximately 3,000 convicted felons are currently serving life terms under the Three Strikes law, whose third strike conviction were for nonviolent crimes, and they will be able to petition the court for a new, reduced, sentence if the proposition is approved. Also it decreases the severity of overcrowding in the California prison system, and reducing sentences of these prisoners could save the state over $100 million a year.

-PROPOSITION 37: Initiative to label genetically modified foods.

Mariko says… VOTE YES

The Monsanto Corporation is the corporate giant leading the way in global takeover of genetically engineered foods.  They have already starved out local farmers in developing countries by engineering a specific type of genetically-modified and patented corn and soy grain.  Their products are sold cheaper than local farmers who go out of business because they can’t compete. The U.S military moves onto old local farmland and Monsanto claims to be “feeding the world.”  Food and Water are seen as cold war weapons to the U.S government.  GMO food development has been supported financially by our government, and Monsanto executives have always held high positions of power in our Food and Drug Administration, trying to surpass requirements like labeling so even Americans themselves won’t know what they are eating or that it was made in a lab from a headless chicken.

-PROPOSITION 40: Maintains a non-partisan Citizens Redistricting Commission. A “No” vote would eliminate this citizens commission.

Antonio says… VOTE YES

First off, this proposition was put in place by the state’s GOP in hopes of having voters defeat the measure. Are you confused? Precisely. The non-partisans Citizens Redistricting Commission was put already in place by California voters in order to eliminate one party having the power to draw up state senatorial lines beneficial to their own party. Republicans were not happy with this commission, fearing it would unfairly affect their party. A NO vote on this prop would eliminate this non-partisan commission and give the redistricting power back to politicians, which would inevitably lead to favorable (not to mention corrupt) senatorial district lines.

-PROPOSITION B (Los Angeles): Initiative to mandate the use of condoms in adult films.

Mariko says… VOTE NO

After much debate with myself, I am going to have to side with the sex workers who seem to OVERWHELMINGLY vote NO on mandatory condom use or any other law that will enforce more requirements on how they should have sex “for their own good.”  Sex workers/porn performers feel that condom requirements will stifle their performance and their marketability and drive the industry out of LA which would hurt California’s economy.  I would like to see more porn studios use condoms but mandating it by police inspection is not going to be productive for anyone involved.

PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT: RE-ELECT PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Antonio says… From an economic stand point, President Obama pulled us from the brink of a second Great Depression. What we have to keep in mind is that his predecessor had 8 years to push our country and our economy into the toilet. Realistically, how can we expect President Obama to turn this thing completely around in just four years? Our nations pride and joy, the auto industry, was also in complete disarray when he took office. Thanks to Obama’s bailout of the industry, our country once again is a world leader in vehicle manufacturing. Romney, in a op-ed piece in the New York Times, already stated he would have let Detroit go bankrupt.

Every quarter we are adding hundreds of thousands of jobs, when we were at a complete and utter free fall during the Bush Administration. President Obama also passed healthcare reform, and in doing so became the first president in decades to establish such a milestone. Thanks to the overhaul of healthcare, tens of millions of additional Americans will now have health insurance.

From an LGBT perspective. President Obama also become the first president in history to take a stand for same-sex marriage. He equated marriage equality as a civil right and has pushed numerous pro-LGBT legislation through Congress, including the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. For these reasons, and many others, I fully support and endorse Barack Obama for reelection to the Presidency of the United States of America.

9 Comments »

  1. Maricela Estrada November 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    Obama all the way!

  2. Jada November 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Whoa cool!

  3. Jared Ciccone November 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    30 – NO There’s no guaruntee this money has to be used for schools AND imposes prison responsibilities on each municipality. No Bueno

    • Jonathan Menendez Benavides November 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm - Reply

      Jared Ciccone, I teach and study in the UC system. I really don’t want to end up jobless if there are cuts to the school system.

      • Danny Haughton November 5, 2012 at 11:19 pm - Reply

        Jon, it is 250 million cut to uc, 250 million cut to cal state, and ~5.4 billion cut to schools K-12. Huge cut to our public schools.

  4. Veronica Garcia Macias November 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    I’m also torn on 30. It seems like the funding sources are going all over the place, this doesn’t seem like guaranteed funding for schools. But I’ll probably vote Yes.

  5. Danny Haughton November 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    But there is trigger cuts to education that will go into effect if prop 30 falls. Around 500 million if I remember correctly.

  6. Antonio X. Garcia
    Antonio November 5, 2012 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    30- YES. Prop 30 does, in fact, direct funds from a temporary tax increase to schools and public safety programs. You have to read the fine print. Also, if Prop 30 fails then schools and public safety programs automatically face a $6 billion funding cuts this year alone. Read the fine print. We as Californians must reinvest in our schools. They have suffered enough.

  7. Mariko November 8, 2012 at 11:50 am - Reply

    WERQ! That’s possibly the only American flag logo Ive ever LIKED!

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