Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Apr 19th
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

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?