In Palo Alto, we like to be in front of the trends and ahead of the crowd. That’s why it’s great that we can vote early, thanks to the mail-in ballot option. But before you rip open the envelope and start inking in those black bars, take a minute to get informed about the many issues and decisions that are on your ballot.
Trump v. Clinton is just the beginning…
There’s so much more than a presidential race at stake! Because local issues may matter a lot more to your day to day life than anything that happens in Washington, it’s worth your time to get informed.
Wait, what- 17 state-wide propositions?
Crazy as it sounds, that’s what voters have to weigh in on this year. And there are some big decisions to make- legalizing marijuana, renewing a tax on high income earners, banning plastic bags and more.
Back before the web, we used to have proposition parties to learn about what was on the ballot, but now we can let someone else do the homework for us. There are lots of proposition guides out there, but the one we like best has a cool tie to Palo Alto: CALmatters.
CALmatters: the best guide to propositions
CALmatters’ user-friendly proposition guide includes:
- A brief, succinct description of each proposition (yeah!)
- What it would cost (often hard to figure out)
- Why it’s on the ballot (this is always interesting)
- Who’s for it and who’s against, along with links to their bios (super helpful)
- How much has been raised for and against, and from whom (like they say, ‘follow the money…”)
- Editorials for and against the propositions (another lens on who’s supporting the issue)
Propositions that could have big impact- don’t miss these…and so many others
- Prop 55: extend the ‘temporary’ tax on high earners to fund public schools and hospitals?
- Prop 58: remove restrictions on bilingual education that were put in place back in 1998?
- Prop 63: strengthen gun control laws?
- Prop 64: legalize marijuana?
- Prop 62 and 66: changing the laws governing the death penalty? [note: when there are two propositions about the same issue, read them carefully before making a decision!]
- Prop 65 and 67: uphold the law that passed banning plastic bags (Prop 65)? Put the money stores charge for bags into a fund for environmental organizations (Prop 67)? [note: same as above!]
But that’s not all! For the same ballot, we’ll throw in two Santa Clara County propositions (joking aside, they’re big)
Measure A: Issue bonds for up to $950 million to fund affordable housing?
Measure B: Raise sales taxes to improve regional transportation, including roads, bike paths, BART, Caltrain capacity and more?
And get a second pen ready because there are some really important local races too
Palo Alto School Board: There are five people running for three open seats on the Palo Alto School Board. Camille Townsend is terming out, and incumbents Melissa Baten Caswell and Heidi Emberling are going up against three challengers: Todd Collins, Jennifer DiBrienza, and Jay Blas Jacob Cabrera. And yes, the school board makes some big decisions in Palo Alto. Learn more here.
Palo Alto City Council: There are 11 people running for four open seats on the Palo Alto City Council. Campaign contributions have been pouring in for a few City Council candidates. Why is this election drawing so much interest? Find out here why these decisions are so important for the future of Palo Alto.
Fill out the whole ballot…every last bar
You’ll be glad you did!