Proposition 14: YES
City on a Hill Press endorses YES on Prop. 14 which will authorize $5.5 billion in funding for the continuation of stem cell research, which has increased the understanding of how diseases occur, according to the Mayo Clinic.
This funding stems from California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), educational, non-profit, and private entities. A designation of $1.5 billion of the funding will go toward research and therapy for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, epilepsy, and other brain and central nervous system diseases and conditions.
However, instead of withdrawing funding from potentially important scientific research, efforts should be made to restructure the oversight and administrative processes.
Proposition 15: YES
City on a Hill Press endorses YES on Prop. 15 which will increase funding for local schools and governments from nearly $6.4 billion to $11.5 billion.
This will be achieved through the increase of state taxes on commercial and industrial properties by acknowledging their current market values instead of the price they were when they were purchased.
More funding to economically disadvantaged public schools helps improve the quality of education. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the strongest predictor of test scores in a school is by the percentage of economically disadvantaged students. More than 30 percent of students in a high socioeconomic status school score above the national average on reading tests than students in low socioeconomically ranking schools.
This prop’s plan will not raise taxes on homeowners, renters, and small businesses and will push wealthy corporations benefiting from tax loopholes to pay their fair share.
Proposition 16: YES
City on a Hill Press endorses YES on Prop. 16 which will allow local and state governments to use affirmative action with respect to race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin when considering public employment or admission to public universities.
Prop. 16 will alleviate some of the detrimental effects Prop. 209 had on college admissions processes across the state. A report issued by the UC Office of the President, found that people from underrepresented groups who applied to UC Berkeley in 1996, the year following Prop. 209’s passing, were 31 percent less likely to get accepted.
Allowing the use of affirmative action will be a necessary step toward making California institutions more diverse.
Proposition 17: YES
City on a Hill Press endorses YES on Prop. 17 which will amend the Constitution of California to restore voting rights to the 50,000 Californians who cannot vote who lost theirs while on parole. If passed, Prop. 17 will restore voting rights to nearly 50,000 Californians still on parole. The notion that those previously convicted of a crime should be deprived of the basic citizenship—the right to vote— is undemocratic.
Proposition 18: YES
City on a Hill Press endorses YES on Prop. 18 which will allow for any California resident at the age of 17 to register to vote and participate in the primary election if they turn 18 by the day of the general election.
Opponents’ main arguments circulate around the idea that 17-year-olds are still children, and that their brains are not yet fully developed. Opponents also add that most 17-year-olds are still in highschool, and their vote could easily be swayed by an adult.
Anyone could be persuaded to sway their vote regardless of the voter’s age. A YES vote on the proposition will expand voter rights to a younger generation and raise their political voices. Nineteen other states already allow 17 year olds to vote if they will turn 18 by the general election.
Proposition 19: NO ENDORSEMENT
City on a Hill Press will not be endorsing a yes or no vote on Prop. 19 which will give California residents 55 or older a property tax break when buying a new home. Instead it will eliminate a current tax break for those who receive homes inherited from parents or grandparents.
The proposition fails to address problems within the California tax system, and instead aims to close one loophole while opening another.
Proposition 20: NO
City on a Hill Press endorses a NO vote on Prop. 20. A YES vote will result in the re-classification of misdemeanor crimes, like petty theft or illegal use of a credit card, as violent felonies meaning courts can give longer sentences.
In doing so, this proposition will expand an already overflowing prison system. As of 2017, 13 out of California’s 35 state owned prisons were over capacity. Proposition 20 will increase the number of incarcerated persons in California and will increase the length of prison sentences.
The prison system already targets and incriminates predominately Black and brown communities, and if Prop. 20 passes, will only reinforce what is an already systemically racist system.
Proposition 21: YES
City on a Hill Press endorses a YES vote on Prop. 21 which will give cities more ability to impose local rent control.
California is the second most expensive state to live in according to the Council for Community and Economic’s 2018 Annual Average Cost of Living Index. Furthermore, California holds the largest houseless population of any state.
Opponents of the proposition mention that although cities will be able to widen their scope on rent control, this does not necessarily do anything to stabilize market rates. However, the proposition does take a step in addressing gentrification in California.
Gentrification is deeply rooted in the California housing market and disproportionately affects Black and brown communities. Black renters spend 43.7 percent of their household’s income on rent while Latinx renters spend over 60 percent.
Rent control is a necessity in a state with one of the highest costs of living, a growing houseless population, and rampant gentrification.
Proposition 22: NO
City on a Hill Press endorses a NO vote on Prop. 22, which would reclassify rideshare and app-based delivery drivers as independent contractors. Currently, a 2018 California assembly bill requires “gig workers”to be classed as employees.
Being classified as an employee means workers are paid at least the state minimum wage, receive certain healthcare and worker’s compensation benefits, and are allowed to unionize. Proponents of Prop. 22, bankrolled in large part by gig giants Uber, Lyft, and Doordash, argue that most workers prefer the flexibility of independent contractor classification. Proponents cite a survey conducted by the rideshareguy.com, which found that 67 percent of their respondents supported the proposition.
But, a UC Santa Cruz study of app-based drivers in San Francisco found that about 3 in 4 participants worked 30 hours per week or more. This, in part, confounds the notion that most workers at Uber, Lyft, and Doordash see their jobs as expendable and secondary.
Also concerning is the massive, $184.3 million electioneering campaign waged by gig hirers to secure a yes vote on Prop. 22. Yes on Prop. 22 ads have flooded YouTube, Instagram, and other digital platforms, claiming that if the proposition fails to pass, prices for ridesharing and meal delivery services would skyrocket in the state of California. Yes on 22 banners can be found on the Doordash, Uber, and Lyft apps. Uber, reportedly, has also sent users notifications endorsing a yes vote. If Prop. 22 passes, tech giants will see it as a vindication of this new practice of direct-to-consumer electioneering.
Proposition 23: NO ENDORSEMENT
City on a Hill Press will not be endorsing a yes or no vote on Prop. 23, which would require healthcare providers to maintain an on-site physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner to administer dialysis treatment. While Prop. 23 would introduce some positive changes to state healthcare policy — like prohibiting hospitals from denying service to individuals without health insurance — tightening restrictions on who can provide dialysis treatment may cause some clinics in poor and rural communities to discontinue such services, depriving residents of essential care.
Proposition 24: NO
City on a Hill Press endorses a NO vote on Prop. 24, which seeks to expand consumer choice in regard to internet privacy. Prop. 24, though bolstering consumer privacy rights in some respects, would also allow tech companies to release the data of Californians who travel out of the state with their internet-connected devices, and ignore universal “do not sell my information” agreements in favor of individual agreements per site.
Moreover, Prop. 24 would lay the groundwork for “pay-for-privacy” product models, in which tech companies could charge individuals a fee to not use their data. Such a system would stratify our experience of the internet by class — antithetical to the free and open medium of discourse it should be.
Proposition 25: NO ENDORSEMENT
City on a Hill Press will not be endorsing a yes or no vote on Proposition 25, which would end cash bail in the state of California. Though cash bail places undue financial burden on low income communities and communities of color, its proposed replacements — risk assessment algorithms that predict the likelihood of an arrestee evading court — serve to reinforce these same disenfranchising forces. Read more about City on a Hill Press’s position on Prop. 25 here.