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Notes from September Meeting – Ballot Measures & Propositions with Anne Hoiberg & Cody Petterson


Conducted via Zoom per social distancing guidelines. You can watch the meeting on our YouTube channel here.

Participants: 61 participants (44 members and 17 non-members)

Call to Order: Merrin initiated the convening’s program at 4:01 pm. 

Agenda: An E-mail Agenda was circulated to publicize the convening.

  • Agenda was approved by unanimous consent

Open Forum for candidates & their representative’s statements/announcements

Doug Case, Director of Political Affairs for Senator Toni Atkins, California State Senate President Pro Tempore, https://sd39.senate.ca.gov/ reminded the club that the California Legislature adjourned on 31 August after an unprecedented legislative session that led to significant measures aimed at fighting COVID-19, enabling economic recovery and ensuring social justice. The legislative session also included action on tenant relief to keep people from being evicted; Senator Toni Atkins supported additional housing measures that will be addressed in the next December session. The December session will also see action on climate change and sea-level rise. 

Dr. Lawanna Richmond, Candidate for San Diego Unified School Board District E – https://www.drlawanarichmond.com, addressed the club about her candidacy.

Gregg Robinson, Candidate for San Diego County Board of Education District 1, reminded the club of the importance of his race.

Jasmine Osuna on behalf of Nora Vargas, Candidate for San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 1 – https://www.noravargas.com/ solicited monetary donations and assistance/ volunteering with her campaign. 

Rob Howard, Candidate, Mayor of Oceanside, https://www.robhoward4mayor.com/ encouraged volunteering and other assistance for his campaign among the club membership. 

Michelle Krug, Regional Director of Area 20 for the California Democratic Party, reminded the club of the upcoming census deadline. 

  • Michelle also encouraged membership to attend the San Diego Democrats for Equality fundraiser on 2 October at 5:30 pm in support of Raul Campillo, Candidate San Diego City Council District 7.

Program

Ballot Measures and Propositions with Anne Hoiberg and Cody Petterson

Merrin Muxlow introduced the program speakers:

Anne Hoiberg is currently serving as President of the Women’s Museum of California, and is a past president of the League of Women Voters, United Nations Association of San Diego, and National Women’s Political Caucus.

Anne Hoiberg
Cody Petterson

Cody Petterson is amember of the San Diego County Party Central Committee representing the 78th Assembly District. He’s also a Trustee of the La Jolla Town Council, serves on the boards of the San Diego River Conservancy and the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego, and is an Executive Committee Member of the Sierra Club of San Diego.


Statewide Ballot Measures

HOUSING AND REAL ESTATE PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 15 Asks voters if commercial/industrial properties (with all Agricultural properties and small businesses exempt) should be levied property tax based on the market value of real estate holdings in order to fund schools.

  • Cody Petterson mentioned that Proposition 13 left an enduring legacy that depressed funding for education. He shared that Proposition 15 has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party, the ACLU and the League of Women Voters.
  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

Proposition 19 changes tax assessment transfer and inheritance rules for real estate. 

  • Cody mentioned the ways in which the measure might impact property inheritance (for instance, Proposition 19 would only roll-over property-tax benefits to inheritors if they live in the property their inherit as a primary residence) 
  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

Proposition 21 limits rent increases and amends state law in order to allow the establishment of rent control on properties over 15 years old.

  • Cody discussed the ways in which this measure represented incremental steps towards more affordable housing and stressed that the measure limited rent increases and did not establish the flat-rate framework of long-term rent control. The exemption of developments under 15 years old was included so as not to discourage new development.
  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

CRIMINAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 17 grants the Right to Vote to People on Parole. 

  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

Proposition 20 eliminates parole eligibility and re-classifies many non-violent crimes into felonies.

  • Cody presented the nefarious aims of this proposition and highlighted the ways in which this proposition was an attempt to drum up right-wing voter engagement. 
  •  The position of the California Democratic Party is NO

Proposition 25 replaces Cash Bail with a risk assessment considered by the presiding judge.

  • Dr. LaWanna Richmond mentioned that there was some complexity to what this proposition proposes. She mentioned that this bill gives judges wide discretion in completing the risk assessment and that a vote in favor of this proposition relies on the discretion of individual judges to correct the systemic inequities of the cash-bail system, which may not always be reliable. 
  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

Proposition 16 repeals past Proposition 209, which banned Affirmative Action in California and drastically limited the ability to create employment equity. A vote for Proposition 16 reverses the current ban on Affirmative Action. 

  • Ellen Nash spoke on the importance of this proposition to increase diversity and social equity. 
  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

Proposition 18 allows 17 year-olds who will turn 18 by the time of a General Election the chance to vote in that cycle’s primary. 

  • Cody showed the club a map of the many states across the country that follow such a framework. 
  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

HEALTH CARE PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 14 requires 2/3 approval of the electorate in order for the State of California to issue a $5.5 bn bond for stem cell research. 

