Election 2016: How I’m Voting

To quote the great Bay Area philosopher E40, “Everybody get choices.” Tuesday, November 8th is your chance to make yours.

Likewise, Pomona philosopher Suga Free said, “If you stay ready you don’t have to get ready.” Angelenos can click here to see your ballot and find your polling location.

And finally, if one more grown ass person tells me they’re not voting, to quote Chance the Rapper, “You don’t want no problem, want no problem with me.”

Happy Election Day!

The Candidates

Keep in mind that the candidates you see for state and local offices depend on where you live. For example, a ballot for a resident in Compton won’t have the same candidate for State Assembly as one for a resident in Los Angeles. Ultimately, it’s up to you to do your homework.

Remember, no matter how worked up you are over who is going to be the next president of the United States of America–no matter who it is, I can guarantee you that whatever they do in Washington won’t directly effect you for quite some time. But your local elections on the other hand, they have the potential to do more to help or hurt you than any of the candidates listed below. Come Spring 2017 it will be election time again and your presence will be requested and needed.

In the meantime, here’s how I’m voting on the candidates.

PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

Hillary Clinton, for President
Tim Kaine, for Vice President

UNITED STATES SENATOR

Kamala D. Harris
Attorney General of California

UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE

Karen Bass
Member of Congress

MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY

Sebastian Ridley-Thomas
State Assemblymember

JUDICIAL
Judge of the Superior Court

Office No. 11
Debra Archuleta
Violent Crimes Prosecutor

If it helps, former District Attorney Steve Cooley endorses her opponent.

Office No. 42
Efrain Matthew Aceves
Child Molestation Prosecutor

Neither candidate appeals to me.  Neither. One is endorsed by both former District Attorney Steve Cooley and current DA Jackie Lacey and the other has no trial experience and was shady on her ballot title designation. Sigh.

Office No. 84
Javier Perez
Supervising Criminal Prosecutor

If it helps, former District Attorney Steve Cooley endorses his opponent.

Office No. 158
Kim Nguyen
Deputy Attorney General

Both candidates are endorsed by current District Attorney Jackie Lacey but only one candidate is endorsed by both Lacey and her predecessor Steve Cooley. I choose the one that was not.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Honorable mentions are folks that I cannot vote for because I don’t live in their area or district but I would if I could.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, 43rd District (re-elect)
Senator Isadore Hall, 44th District

STATE SENATE

Steve Bradford, 35th District

STATE ASSEMBLY

Chris Holden, 41st District
Cristina Garcia, 58th District
Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, 59th District
Autumn Burke, 62nd District
Mike A. Gipson, 64th District

CENTRAL BASIN MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT

Leticia Vasquez, District 4

CARSON

Albert Robles, Mayor (re-elect)
Cedric Hicks, Councilmember (re-elect)
Jawane Hilton (re-elect)

Ain’t nobody got time for the likes of Jim Dear as mayor of Carson.

The Statewide Propositions

Proposition 51
School Bonds, Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities

I’m voting YES because even though I don’t have any kids, I feel sorry for the ones in the public school system now and we need to do all we can within reason to give them a fighting chance.

Proposition 52
Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

I’m voting YES because it makes sense to go continue receiving federal matching funds that go towards providing Medi-Cal health care services low-income Californians.

Proposition 53
Revenue Bonds. Infrastructure Projects. State Legislature and Voter Approval. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

I’m voting NO. Under Proposition 53 voters who don’t live in certain cities and towns will have the authority to veto local projects those communities need and support because it will be subject to a vote on a statewide ballot. Nah.

Proposition 54
Legislature. Legislation and Proceedings. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

I’m voting YES because the public should have access to bills that the Legislature wants to pass and the opportunity to review them before it goes up for a vote. This doesn’t mean the public will, but at least they will have the opportunity to do so if they so please. Proposition 53 would also make the Legislature ensure that their public meetings are recorded and make those videos available on the internet.

Proposition 55
Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment

I’m voting YES because this isn’t anything new—just an extension on a tax that was initiated in 2008. California is still in financial crisis and it’s not asking too much for the wealthiest among us to chip in a little more.

Proposition 56
Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute

I’m voting (HELL) NO because you may not smoke but that doesn’t mean that smokers should be unfairly penalized. What’s next? People who have red hair? Uh uh. It’s a slap in the face to have this on the same ballot that’s asking voters to legalize adult use marijuana. Really? GTFOH.

