CAA’s Voter Guide for the November 2012 General Election

For Immediate Release
October 12, 2012

Contact: Susan Hsieh, 415-274-6760 x303

CAA’s Voter Recommendations for the November 2012 General Election

California: Yes on 30, 34, 36, 38; No on 32
San Francisco: Yes on A, B, C, E, G; No on F

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — With the California state budget crisis unresolved and cutting into another year of public services for working families and children, voters will decide on the future of California this November at the polls. Chinese for Affirmative Action is urging voters to help restore the state’s future, especially its public education system, which has undergone drastic cuts, tuition hikes, and layoffs. Below are CAA’s recommendations for the 2012 November General Election that focuses on restoring funding, protecting our public education, bringing fairness to under-served communities, and protecting workers’ rights.

CALIFORNIA

Yes on 30 (Temporary Taxes for Education): Invest in children and their future. Support public schools and colleges.
Prop. 30 is equitable – it only raises the income tax on California’s highest earners – those couples earning $500,000 or more – while supporting all of California’s public education from K-12 to colleges and universities. “Communities most affected by the recession and most likely to utilize public education will not feel the burden,” stated Jenny Lam, CAA Director of Community Initiatives. The income tax increase is temporary for 7 years and there is also a temporary and minor increase in sales tax for 4 years: “For every $4.00 you spend, you pay only one penny for our state’s public education. This is a small price for the investment of our children’s futures,” added Lam.

No on 32 (Political Contributions by Payroll Deductions): Don’t be fooled by this attempt to silence everyday workers.
Prop. 32 was put on the ballot by corporations, Super PACs, and other special business interests to silence organized labor. Although the proponents of Prop. 32 say they are trying to end special interests in elections, they have actually created special exemptions and loopholes for themselves to fund their political campaigns. “Prop. 32 is a deceptive hoax to take away the political voices of workers. Don’t fall for it,” stated Lam.

Yes on 34 (Death Penalty Repeal): The death penalty is biased against minorities and does not make us safe.
The death penalty is extremely flawed: since 1973, when the death penalty was first established in California, 103 inmates have been exonerated after they were proven to be innocent. And with Death Row being disproportionately people of color, there is a heavier burden on minorities that they may be put to death while innocent. “Replacing the death penalty with life in prison without parole accomplishes the same goal: violent criminals are locked away for life, but we don’t have the moral burden of accidentally putting innocent people to death,” stated Lam. The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts that replacing the death penalty with life without parole can save California about $130 million annually within the first few years. Those savings will be redirected to local police stations to help solve murder, rape, and other violent cases. “By voting yes on Prop. 34, we avoid the possibility of putting innocent people to death, while saving money to improve our current criminal justice system for improved public safety,” stated Lam.

Yes on 36 (Three Strikes Reform): Save taxpayer dollars by reforming broken criminal justice laws that have created wasteful spending on prisons.
The original intent of Three Strikes was to keep murderers, rapists, and child molesters behind bars where they belong. But, today, more than half of inmates serving mandatory life sentences under Three Strikes are there for nonviolent offenses such as drug possession and theft. “People who break the law must answer for their crimes, but the punishment must fit the crime. Locking someone away for life for stealing a loaf of bread is not justice. This type of misguided application of law has led to severely overcrowded prisons and more spending on prisons instead of schools in California,” stated Lam. Currently, California spends $179,000 per incarcerated youth in the state’s’ juvenile detention centers, and only $7500 per youth per year in K-12 education. “And if a young person is locked away for life, their future is essentially over. We need to invest the money in schools instead to keep young people engaged, responsible, and productive, instead of in jail.”

Yes on 38 (Tax to Fund Education & Early Childhood Programs): Another option for supporting our schools that focuses on K-12 education.
Prop. 38 would create a guaranteed pool of money for K-12 school districts that cannot be raided by state agencies. The funding created will support early childhood programs to 12th grade. And it’s important to know that voters can support both Prop. 38 and Prop. 30. “One does not cancel out the other, and we have to pass one of them in order to fund our public education system and avoid another year of cuts and tuition hikes,” stated Lam.

SAN FRANCISCO

Yes on A (City College Parcel Tax): Save City College and critical ESL, job training, and education programs for those who depend on it.
City College of San Francisco is the largest provider of workforce training in the City, providing programs in nursing, technology, engineering, and the green industry. It serves nearly 100,000 students each year from all ages, ethnicities, income levels, and neighborhoods. It is a vital, local resource for affordable and quality education. “Invest in a modest $79 parcel tax to help low-income, immigrant, and underrepresented students have a path to a better future,” stated Lam.

Yes on B (Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond): All San Franciscans should have access to public parks and open space.
San Francisco has one of the best city parks system in the U.S., but many of those parks need seismic and safety repairs to make it safer for residents and families. Measure B is a bond that does not raise taxes but helps repair our green spaces for San Franciscans to enjoy. “Clean and enjoyable open spaces are vital for healthy families living in a dense city,” stated Lam.

Yes on C (Housing Trust Fund): San Francisco needs more affordable housing for working families.
San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities to live in in the U.S., and Measure C would create a permanent local source of funding for affordable housing in San Francisco. “Help keep families and working class residents from being priced out of San Francisco. Vote yes on Measure C,” stated Lam.

Yes on E (Gross Receipts Tax): Modify the business tax code to favor job creation.
Measure E fixes the business tax code in San Francisco so that all businesses are paying their fair share to help fund essential services and programs. With Measure E, businesses pay taxes based on their gross receipts, instead of on their payroll, as it is currently. “This means businesses who do well pay more, and those who aren’t doing well pay less. We believe this is a fairer system,” stated Lam. In addition, Measure E incentivizes businesses to create more jobs in San Francisco because businesses can hire more without paying more. Measure E has the support of both the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Labor Council. And Measure C depends on the passage of Measure E — $13 million of the gross receipts tax will go to the Housing Trust Fund.

No on F (Water Sustainability & Environmental Restoration Planning Act): Not the time to pursue expensive and questionable restructuring of our water system.
Measure F will create an unnecessary study of Hetch Hetchy that will cost taxpayers up to $8 million. This measure is poorly written, confusing, and comes at a time when taxpayer money can be better used elsewhere.

Yes on G (Policy Opposing Corporate Personhood): Corporations are not people and money is not speech. A statement in support of clean and fair elections.
Measure G is a statement by the City and County of San Francisco that it will not treat corporations the same as natural persons; that the spending of corporate money does not count as a form of constitutionally-protected speech. This is a counter-response to the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that gave corporations unlimited campaign spending power and political influence.

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