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2016 California Ballot Measures

1. Proposition 51 (Public School Facility Bonds) VOTE YES
2. Proposition 52 (Voter Approval to Divert Hospital Fee Revenue Dedicated to Medi-Cal) NEUTRAL
3. Proposition 53 (Voter approval for projects that cost more than $2 billion funded by revenue
bonds) VOTE NO
4. Proposition 54 (Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote) VOTE NO
5. Proposition 55 (Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase) VOTE YES
6. Proposition 56 (Tobacco Tax Increase) VOTE NO
7. Proposition 57 (Parole for Nonviolent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements) VOTE YES
8. Proposition 58 (Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education) VOTE YES
9. Proposition 59 (Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question) VOTE YES
10. Proposition 60 (Condoms in Pornographic Films) VOTE NO
11. Proposition 61 (Drug Price Standards Initiative) VOTE YES
12. Proposition 62 (Repeal of the Death Penalty) VOTE YES
13. Proposition 63 (Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition
Magazine Ban) VOTE YES
14. Proposition 64 (Marijuana Legalization) VOTE NO
15. Proposition 65 (Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation
16. Proposition 66 (Changes procedures governing state court appeals and petitions challenging death
penalty convictions and sentences) VOTE NO
17. Proposition 67 (Ratifies SB 270, thus prohibiting plastic single-use carryout bags) VOTE YES

1. Proposition 51 (Public School Facility Bonds)

A yes vote on Proposition 51 enables California to issue $9 billion in general obligation bonds: $6 billion
of which is to be devoted to the construction and modernization of K-12 educational facilities, $1
billion will go to charter and vocational schools, and $2 billion will be put towards California Community
College facilities. This yes vote is supported by both the state Democratic and Republican parties and
the opposition mostly comes from the typical taxpayers groups hell-bent on restricting state
expenditure in all its forms, as well as, more unusually, Governor Brown. Yes voters present their case
as a simple need for higher-quality schools and educational opportunities an area where funding is
typically weak and dispersed irregularly while the No campaign generally relies on the timeworn
tactic of decrying it, like the LA Daily News, as [encouraging] greater public indebtedness. The Los
Angeles Times editorial board agrees, urging a no vote and reminding us that this isnt the best time
financially for the state to issue more bonds.
It is easy for leftists caught in this debate to have difficulty finding a place to land, and rightly so,
for the debate here is hopelessly deformed by the capitalist logic which it is futilely trying to escape. Yes
proponents foreground what is apparent (or should be) to everyone education remains hideously
underfunded and underserved as a public utility of enormous importance for any civic society. No

proponents agree, but lament, with the usual refrain, that the state is, alas, broke and cannot afford
such luxuries as a functioning public education system that serves all of the states citizens equitably.
We are required here to reflect on Proposition 51 in all its absurdity it is a desperate attempt
to square a circle, in this case the insane and inherently disabling structure of education in this
country. On one hand, for the wealthy who can afford it, one can simply choose to send their children
to private school and pay high tuition out of hand in order to avoid their cross-contamination with the
proles. Most people, however, are left attending a public school, which is funded mainly by a
combination of the states general fund and a local districts property taxes. These local property taxes
are not only capped, but if they generate more in excess taxes than the state would be required to
match, then this overflowing revenue is kept within the district. The variation in local property tax
revenues and the recognition and instrumentalization of this knowledge in order to functionally
enclose and re-privatize a public utility accounts for a bulk of the differentiation in funding amongst
high and low income districts.
One solution to this is Proposition 51 a rearguard action to secure funding through voterapproved debt financing guaranteed over time by currently existing property taxes. This takes shape
because the clear and obvious solution, for any leftist, is off the table politically speaking. Our project
is to put it back on the table: property taxes should be raised and the rich should be soaked. Private
education should be outlawed. As long as residents have the ability, whether through opting out of
public schools or strategically relocating to posher districts, to dramatically affect the educational
outcomes of their children by virtue of their wealth, public education as a social program for the benefit
of all will never be realized. As long as tax increases are considered the ne plus ultra of political
transgressions (on the rich at least: see Proposition 56), we will be forced into uneasy bargains such as
Proposition 51.
Education in this country needs to be radically restructured for it to exist and be experienced as
a genuine public good, and not, as is too often the case, as an additional exponent of the class war
waged constantly by the haves against the have nots. The case for socialism does not depend on
eliminating first-class, it depends on eliminating second-class. The lower class should not abide the
scraps willingly allocated to it by those studying in lavish institutions. Private education and charter
schools are devastations on the landscape of hard-won past progressive achievements and must be
rolled back the California real estate market shows us at least one place (though only one) in which
we can find the money, if we want to, and we must want to.
Yes on Prop 51
2. Proposition 52 (Voter Approval to Divert Hospital Fee Revenue Dedicated to Medi-Cal)
Proposition 52 is a measure that seeks to alter the process by which decisions concerning the allocation
of federal Medicaid funds in California are made going forward. Under the federal governments
Medicaid program, which is called Medi-Cal in California, state governments must contribute matching
funds in order to receive the maximum quantity of federal dollars that they are entitled to. Medi-Cals
reimbursement rates are among the lowest in the country, leaving those insured under the program
with extremely limited provider options, since doctors have little incentive to treat these patients given
the meager monetary returns that such work would offer them. This is a perfect example of the
perverse outcomes that we so often find when an underfunded government program exists as an island
in a sea of profit driven entities. Since 2009, the state government has required that Californias
hospitals pay a fee in order to help the state obtain the necessary matching funds required for Medi-Cal
to be fully funded. If approved, this ballot initiative would add language to the California Constitution