  • Cody brought up that some communities have stressed issues of transparency with this measure. For example, the bond would be overseen by an appointed board to be made up of universities and corporations that might in fact directly benefit from the bond funds made available by this proposition. 
  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

Proposition 23 requires dialysis clinics to have an on-site physician while patients are in treatment, obtain consent from the State before closing and not discriminate against patients based on payment source.

  • The Endorsement of the California Democratic Party is YES

OTHER PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 22 repeals California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) that re-classified many employed by the “gig-economy” as benefits-eligible employees. Proposition 22 would instead classify app-based and delivery drivers as independent contractors and repeal that benefits-eligible classification established by AB 5.

  • The position of the California Democratic Party is YES

Proposition 24 expands the California Consumer Privacy Act to create a California Privacy Protection Agency. 

  • Cody highlighted the surprising bed-fellows of the constituency both for and against this proposition. 
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation, ACLU and John Loughlin oppose this proposition.
  • The position of the California Democratic Party is NEUTRAL
14YesBonds for Stem Cell Research
15YesMore Funding for Schools and Businesses; Closes Loopholes
16YesReversing the Ban on Affirmative Action 
17YesGrants the Right to Vote to People on Parole
18YesAllows 17-Year-Olds Who Turn 18 by the General Election to Vote
19YesProperty Tax Breaks; Revenue Funds Wildfire Agencies
20NoHarsher on Parole and Property Crimes; Requires DNA Collection 
21YesLimit Rent Increases
22NoRepeals AB 5; Classifies Ride-Share Drivers as Self-Employed
23YesRegulate Chronic Dialysis Clinics 
24NeutralStronger Consumer Privacy Laws
25YesReplace Cash Bail System

Local Ballot Measures

Measure A requires a 2/3 vote of the electorate in order to issue a general obligation bond that would raise approximately $900M for permanent and/or supportive housing for extremely low to low income individuals/families by increasing property taxes between $3 and $21 per $100,000 valuation. 

  • The Endorsement of the San Diego County Democratic Party is YES

Measure B creates an Independent Commission on Policies Practices in San Diego with members appointed by City Council members (as opposed to the mayor) and with a staff of approximately 7 in addition to the appointed commission members.  

  • Doug Case spoke “as somebody who is on the current CRB, I support the creation of the Commission, it would give the board much greater authority, but have the duty to do an independent investigation of officer involved shootings, in custody deaths, and give it the discretion with subpoena power to investigate other other cases. It would provide independence, so we’re no longer accountable to the mayor’s office, and we would hire our own executive director rather than have that person appointed by the mayor. And we would have our own independent attorney as opposed to being represented by the city attorney’s office. And so I think it gives a lot more teeth to police oversight in San Diego and would encourage people to vote for it.”
  • The Endorsement of the San Diego County Democratic Party is YES

Measure C amends the process for electing School Board members in the San Diego Unified School District, by providing that voters in individual sub-districts nominate and elect their representative in both the primary and general elections, rather than the current system in which candidates are nominated in individual sub-districts in the primary but advance to a general election in the entire School District

  • Cody presented that this is this is an idea whose time has come. So even though it’s not necessarily politically expedient, it’s probably right, which is, in large part, why the CDP and the San Diego County Democratic Party endorsed it.
  • The Endorsement of the San Diego County Democratic Party is YES

Measure D  amends the City Charter regarding vacancy appointments and removal procedures for cause among members of the San Diego Unified School District Board. 

  • Dr LaWana Richmond. “It’s a no brainer, and unfortunately, we are no longer in the day of people falling on their sword, when it’s become public knowledge that they’ve done something inappropriate, we have people who will instead continue to show up and hold on to a position because there’s nothing that can stop them.”
  • The Endorsement of the San Diego County Democratic Party is YES

Measure E  makes a specific exemption to remove the 30-foot height limit on developments west of Interstate 5 within the Midway/Pacific Highway Community Plan area. 

