Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Aug 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Ballot Beginnings

ballotmeetingSANTA CRUZ > Although Election Day is still months away, local residents are beginning to get educated on the issues that may land on ballots come November. On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Santa Cruz chapter of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) co-sponsered a meeting with the Santa Cruz chapter of the ACLU and Health Care for All, an organization dedicated to bringing universal healthcare to California.

 

A group of about 60 people met to discuss six possible ballot measures regarding the death penalty, campaign finance reform, and universalized healthcare, among others. Because many of the attendees were in agreement with one another, the meeting largely focused on efforts to promote the prospective measures and to secure their place on November’s ballot.

Here’s a brief round-up of the proposed ballot initiatives at Tuesday night’s meeting:

California DISCLOSE Act (AB 1148)

This act, authored by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, would change the face of California’s political ads in a major way. The DISCLOSE act would require that all political advertisements—whether they be on television, radio, print media or the web—would have to clearly identify the three largest funders of the ads. This applies to corporations, unions and private individuals. It would also require state candidates to appear and say that they “approve this message,” just as federal candidates are required to do.

SAFE California Act (SB 490)

Supported by former Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin, this act would, if passed, do away with California’s death penalty. The maximum sentence an individual could receive would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“There’s a moral issue about whether it’s appropriate for the state to kill people,” says Rotkin. “But more importantly, the death penalty does result in innocent people being put to death. And it’s something you can’t take back once you’ve taken somebody’s life.”

But proponents of the measure believe that the SAFE Act is not only a moral issue, but also a financial one. According a recent study by U.S. 9th Circuit Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Loyola Law School professor Paula M. Mitchell, a death penalty prosecution is 20 times more expensive than a life-without-parole case.

California Universal Health Care Act (SB 810)

Approved by the Senate Health Committee in May, this bill would provide every California resident with healthcare, regardless of income or pre-existing conditions. Known as “single-payer healthcare,” Californians medical care would be financed through government funding, as well as contributions from employers and employees. Proponents of the bill claim that it will reduce overall healthcare costs, while ensuring that all residents have access to high-quality healthcare.

Tax Oil to Fund Education Initiative (Proposition 1481)

Spearheaded by Rescue Education California, this proposed measure would place a 15 percent tax on crude oil and natural gas extracted within the state, totaling about $3 billion annually. The funds would be used to finance the state’s public education system, from kindergarten through the college level. In addition, oil companies would be prohibited from passing the cost on to consumers by raising gas prices.

Oil and Gas Production: Hydraulic Fracturing (AB 591)

More commonly known as fracking, hydraulic fracturing is the process of pumping large quantities of water at extremely high pressures underground to crack open rock formations, thereby releasing pockets of oil and natural gas.

“Fracking has become my new favorite expletive, as in: Get those fracking dishes done!” jokes WILPF member Randa Solick.

The pressurized water is commonly combined with a number of chemicals, which the measure’s proponents fear may contaminate ground water and cause considerable health problems. The proposed measure aims to regulate hydraulic fracturing by requiring operators to provide information about the chemicals used, as well as the quantity and source of the water.

Human Right to Water (AB 685)

This measure aims to strengthen the current language already on the books in the Public Utilities Code by declaring that all California residents must have “access to clean, affordable water.” The bill was originally packaged with four other bills that concerned safe drinking water, all of which were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October. AB 685, however, has been held up in the Senate Appropriations Committee since August due to budget concerns. Detractors of the measure claim that it is costly and unnecessary, while proponents maintain that it is essential to ensure the safety of California’s families.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual