Re: Ballot Proposition Special Meeting

Mark Ruzon

Here are the endorsements of the ASP-CA for ballot propositions this November:


NO on 14 (Stem cell research)
YES on 17 (Voting Rights for Parolees)
YES on 21 (Rent Control)
YES on 25 (No Cash Bail)

NO on 14 (Stem cell research): Authorizes $5.5 billion for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).  The CIRM uses stem cells for research, and stem cells come mainly from the destruction of human embryos.  All of us were embryos at one point.  These embryos are humans, with human DNA just like ours.  It is wrong to destroy human beings to save the lives of other human beings.

YES on 17 (Voting Rights for Parolees): Allows felons on parole to vote.  Voting should be restricted only in severe circumstances.  These people have paid their debt to society and enjoy nearly the same liberty as everyone else. They should have the same voting rights as everyone else.

No recommendation on 19 (Property Tax Transfers): A special motion was made to explain our choice not to endorse a vote in either direction.  California's property tax system has been creating disparity since Proposition 13 in 1978.  Prop. 19 expands protections for victims of natural disasters, like wildfires, ensuring that their property taxes won't spike, while tightening rules about inheriting property.  Measures like this wouldn't be needed if property were taxed on market value, and 13-page propositions are difficult to change.

YES on 21 (Rent Control): Allows cities to implement rent control on properties over 15 years old.  Rent control itself is not a great long-term policy.  However, the principle of subsidiarity means that cities ought to be able to make that decision themselves instead of having it imposed on them by the state.  The current rent control law has a fixed date and grows less effective every year.

YES on 25 (No Cash Bail): Upholds a 2018 law replacing cash bail with a "system based on public safety risk."  Cash bail is just another penalty poor people pay for being poor.  They must pay 10% to a bail bond company or languish in jail, while the rich can post their own bail and get it all back.  Claims of being able to fix cash bail from within are not supported by historical evidence.  We believe a new system can be measured and modified much more easily, a far fairer outcome for the vast majority of defendants.

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