  • Susan Peinado voiced opposition to the measure by mentioning that there was not a Transit/Overall plan, which should be completed first before changes in zoning/height regulation are allowed by Measure E.
  • Doug Case spoke in favor of the measure by mentioning that the sometimes seemingly-blighted area might benefit from new developments that could help to alleviate San Diego’s current housing crisis. 
  • Mandy Havlik, member of the Peninsula Planning Board, spoke against the Measure as “the start of a slippery slope that will erode the 30 foot rule that has protected the coastal region from overdevelopment. Additionally, by lifting the 30 foot height restriction, you would be restricting access to the beach by allowing unchecked development west of I-5 at a crucial intersection hub, where the I-8 and the I-5 intersect by adding over 20,000 residents to an area that is already experiencing heavy traffic problems to and from the coastal region. This development will further keep delay and discourage Californians from access to the coastal areas. Finally, the city has not given any guarantees that much needed infrastructure upgrades that will be required for any development will be completed before or after that completion of this development. And I am questioning the ethics of our council member and our mayor that during a pandemic are pushing for a major development. West of I-5 and also for her allowing Airbnb to thrive illegally in our community are those highest priorities? And so I would like everyone to educate your stop on this, there’s a group called Save Our Access that is against this measure. And Doug, while you do state that the community asked for this, I would go further and question the validity of those votes at Midway because the majority if not all of the members are business owners and would directly monetize off of this development. So there has been very little information provided. The developer that was awarded the RFP did make a note that if Measure E does not pass they will not even be able to complete their RFP with the money that they intended to make on this type of investment. And as those concerns to our infrastructure and to our existing traffic issues and lack of improved infrastructure, I would like to give Peninsula Community members the opportunity to create a letter of input to be sent to this committee. That meeting will be held for the traffic and transportation subcommittee of the Peninsula Community Planning Board on October 13 at 6pm, you can get the information and sign up for the pre registration by going to the pcpb.net website. But I would like to again, ask people to really look at this. This is nothing but a gift to developers. There’s no requirement for affordable housing, and I am tired of the city busting through NEPA and CEQA, and all sorts of rules to profit off of our city infrastructure and continue to favor developers. It is criminal I feel and you guys use this narrative that it’s for affordable housing. And that is not true.”
City of San DiegoAGeneral Obligation Bonds for Affordable Housing
City of San DiegoBCharter Amendments Establishing Commission on Police Practices
San Diego Unified School DistrictCCharter Amendment: District only Elections for School Board Members
San Diego Unified School DistrictDCharter Amendment: Procedures to Remove School Board Members for Cause and to Fill Vacancies 
City of San DiegoERemoving 30ft Height limit in MIdway- Pacific Hwy Community Plan Area
City of CarlsbadGNoCity Council Compensation
City of EncinitasHYesAdopt an Ordinance authorizing commercial cannabis activities subject to certain rules and restrictions
City of Imperial BeachIYesImperial Beach Emergency Responsive/ Vital Services Measure 
City of Lemon GroveJYesFunding general municipal expenses such as fire, safety, roads, and recreation via cannabis tax 
City of OceansideKYesEstablish limits of three four year terms- consecutive or not- for the offices of mayor and city council
City of OceansideMYesEstablish Cannabis Business Tax for cannabis retailers, manufacturers, and distributers, cultivators
City of SanteeNYesAmend Santee General Plan to require voter approval for development actions that would increase residential density or intensify land use
City of SanteeQYesNo one should serve as Mayor City Council member for more than 12 years, or three terms
City of SanteeRNoEstablish a three term lifetime limit on city council service and a separate two term lifetime limit on mayoral service
Cajon Valley Union School DistrictTNoMake upgrades to school with $125 million in bonds
La Mesa/Spring Valley School DistrictVYesMake repairs and upgrades to facilities with $136 million in bonds 
Oceanside Unified School DistrictWYesMake repairs and upgrades to facilities with $160 million in issued bonds
South Bay Union School DistrictXYesLimit Board members to three elected terms in office
Valley Center Fire Protection DistrictAAYesAdopt a measure levying a max. of $820,000 from property taxes annually for maintenance and improvements to services and equipment 

You can review the San Diego County Democratic Party Voter Guide here.

Democratic Party Positions on Ballot Measures (November 2020) here.

Election Information from the Registrar of Voters – here.

Register to Vote – up to October 19 – here.

Same Day Voter Registration (Conditional Voter Registration) – after October 19 through Nov 3, details here.

Sign up for Where’s My Ballot – here. Track your mail ballot every step of the way.

A safe & hassle-free voting experience: A practical guide. (PDF)

REPORTS:

President’s Report

  • Merrin Muxlow left the meeting and John Loughlin assumed the duties of President. 

Treasurer’s Report

  • Angela Hawkins encouraged participation with the Vote Forward project – https://votefwd.org/. Vote Forward sends personalized postcards and hand-written letters to infrequent or under-represented in order to encourage voting in the upcoming Presidential Election. 
  • Writing letters to voters is one of the most effective ways to help increase election turnout in 2020. And you can do it right from home! Details here.
  • The new official mail date for The Big Send is Saturday, October 17th. Please mark your calendars! Click here for the full story.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Cynara Dawn Velazquez announced that she had joined the local Biden campaign as an organizer.
    • On October 10 Cynara and the campaign are working to organize a caravan across San Diego County in support of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 
    • Cynara also encouraged members to either physically mail or send images of all the campaign mailers received this cycle to her; Cynara’s project, www.politicalpropaganda.org, will consider trends in language, information and imagery in political mailers. 
  • Michelle Krug encouraged club members to consider the efforts of Unite Here- www.unitehere.org- to reach out to voters in Arizona. 
  • John Hartley spoke about the importance of City Council in San Diego and encouraged members to support Democrats running for City Council. 
  • Susan Peinado encouraged members to reach out to her for Barbara Bry for Mayor yard signs. 
  • Dr. LaWanna Richmond encouraged members to attend the School Board Panel that will take place during this week’s politifest – https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/politifest/

ADJOURNMENT

John Loughlin adjourned the meeting at 6:02 pm, after reminding everyone to vote No on Measure E.


Notes by Kip Eischen, Secretary with quotes taken from the video transcript.

Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash