League of Women Voters is here to help you with your June ballot

So, believe it or not, I have encountered a not insignificant number of people in the past couple of weeks who did not know they were supposed to be voting this June. And none of them were like, clueless, non-voting, don’t-read-the-newspaper types either. They were just all like “Well, Oakland has IRV now so we don’t vote until November, and I’m not a Republican, so I don’t have a Governor primary to vote in either, what would I be voting on?”

A lot of things, actually. You should have gotten a voter guide in the mail by now, but if it’s not easily accessible at the moment, you can see what your whole ballot is going to have on it right now by going to Smartvoter.org and typing in your address.

Hot Topics: Taking a Stand on June Ballot Measures

In addition to important primary contests for seats like Lieutant Governor, Attorney General, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, you’ve also got a number of ballot measures to vote in.

The list below features all the measures on your June ballot, followed by the State Attorney General’s summary of the measure.

  • Proposition 13: Provides that construction to seismically retrofit buildings will not trigger reassessment of property tax value. Sets statewide standard for seismic retrofit improvements that qualify.
  • Proposition 14: Changes the primary election process for congressional, statewide, and legislative races. Allows all voters to choose any candidate regardless of the candidate’s or voter’s political party preference. Ensures that the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will appear on the general election ballot regardless of party preference.
  • Proposition 15 Repeals ban on public funding of political campaigns. Creates a voluntary system for candidates for Secretary of State to qualify for a public campaign grant if they agree to limitations on spending and private contributions. Each candidate demonstrating enough public support would receive same amount. Participating candidates would be prohibited from raising or spending money beyond the grant. There would be strict enforcement and accountability. Funded by voluntary contributions and a biennial fee on lobbyists, lobbying firms, and lobbyist employers.
  • Proposition 16: Requires two-thirds voter approval before local governments provide electricity service to new customers or establish a community choice electricity program using public funds or bonds.
  • Proposition 17: Changes current law to permit insurance companies to offer a discount to drivers who have continuously maintained their auto insurance coverage, even if they change their insurance company. Will allow insurance companies to increase cost of insurance to drivers who do not have a history of continuous insurance coverage. Establishes that lapses in coverage due to nonpayment of premiums may prevent a driver from qualifying for the discount.

Confused? Don’t worry. Oakland’s League of Women Voters is here to help! Tonight, at the monthly Hot Topics meeting, League members will break down what each of the measures would mean for the state, explain the pros and cons of each, and then share the League’s position. The meeting will be held tonight, Monday, May 3 from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Redwood Heights Community Center (3883 Aliso Avenue). Hope some of you can make it!

Candidates Forum on Thursday

I know it’s super short notice for the Hot Topics tonight, and I feel really bad about that. I totally meant to post about it on Saturday, and then when I didn’t get to it on Saturday, I was going to do it on Sunday…well, you guys know how it is. If you want to be certain to always have advanced notice of these events and not be dependent on my flaky self, you can stay in the loop by becoming a member of the League.

Anyway, if you can’t make the Hot Topics tonight to learn about the ballot measures, perhaps you’ll be able to squeeze into your schedule the League’s candidates forum on Thursday.

That’s right, it isn’t just State races you’re going to be voting on in a couple of weeks – there are local elections too. There’s not much excitement around the Countywide offices — all the incumbents are running unopposed. There is also an election for Superior Court Judge. Some of you will also be voting on County Board of Education Trustee and Alameda County Supervisor.

At the League’s Candidate Forum, you will have the opportunity to ask questions of Nancy O’Malley, current appointed District Attorney running unopposed for election to the seat, County Superintendent of Schools Sheila Jordan, District 3 Alameda County Supervisor Candidates, and the candidates for Area 1 County Board of Education Trustee.

The forum will be held this Thursday, May 6 from 6:00 to 8:15 in Oakland City Hall Hearing Room 1. I assume also that it will be broadcast live on KTOP, because usually the forums are, but the City’s website is broken as usual and I am therefore unable to check the KTOP schedule at the moment to confirm.

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