requiring voter approval of changes to the hospital fee program to guarantee that the state uses these
funds for the intended purpose of supporting hospital care to Medi-Cal patients in the future.
Ultimately, there is really no need to spend all that much time analyzing all of the arcane
language in Prop 52. It appears that Prop 52 was largely initiated by the California Hospital Association
in order to enhance their own power and gain some leverage over the Service Employees International
Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), by providing the hospitals with a more secure
future Medi-Cal funding stream, at a time of high tension between many of the states hospitals and
their labor union foes. Additionally, the ballot measure had the (partly realized) potential to give
hospital forces some propaganda to use against SEIU-UHW organizers in the event that the union
tactically chose to oppose it as part of its larger ongoing fight with management, since the hospitals
would then be able to dubiously claim that SEIU-UHW was responsible for preventing Medi-Cal patients
from receiving more comprehensive insurance coverage. It is especially important to keep in mind, that
Prop 52 was introduced on the heels of a series of legal fights stemming from broken promises on the
part of some of Californias hospitals to allow SEIU-UHW to organize hospital workers at a number of job
sites. Although SEIU-UHW is not even opposing the measure at this point, Prop 52s passage should still
be of little concern to healthcare activists because it does nothing to actually address the crucial issue of
how the meager Medi-Cal reimbursement rates have made it so appallingly difficult for low-income
California residents to obtain adequate healthcare treatments.
3. Proposition 53 (Voter approval for projects that cost more than $2 billion funded by revenue
Proposition 53 is bankrolled by multimillionaire Dino Cortopassi, who has taken it upon himself to save
us from the biggest fake bogeyman in our current politics: state debt. This measure would require any
public works project over $2 billion in revenue bonds (municipal bonds that are secured by a specific
revenue source and thus tied to revenue-creating projects) to be approved by voters, which would
stymie works projects and require state oversight on local projects. This would allow the rich and
powerful to mount campaigns against public works that go against their financial interests, which is
exactly what Cortopassi seems to be doing now (the proposition comes in response to a Jerry Brownsupported twin-tunnel project that threatens Cortopassis finances). This measure is nothing but the
horrible fever dream of a too-rich man.
No on Prop 53
4. Proposition 54 (Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote)
Proposition 54 is a proposition ostensibly devoted to transparency in government which would
prevent the state legislature from passing any bill that was not published in full on the Internet for 72
hours prior to a vote. It also requires the state to create video recordings of all legislative sessions which
would then be accessible to the public, and allows any member of the public to record open legislative
sessions and distribute or use those recordings for any legitimate purpose.
Prop 54, which is based on the premise that state bureaucracies and governments are
undeniably corrupt, leans on the adage that sunlight is the best disinfectant. This reasoning claims
that by being forced to disclose to the public the nature of the bills running through the legislature,

politicians and lobbyists will be less able to mangle and deform those bills through back-room
dealing. However, the battle lines on the bill seem to belie its most obvious purpose: the sole source of
opposition to the bill comes from the California Democratic Party and the California Federation of
Labor. Supporters of the bill are wide-ranging from interest groups like the League of Women Voters,
NAACP, First Amendment Coalition, and more but its strongest sources of support are various
Chambers of Commerce, taxpayer and business owners associations, and the California Republican
Party. The proposition is on the ballot through the single-handed willpower of Charles Munger Jr., a
high-value Republican donor, who has raised the entire nearly eight-million dollars for the Yes on Prop
54 campaign. With a recent LA Times endorsement, and enough leftwing support to cover up his
obvious leanings, the proposition seems poised to pass the No campaign has nowhere near the
funding or enthusiasm.
However, the No campaign has a convincing claim that under the guise of transparency,
this bill and the current political strategy behind it is aimed more generally at sabotaging the legislative
process, creating slowdown and severely dampening the possibility of leftwing bills being passed at
all. Munger knows that its far more likely that he can generate outrage amongst his cohort and send
progressive reforms (or tax increases) crashing to the ground than it is likely that the public will be
adequately moved to resist the normal goings-on of special interest politics (which will continue
apace). As a general wager on the balance of current political forces that the notion of
transparency will serve Mungers goal of blocking government abilities more than it will assist future
reformist legislative projects of the left Prop 54 does seem likely to benefit the right. Of course, on a
neutral terrain, transparency in government needs to be insisted upon as an essential precondition for
democratic governance. On the tactical level in the here and now, Prop 54 should be viewed with
extreme skepticism it is likely to pass, but the Left should see it as the challenge that it is to our own
political capacity. Leftists should oppose it on November 8th, but if it does indeed pass we might want
to begin strategizing about how to subvert Mungers elite agenda, and find out where we can potentially
deploy this reform to serve our own interests instead of those of the corporate transparency wolves
now donning sheeps clothing.
No on Prop 54
5. Proposition 55 (Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase)
Say it with us, Tax the Rich. Its really all you need to know, but here are some details anyway. In
2012, voters approved Prop 30, which taxed those earning more than $250,000/year to fund education.
This measure has already reclaimed $6 billion/year from the rich, which, let us take a moment to
recognize is pretty dope. Thats certainly a lovely little bit of redistribution. The majority of those
billions have gone to K-12 schools, with smaller portions going to community colleges and low-income
health care. Currently the tax put into place by Prop 30 is set to expire in 2018, but Proposition 55
would extend it to 2030. While Prop 30 had a sales tax increase, Prop 55 does not, making this a
straightforward yes vote.
The opposition to Prop 55 argues that taxes hurt small businesses, and that there will be plenty
of funding for education without this ballot measure. We all know that Californias public schools need
more funding, not less, and taking away this important source of income would be highly detrimental to
our states education system. There should be more propositions like this in the future, which serve to
redistribute wealth to the people who need it most. TAX THE RICH.
Yes on Prop 55

6. Proposition 56 (Tobacco Tax Increase)

There are no leftwing arguments for casting a yes vote on Proposition 56, let us be clear. The barest
consideration of the economics of the $2.00 increase on the excise tax reveals its regressivity, a point
generally conceded if then obfuscated by its proponents. No one realistically disputes that lowerincome people will bear a disproportionate burden of the tax increase, though those supporting the
measure claim they will also disproportionately benefit from it.
It is this ideological maneuver that we must examine more closely, in order to dig to the very
core of the sentiment undergirding such sin taxes. It is a particular strain of liberal paternalism,
fastening itself to a discourse of public health, that works to obscure and invert the relationship
between health and poverty. Smoking is bad for your health but so is something else: poverty. A
constantly proliferating segment of medical research has demonstrated what anyone who works for a
living knows indisputably: poverty kills you. Through a combination of exacerbated stress, depression,
fatigue, unsafe and unsanitary working conditions, and a multitude of other factors, those inhabiting the
precarious lower-income bracket have worse health metrics, and these are directly attributable to the
discipline visited upon them by their class status.
Liberal ideology as typified in Prop 56 quite frankly reverses this notion instead of viewing
poverty as a health risk to those in its midst (which it is), it views poverty as a health risk to the
community. This rhetorical sleight of hand interprets the poor as essentially pathogens, as carriers of an
unwanted ailment of the body politic. The poor are not more likely to become diseased, they are
themselves an expression of the unhealthiness of the society and are dangerousa lumpenproletariat
in need of a lumpectomy. Not for a single second is any method of obtaining the necessary resources
needed to combat smoking and its health risks that doesnt first and foremost fall onto the poor
considered Prop 56s proponents openly call this a question of fairness, a whispered echo of what
they are trying to say, which is that such measures would be undeserved by their beneficiaries.
Our liberal class has already cheered the raising of the smoking age to 21, a move that more
than anything else will simply extend for three more years the likelihood of oppressive police stops on
the underclass. Liberal support for the cigarette tax is the clearest expression of their genuine
attitude towards the poor. They view poverty as a blight they wish could be healed, and those
actually existing poor to whom they reference obliquely they wish could simply disappear, be displaced,
or get on with dying destitute, drenched in radiation, or anyway otherwise.
No on Prop 56
7. Proposition 57 (Parole for Nonviolent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements)
While Proposition 57 will not in and of itself seriously challenge Californias hellish regime of mass
incarceration, it certainly contains some worthwhile criminal justice reforms that leftists can easily get
behind. For starts, if Prop 57 passes it will reduce the likelihood that juveniles will be tried as adults in
future criminal cases by placing the decision in the hands of judges instead of prosecutors. Additionally,
the ballot measure would change the states parole evaluation process, by allowing individuals charged
with nonviolent felonies, who finish serving their primary offenses full term, to be considered for early
release. There is clearly no reason why nonviolent offenders should be left to rot in the states jails and

prisons, and it is heartening to see that the racist and anti-working class law and order discourse,
which had in the past enabled so many elected officials to enthusiastically pursue highly punitive
policing and carceral policies, is finally losing some legitimacy in more mainstream circles. Yet, many of
the proponents of Prop 57 have unfortunately resorted to arguments that serve to legitimize much that
is still wrong with the criminal justice system by proffering a simplistic picture of the states prisoner
population, in which there is said to be a clear and straightforward division between the nonviolent
victims of mass incarceration and the violent victimizers who should remain forever behind bars. This
moralistic black and white vision fails to address the more systemic political economic factors behind the
USs extraordinarily high violent crime rates in comparison to other wealthy nations.
If activists really want to take on mass incarceration, they should not be looking merely to find
the most sympathetic criminals. Rather, its paramount that activists explain that Americas high rates
of violent crime cannot be divorced from the nations wholly inadequate social safety net, and the
intensity of the governments commitment to using police and prisons as a substitute for social welfare
provision. Moreover, it is crucial that we not overlook how in aftermath of post-WWII
deindustrialization and suburbanization, inner-city populations were left with fewer and fewer
remunerative employment options, and that not surprisingly this period of economic restructuring
coincided with a dramatic spike in urban violence. In California, as in other states, the ultimate response
to the growth of a surplus inner-city population that had been abandoned by capital was mass
incarceration, with Californias prison population increasing by a remarkable 500% between 1982 and
2000. While we should be well-aware of the limitations of criminal justice reform arguments rooted in
the supposed existence of a clear-cut moral division among incarcerated individuals, leftists can
certainly welcome any shifts in policy that allow for more working class and disproportionately minority
inmates who have spent their lives chained to the bottom of the nations class hierarchy to finally
escape imprisonment.
Yes on Prop 57
8. Proposition 58 (Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education)
The 1998 Proposition 227 was a nasty bit of backlash legislation built to ensure a colonialist, white
supremacist hegemony in education. Proposition 58, which seeks to repeal Prop 227, keeps the
requirement that all students become proficient in English, but it allows schools to develop duallanguage programs. Prop 227s approach of forced assimilation was intended to reinforce negative
associations for English as a Second Language (ESL) and Limited English Proficient (LEP) students, while
also creating unnecessary obstacles to the learning process for minority and immigrant students in
multiple subjects. By repealing Prop 227, educators will be able to encourage ESL or LEP students in
other subjects (math and science) without the added barrier of learning English. Moreover, Prop 58
allows schools to develop dual-language programs that will simultaneously aid non-English speaking
students (by allowing them to learn in their native language) and English speaking students (by
promoting foreign language learning). While the measure does not automatically establish such
programs at Californias public schools, it gives the states school districts more freedom to implement
them should they choose to.
Given that Spanish is the most widely spoken first language in Los Angeles today, it makes a lot
of sense just from a practical perspective for students to be learning multiple languages in school, and to
not have the learning process unnecessarily restricted by idiotic bigotry. Hopefully, the worst of
Californias backlash politics that so dominated the airwaves and political discourse of 1990s is long
behind us at the point. The situation certainly appears different eighteen years after Prop 227s

passage, since almost all the editorial boards of Californias major newspapers have endorsed Prop 58,
along with the California Chamber of Commerce. The only significant holdouts against the measure are
the usual suspects, the California Republican Party and the Libertarian Party of California.
Yes on Prop 58
9. Proposition 59 (Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question)
If cash has any relation to power, then the reduction of the power of money in politics is nearly a
contradiction in terms. Money is power, or at least a close approximation of its will, and fundamentally
legislation against it is as futile as legislation against the movement of tectonic plates.
This voters guide then endorses Prop 59 in the narrowest of terms. Massive wealth is indeed
incompatible with democracy. To quote Mary Wollstonecraft, virtue can only flourish among
equals. But our endorsement must be couched with the proviso: the problem is not how inequality
infects politics, but how inequality infects everything. Given total control of the law, the authors of this
guide would deny the right of the wealthy to imbalance any system with their power, not just political
campaigning. That is to say, this proposal is good in the limited way in which it restricts capital from
inflicting their will upon the people, and it is insufficient in that this same obvious and sound restriction
is not extended to its impact in all things.
Yes on Prop 59
10. Proposition 60 (Condoms in Pornographic Films)
Proposition 60 is a bizarre, unevenly enforceable measure that will hurt the very people it is purported
to protect. Funded by Michael Weinstein, the head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, this measure
would not simply require condoms to be worn in adult films (which is technically already on the books in
Los Angeles County), it would open up the stars of these films to lawsuits. Any California resident with a
laptop, a private browser window, and a little gumption would be able to sue performers for failing to
wear a condom. If this seems extremely unfair and more than a little problematic, it is, and across the
board Californians seem to be rejecting it. Other AIDS/HIV organizations, the state Democratic and GOP
organizations, and most importantly sex workers themselves have come out against the measure.
Preventing STIs is of course extremely important. But materially punishing performers will only
serve to further hinder them from having access to healthcare and screenings. This proposition does
include a measure requiring producers to pay for testing, exams, and vaccinations, which would be a
boon for performers who are currently required to pay for their own testing. But the rest of the
proposition would expose performers to the whims of litigious Californians, including Weinstein who
seems like a real creep. Creating more equitable forms of employment for performers, for instance
ones that include healthcare, and listening to sex workers and their demands for rights will go farther in
protecting employees than this whackadoodle measure ever could.
No on Prop 60

11. Proposition 61 (Drug Price Standards Initiative)

Proposition 61 is a long overdue piece of legislation that would prevent the ruthless drug companies
from gouging Californias drug purchasers in a number of cases by enabling the State of California, as the
healthcare buyer for millions of Californians, to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry for deals
that are either the same or better than what the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA)
currently receives. Not surprisingly, the drug companies and their allies have spent over $75 million so
far to fight the measure. Meanwhile, Prop 61 is being strongly supported by the California Nurses
Association, the AARP, the Urban League, the Campaign for a Healthy California, and Senator Bernie
Sanders. Most of the money raised by supporters of Prop 61 has come from the California Nurses
Association and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, but it pales in comparison to all the corporate cash
that has been stockpiled to defeat the measure.
Prop 61 would be important not only in saving California residents and the state government a
significant chunk of money, but it could also potentially ignite a national effort to reign in the countrys
merciless pharmaceutical industry shysters. The drug companies are well aware of this potential danger
to their long-term profits, and a publication for drug executives has called Prop 61 Ground Zero in the
national fight for lower drug prices. The publication warned, If the voters of California approve this
proposition ... [it] would no doubt cause an immediate demand for the same VA discount rate to be
made available to other states, the federal government, and likely private [health plan] entities, as
only image what a wondrous future that would be.
Consequently, Californians are being subjected to an onslaught of nauseating ads, since these
Big Pharma corporate profiteers have zero qualms about trotting out veterans in order to distract the
public from what is really at stake here. Fortunately, it does not take long to cut through the fog, and
expose this gross bit of deception for what it is. First of all, its critical to note that 13 million of nations
22 million veterans do not get their healthcare through the DVA. The drug companies have no problem
ripping these vets off since there are no laws in place to protect them from drug company
bloodsuckers. These veterans, who are being treated just like the rest of us, would stand to benefit
enormously from Prop 61s passage. Still, even for those 9 million vets currently receiving their
healthcare through the DVA it is important to understand that federal law limits drug price increases
when the DVA is the purchaser to no more than the consumer price index (a rate less than 1% last year)
making it impossible for Big Pharma to just arbitrarily hike prices. They are merely scaremongering
because they realize that they will be forced to take the same hit, which they are currently taking when
it comes to DVA purchases, for all California government drug purchases if this ballot measure
passes. This is a racket they dont want to lose, but there is nothing natural about it, they have simply
been using their lobbying power to prevent our government from doing what most other wealthy
nations do. Moreover, potential increases to what the DVA pays has nothing to do with the co-pay
charged for a prescription drug, since that is determined by the insurer, and not by the drugs underlying
There is absolutely no legitimate reason why Americans should be bankrupting themselves or
going without necessary medicines because of the high price of drugs, but Big Pharma has spent millions
of dollars each year buying off politicians in order to prevent the US government from negotiating for
lower prices in ways that any functioning democracy should. According to the International Federation
of Health Plans, Americans pay anywhere from 2 to 6 times more than the rest of the world for brand
name prescription drugs, and the situation is often even worse when it comes to the purchase of
specialty and cancer drugs. As Senator Sanders often mentioned during the primary, the situation has
become so dire that 1 in 5 Americans are unable to purchase the medicines they so desperately need. In

short, if you do not so happen to be a Big Pharma industry vulture, supporting Prop 61 should be a nobrainer in 2016.
Yes on Prop 61
12. Proposition 62 (Repeal of the Death Penalty)
This proposition would abolish the death penalty in the state of California. If youre someone who
believes that the state should ever be empowered to take the lives of its own citizens, you may have
stumbled onto the wrong voters guide. But if you really need more convincing, there are two key
reasons to oppose the death penalty in the expensive and intolerably cruel form we have now: first,
wrongfully convicted people have been executed or spent years living under the threat of capital
punishment, and two, the death penalty is very, very racist and classist.
A 2014 study proclaimed that roughly 4% of death row inmates were innocent, and called that
estimate conservative. Over 150 people have been exonerated and released from death row since
1973. The brutality not only of wrong convictions but then to have this time in prison compounded
by the specter of state-sanctioned death makes these imprisonments analogous to torture. A perfect
judicial system will never be invented in the United States and it is folly to assume we will ever be able
to fully avoid sentencing an innocent person to death.
Moreover, the racist and classist attitudes that permeate our society are reinforced in the most
material manifest way when we look at who gets sentenced to our harshest punishment. A
disproportionate percentage of people of color make up the death row population (55%) and although
white victims make up just 50% of US murder victims today, they somehow account for 80% of the
victims in death row cases. Inadequate representation is also a major problem, with as many as 60% of
defendants receiving insufficient legal assistance. When the quality of ones lawyer is determined by
the price point, we are creating two separate justice systems for rich and poor Americans. Its beyond
overdue that we finally put an end to this particularly disturbing component of our starkly unequal
criminal justice system by abolishing the death penalty.
Yes on Prop 62
13. Proposition 63 (Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition
Magazine Ban)
Some of the policies included in Proposition 63 have already been enacted by legislation passed this
year, but the measure also tightens loose ends and plugs holes left in current bills by the legislative
process. Any lost or stolen firearms would be reported to authorities within five days (illegally trafficked
guns are often claimed as lost once traced back to the original owner). The theft of a firearm would be
reclassified as a felony offense, prohibiting the offender from eligibility to own a firearm in the
future. Additionally, convicted felons would be required to turn over any firearms they possess before
sentencing. Ammunition sales are currently only available from licensed vendors and require a personal
background check. Prop 63 would further require all sales to be done in person, and require the
purchaser to apply for a permit from the Department of Justice every four years.
The proposition has not received much national opposition. The NRA has only spent about
$150k compared to the nearly $4M being spent to fight a similar initiative in Nevada. However, a
particularly odious, if modest, opposition campaign has been supported by several law enforcement