Proposition 57
Criminal Sentences. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute

I’m voting a resounding YES on Proposition 57. First, the fear-mongering ads from opponents of Proposition 57 are sickening. But they only work if you aren’t smart enough to check out the facts for yourself.

The fact is that California’s prison population is out of control to the point where the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the state to reduce its prison population. Proposition 57 opponents haven’t offered any real tangible solutions to address this problem. They seem more concerned with their own job security and scaring the bejeezus out of voters. The only thing they haven’t said is ‘Hide your kids and hide your wife if Prop. 57 passes because the prison gates are going to open and they’re coming to kill you. You.’

Proposition 57 will put into place evidence‐based rehabilitation for youth and adults. The more inmates who are rehabilitated, the less likely they are to re‐offend. No one is going to be automatically released from prison if Proposition 57 passes. To be granted parole, all inmates, current and future, must demonstrate that they are rehabilitated and do not pose a danger to the public. Is it 100 percent surefire? Probably not. But neither is the criminal justice system, which we have painstakingly witnessed over the years sentence innocent people to life and in some cases death.

The bottom line is that we have to do something and Proposition 57 is a start in the right direction.

Proposition 58
English Proficiency, Multilingual Education Initiative Statue

I’m voting YES because it’s for the kids. The reality is that students today whose first language is English can barely write or speak English—and texting lingo and that mumble rap isn’t helping one bit. If we want students to learn English, the least we can do is teach them using methods that are successful rather than outdated. If other students in the classroom learn a second language by association—consider that a bonus.

Proposition 59
Corporations, Political Spending. Federal Constitutional Protections

I’m voting NO because as much as I don’t care for Citizen’s United and what it stands for, the reality is that Proposition 59 is preaching to the choir. But see we get all up in our feelings about stuff and don’t pay attention to what’s already been done and what a proposition like this can actually do. We just hear Citizen’s United and go bizerk.

The Legislature already voted in 2014 to petition Congress to convene a constitutional convention to approve an amendment overturning Citizens United. Add to that, while Proposition 59 says it will instruct state legislators and members of Congress—they don’t have to do a damn thing. This is not binding in any way whatsoever.

Folks who support Proposition 59 would be better off trying to get it before the Supreme Court again if Hillary Clinton is elected President, and I am assuming she will be. Clinton will probably appoint a justice who would be amenable to reconsidering the 5-4 ruling.

Proposition 60
Adult Films, Condoms, Health Requirements:

I’m voting NO. Fact. Adult film actors are tested more often than you or me. If Proposition 60 was really about stopping the spread of HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases it would require that all men who engage in sex with their penis on a man or a woman wear a condom and not just adult film actors. But let’s be clear, that might not be too far off—this is California after all.

Proposition 61
State Prescription Drug Purchases, Pricing Standards:

I’m voting YES. The price of prescription drugs is too damn high. We have the chance to put an end to price-gouging from drug companies and provide better access to life-saving drugs. What’s there to think to about? I’m tired of seniors and those in need having to rob Peter to pay Paul just to get their medicine.

Proposition 62
Death Penalty Initiative Statue

I am voting YES. The death penalty is barbaric. We have a history of killing innocent people in this country. Ethically speaking, I don’t believe that we as humans have the right to take someone’s life as a punishment.

Proposition 63
Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute

I’m voting YES. If you shouldn’t have the gun then you damn sure shouldn’t have the bullets for the gun. This is another one where people get lost in their feelings over their guns. The bottom line is that there are some common sense checks and balances that Proposition 63 takes care of. It requires individuals to pass a background check and obtain Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition. Check. Requires most ammunition sales be made through licensed ammunition vendors and reported to Department of Justice. Check, check. Prohibits persons convicted of stealing a firearm from possessing firearms. Check, check, check.

Proposition 64
Marijuana Legalization Initiative

I am reluctantly voting YES. I grew up going to elementary school in Hermosa Beach and learning about the dangers of drug abuse through then First Lady Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” program. A program that I credit to this day for the attitude I have when it comes to drugs. And please spare me the lecture on Mrs. Reagan and her husband. I didn’t vote for them. I was a kid.

Now at the ripe age of 38, while it’s taken some work on my part and personal experiences with close friends and family members, I do accept that there are health benefits to using medical marijuana. That said, I am not at all enthusiastic about Californians possible legalizing marijuana for all. And as hesitant as I am about voters legalizing marijuana, I can’t ignore the disproportionate harm that continues to be done to African Americans and Latinos through the criminalization of marijuana.

