A synopsis of my thinking around CA State propositions

November 6, 2016
  • PROPOSITION 51 – School Bonds
    • NO – Don’t issue $9B (actually $17B) in bonds for school repairs. It’s a bad investment, there are better ways to fund repairs at a local level, & the money won’t likely go to the schools who need it.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 54.13%
  • PROPOSITION 52 – Hospital Fees
    • YES – Prevent the state legislature from inappropriately redirecting Federal funds for medical services into the general fund without taxpayer approval.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 69.91%
  • PROPOSITION 53 – Revenue Bonds
    • YES – Any project requiring $2B in Revenue Bond debt should always be approved by CA state citizens. Local projects will always be below $2B and unaffected by Prop 53.
    • FINAL RESULTS: NO – 51.07%
  • PROPOSITION 54 – Publishing Bills Online
    • YES – This is about accountability. There’s absolutely no reason to not educate the public about bills being proposed at any time – much less 3 days before a vote. No reason to not provide video tape of discussions unless there’s something to hide.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 65.01%
  • PROPOSITION 55 – Extending Taxes for Education
  • PROPOSITION 56 – Cigarette Tax 
    • YES – Help fund Medi-Cal, smoking reduction, cops, & tobacco research. (And BTW it’s only Big Tobacco that’s against it. It’s supported by American Cancer Soc, American Heart Ass., and American Lung Ass.)
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 63.77%
  • PROPOSITION 57 – Criminal Sentencing
    • YES – Prosecutors with agendas should never determine if minors are tried as adults – Judges should. And early parole for non-violent offenders is going to happen anyway because the prisons are FULL & there’s a federal mandate that we reduce the prisons anyway.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 63.79%
  • PROPOSITION 58 – Bilingual Education
    • YES – Greater flexibility in language instruction is good where it’s needed. Preventing folks from teaching two languages simultaneously via directive is restrictive & doesn’t consider situations on a case by case basis. Let the schools & parents decide what’s best.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 72.84%
  • PROPOSITION 59 – Overturn Citizen United
    • YES – Corporations may influence folks but are not people, are not entitled to “free speech” & shouldn’t have a direct say in our political system through limitless funding/lobbying.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 52.91%
  • PROPOSITION 60 – Condoms
    • YES – The state should license & regulate the porn industry. If you think porn producers are concerned about their actors, you’re fooling yourself. No, the industry will NOT moving out of CA – the land of beaches & sun, like opponents say – that’s absurd.
    • FINAL RESULTS: NO – 54.26%
  • PROPOSITION 61 – Prescription Drug Prices
    • YES – CA state drug prices shouldn’t be any higher than the Vas negotiated rate. Lower prices = higher purchase volumes, yet no one is explaining how increased volume of drug purchases from CA is going to somehow result in higher FEDERALLY-NEGOTIATED VA drug prices. Besides, we’re doing what’s best for the state here.
    • FINAL RESULTS: NO – 54%
  • PROPOSITION 62 – Death Penalty Abolish
    • YES – It’s been 10yrs since an execution because of $150M in appeals fees charged to the state of CA. Additionally, people are released from prison on new evidence all the time: The death penalty ends this by killing innocents – that’s wrong. Life without parole is enough.
    • FINAL RESULTS: NO – 53.62%
  • PROPOSITION 63 – Background Checks for Ammo Sales
    • YES – If you can’t wait for a background check on an ammo sale, you definitely need a background check. Owning a large capacity magazine would now be a charge that law enforcement can use against serious criminals.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 62.67%
  • PROPOSITION 64 – Marijuana
    • YES – It’s not for me but criminalizing & jailing people for it is ludicrous when everyone gets it anyway, it’s no worse than alcohol, so why not tax it & help fund CA with $1B in projected revenues? The only people against this are actual drug smugglers & folks with a vested interest in using drug laws against citizens – and I’ll let you figure out what that means.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 56.45%
  • PROPOSITION 65 – Plastic Bag Proceeds
    • NO – This proposition was initiated by companies that make plastic bags to prevent grocery stores from profiting on the sale of reusable bags. (Reusable bag proceeds must got to the state per this proposition & not to the grocery store)
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 54.80%
  • PROPOSITION 66 – Death Penalty Speed Up
    • NO – Innocent people could die & more importantly, the backlog of people on death row (700+) are far too deep to ever catch up on.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 51.30%
  • PROPOSITION 67 – Ban on Plastic Bags
    • YES – We’ve transitioned past environmentally dnagerous plastic bags with reusables instead. The only folks fighting against this are plastic bag companies.
    • FINAL RESULTS: YES – 52.90%
  • Measure A – LA County Property Tax Increase for Parks, Beaches and Open Space  
    • NO – Any property tax increase, no matter what the size is ridiculous considering our current property taxes in LA County are already horrendous because of the 3rd highest avg home values among US states (https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/) & RE tax rate of .81%. (https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/) And it will increase every year as the tax is tied to inflation.
  • Measure M – LA County Sales Tax for Transportation
    • YES – A permanent half-cent sales tax hike, as much as I hate it, is needed to reduce congestion in LA’s roads & highways. There’s no choice in the matter.

Last night’s Halloween… being “THAT HOUSE”

November 1, 2016

imageOver 100+ served last night.

Totally worth staying home for, for every “OMG MISTER” and “WUUUUUUUUT” and “YOU ARE THE BOMB, DUDE!”

But the best – the absolute best incident – was a group of 4 well-costumed kids that came by, stared at me as I opened the door and quietly said, “Trick or treat?” as if asking a question.

As I brought out the stack of giant chocolate bars (7oz) for them, their eyes got really big and they suddenly started jumping up and down screaming, “WE FOUND IT! WE FOUND IT! WE FOUND THE HOUSE!” One girl started hugging another girl and the boy high fives his Mom who was in my yard watching the kids from a distance. I hadn’t even given them the candy when one girl turned and looked at me and said, “We’ve been looking for you ALL NIGHT!” The aforementioned Mom chimed in, “They have! You’re legend in this neighborhood: They call you the “big chocolate house!”

After I handed them the candy, they all screamed THANK YOU as they danced – and I mean DANCED – away down my front steps yelling, “We totally did it! OMG, we found it!”

That’s right… I AM THAT HOUSE.

Somewhere in an elementary school in my neighborhood tomorrow, I imagine a group of kids coming out during recess, talking about the bounties of candy they’d collected from the night before, trading M&Ms for Junior Mints… Swedish Fish for Haribo Gummi Bears… and one kid saying, “Hey, did you guys find the ‘big chocolate house’?” And the other kids going, “OH DUDE! TOTAL SCORE!”

…because that’s what I did when I was a kid. I searched for the legendary “big bar” house in the neighborhood every year, the one that gave out full-size candy bars.

And you know what? I never found it. Not kidding. All throughout elementary school, we used to go through 10+ streets, both sides, and I never found that house.

So in case you’re curious, that’s why I do this. The “legendary big bar house” that kids search for was a really important part of Halloween for me, and it would have been so memorable for me to have found it, just once, when I was a kid. Now I get the chance to make that legend possible for an entirely new generation of children.

By the way, so can you.