groups which have complained that the measure will require them to divert money from existing
budgets to fund the new policies. It is difficult to understand how any redirection toward crime
prevention, and away from increasingly militarized crime response, would not be good. Current
exemptions to the background requirements include former law enforcement officers and concealed
carry permit holders the ballot measure would eliminate these exemptions. Perhaps this helps
explain the California Police Chiefs Associations opposition.
Prop 63 is very likely to pass. It is not perfect; increases in sentencing should not be a tool used
often by the left. Still, it advances achievements made by those concerned with gun violence while
there is momentum behind the movement. A yes vote helps keep that movement going.
Yes on Prop 63
14. Proposition 64 (Marijuana Legalization)
Prohibition of marijuana should be opposed. California has a history of opposing this destructive
national policy. We were the first to implement a medical marijuana program in 1996 with Prop 215. In
2010, Governor Schwarzenegger decriminalized the possession of under one ounce, and in two years
California teenagers risks of facing criminal arrest, dying of a drug overdoses, or dropping out of school
fell by over 20%. Most recently, and most radically, in 2014 California passed Prop 47 which converted
many non-violent offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Thousands of inmates convicted on felony
drug charges have been able to petition for resentencing. Does Prop 64 follow the precedent of these
reforms? Unfortunately, no.
The prohibition also tends to affect people of color more harshly than their white
peers. Following legalization in Colorado and Washington (whose own initiative was the model for Prop
64), records indicate the disparity has remained. In fact, arrests in Colorado for Black and Latino
teenagers under 18 have increased by nearly 60 and 30 percent respectively, while arrests of white
teenagers have decreased by about 10%. These arrests are typically happening in schools where
behavior is closely monitored. One may wonder if legalization has helped strengthen prejudice instead
of fight it.
Prop 64 claims to legalize possession of marijuana, and one would be forgiven for assuming that
meant actually making something not a crime anymore. However, the amount that is allowed for legal
possession under this measure (one ounce) has already been decriminalized. If the measure passes,
possession of any amount over one ounce would come with a $500 fine and possible jail time. Further,
sharing any amount with an adult under the age of 21 would be reclassified from an infraction to a
misdemeanor. Without a state-issued license to sell marijuana, young people across California would be
committing a crime each time they passed a joint to a friend.
Medical marijuana patients may also have cause for concern that the number of plants a patient
can grow would be dramatically reduced under Prop 64 (currently unlimited, it would drop to six per
household if the initiative passes). Recommendations will be much more restrictive, and an annual fee
of $100 will be required of all patients to stay enrolled. All this without a guarantee that the medical
marijuana program wont be scrapped outright as it was in Washington shortly after it legalized.
The text of this measure states that no provision shall be construed to conflict with the federal
Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Under the CSA, no nonmedical use of any controlled substance is
legal. The main implications of Prop 64 then seem to be to restrict the rights of medicinal users while
building the infrastructure for corporate advancement once federal legalization passes. It also allows
the California Legislature to amend all provisions regarding medical use with a simple majority (51%)
instead of the typical two-thirds majority. We should vote NO, but this measure is very likely going to

pass. We must be vigilant that the milestone achievements of Prop 215 and Prop 47 are not eroded any
further after it does.
No on Prop 64
15. Proposition 65 (Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation Fund)
Proposition 65 is an underhanded attempt to turn grocers against the plastic bag ban. It was designed
to require all revenue generated by state-mandated sale of carryout bags to be directed toward a
special fund for environmental projects. The fund would be managed by the Wildlife Conservation
Board. This would deprive grocers of the fees which cover the costs of higher-cost recycled paper or
reusable bags they provide when customers forget to bring a bag.
The measure could potentially conflict with Prop 67, which allows stores to keep the plastic bag
fees, but requires they be directed at providing recycled paper bags, reusable bags, and education to
promote the use of such bags. The American Progressive Bag Alliance, which funded the petition drive
to place Prop 67 on the ballot, is unfortunately also behind Prop 65.
No on Prop 65
16. Proposition 66 (Changes procedures governing state court appeals and petitions challenging death
penalty convictions and sentences)
Did you read our entry for Prop 62?! Jam on that no button.
No on Prop 66
17. Proposition 67 (Ratifies SB 270, thus prohibiting plastic single-use carryout bags)
If you live in Los Angeles, you are already accustomed to not receiving plastic bags at grocery stores.
Proposition 67 upholds this prohibition SB 270 and retains the standard ten-cent charge on paper
bags most consumers are familiar with.
There is no compelling case to reverse this decision. The opposition is funded mainly by a group
of parodically-named producers such as Superbag Corp, Advanced Polybag Inc., and Durabag Co.
Opponents claim this is a tax that grocers are benefitting from, but this would rather simply
perpetuate a marginal charge on paper bags that does demonstrably decrease environmental costs for
the state and for anyone attempting to grapple with the economic crisis unfolding due to the
prerogatives of capitalism.
Prop 67 is one of the most no-brainer votes on this years ballot it simply keeps in effect a
policy Angelenos are overwhelmingly supportive of, and there is no reason to revise it.
Yes on Prop 67