I don’t think I will ever support the willy-nilly use of marijuana and Afroman’s hit song “Because I Got High” didn’t help the cause either. But having seen firsthand the damage that has been done to communities of color by the criminalization of marijuana, including the infamous arrest of Mitrice Richardson in Malibu on possession of less than an ounce of marijuana only for her to be found dead nearly a year later- I cannot in good conscious let my personal feelings about marijuana outweigh the what’s best for my community. And what’s best is having less people of color seized and their lives ruined after being forced into this state’s criminal justice system for minor offenses like an itty bitty bit of weed.

That said, don’t come to me at a later date asking me to vote to decriminalize any of the following: cocaine (powder or crack), heroine, bath salts, that God awful crystal meth or any of that other ish that turns people into crazed addicted zombies on Earth.

Proposition 65
Carryout Bag Charges:

I’m voting NO. I honestly don’t care where the money goes that’s collected on plastic bags because I want my plastic bags back—dammit.

Proposition 66
Death Penalty Procedures

I am voting NO. I am against the death penalty so reforming it with the same outcome in the end—death—doesn’t really work for me.

Proposition 67
Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags:

I am voting NO. Save the plastic bag! Ever since these stupid plastic bag bans started popping up, I like many other people, have had to resort to buying small trash bags for the bathroom and other rooms because we can no longer RECYCLE our plastic bags from the store and repurpose them around the house. Save the plastic bag! Yeah, I said it.

Local Measures (County and City of Los Angeles)

MEASURE A
Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Open Space, Beaches, Rivers Protection, and Water Conservation Measure

I’m voting YES because I use them.

MEASURE M
Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan

I’m voting NO. Even though I am an Angeleno by residence, I can’t ignore the fact that over half of the county’s 88 cities are opposing this measure. I also can’t ignore the fact that projects on the Westside and San Fernando Valley have been given priority over the areas in bad need to help. For the amount of money that cities will be giving up, they will not see a real return in their investment for decades. They need to go back to the drawing table and work with the cities to develop a better, fairer and more equitable solution. And as a disclaimer, I’m a consultant to cities opposing Measure M.

MEASURE CC
Los Angeles Community College District Affordable Education/Job Training/Classroom Safety Measure

I’m voting YES.

PROPOSITION HHH
Homelessness Reduction And Prevention, Housing, And Facilities Bond. Proposition

I’m voting YES.

MEASURE JJJ
Affordable Housing And Labor Standards Related To City Planning. Initiative Ordinance

I’m voting YES.

MEASURE RRR
City Of Los Angeles Department Of Water And Power (DWP). Charter Amendment

I’m voting NO.

MEASURE SSS
City Of Los Angeles Fire And Police Pensions; Airport Peace Officers

I’m voting NO.

The Parties

Below is my list of #Election2016 party picks for tonight! For some of us it’s going to be a long night, lol! Drink and drive responsibly but have fun and shake it all off. It’s over (for now).

Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Election Night Watch Party
Waters’ Campaign Headquarters
13343 South Hawthorne Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250

Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate
Election Night Watch Party
Exchange LA
618 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León
La Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles
Election Night Watch Party
501 North Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Hillary Supporters Election Night Watch Party
10916 S Normandie Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90044
More Info: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/events/view/gklxdj3npa5cx7l2/

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Speaker Anthony Rendon, Asm. Cristina Garcia, State Senator Ricardo Lara, and Southeast LA Democrats
#BadHombres & #NastyWomen Election Night Party
888 Bicycle Casino Drive
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

Steven Bradford for State Senate
Election Night Watch Party
15212 S. Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90249

Isadore Hall for Congress
Election Night Watch Party
1200 Nagoya Way
San Pedro, CA 90731

Assemblyman Mike Gipson
Election Night Watch Party
Doubletree Hilton
2 Civic Plaza Drive
Carson, CA 90745

Re-Elect Albert Robles for Mayor of Carson
Election Night Watch Party
Doubletree Hilton
2 Civic Plaza Drive
Carson, CA 90745

Re-Elect Leticia Vasquez to Central Basin Municipal Water District
District 4
Election Night Watch Party
3817 Walnut Avenue
Lynwood, CA

The Court of Public Opinion