Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Just Voted!

Yup. I just finished filling out my six page absentee ballot. Woohoo for overwhelming democracy in San Francisco. I'm including some of the votes I'm very excited about below:

President - Cynthia McKinney

US Representative - Cindy Sheehan

Member, Community College Board - Chris Jackson

Measure R - Yes
* One of the main reasons people oppose this is because it's an insult to our award-winning sewage plant and the people who work there, and if we're going to rename something for Dubya, it should be something truly nasty. But SEIU 1021, the union that represents the sewage plant workers, has endorsed prop R.

We think this would be a fitting metaphor for the years of hard work we face in rehabilitating and reclaiming America's reputation in the world after eight years of George Bush and his cronies dumping shit all over us.

Some people don't want anything named for our Worst President Ever because they want to forget about him. We think that's a mistake. Our children need to reminded about what a horror-show these eight years have been. And we think we all share some blame. If we'd all worked a little harder on the 2000 or 2004 elections, maybe things could have been different.
Finally, Prop R was put on the ballot by a bunch of dedicated people who have never been involved in local politics. This wouldn't be our top priority, but it's awesome to see people learn how to work the system make their voices heard. Hell yeah.

Measure U - Yes
*A symbolic policy statement, urging our leaders in Washington to defund the war in Iraq. Sure, why not. But we think voting for Cindy Sheehan is a lot more effective as an anti-war statement.

Measure V - No
*This is a sensitive issue. We respect that there are some high school kids who feel very strongly about JROTC. They argue that San Francisco's JROTC is unique. It's gender balanced, nlike our current military with its institutional sexism and INSANELY UNACCEPTABLE sexual harassment and abuse of women. SF JROTC is 50% female, with women making up a majority of the leadership. There are also several out LGBT students. But ultimately, we just can't condone having a military recruitment program in our high schools targeting 14 year olds. The military pays half the cost of JROTC and hires the instructors. They're not doing that for altruistic reasons. They want more soldiers. Our members have a variety of perspectives about the military--from pragmatists to pacifists. But recruiting 14 year olds simply isn't cool.

Proposition 4 - No
*Haven't we decided this already??? Yes. Yes, we did. As Prop 73 in 2005 and Prop 85 in 2006. This thing is like Chucky: it keeps coming back. The same very wealthy Christian Fundamentalist men put it right back on the ballot again.

Forced parental notification for abortion = BAD. Prop 4 has dangerous long-term implications for all women’s right to choose. No law can force a family to communicate, and we believe that the government shouldn’t be in the business of forcing itself into sensitive family decisions. Youth and families need real solutions like honest sex ed, access to birth control, and, definitely, choice. For the third time, HELL NO!

Proposition 5 - Yes
*Prop 5 reduces penalties for drug offenses and increases alternatives for drug treatment. If people go into drug treatment instead of prison, they're much less likely to become career criminals. That makes the world safer and means we don't have to build more prisons.

Everybody wins. Martin Sheen says Prop 5 isn't tough enough on crime, but we think maybe he's got some Catholic guilt issues about reducing punishment. Our currently "tough on drugs" strategy is a miserable failure. California has a sky-high recidivism rate, and we're wasting billions on the prison industrial complex. It's time to try something different.

All measure/proposition explanations posted are courtesy of the League of Young Voters.


draconismoi said...

Why did you vote No on 5? The LWV endorsed 5! And you sound as though you want to fix CA's broken prison system....

So why did you shoot down the only chance we have on the ballot of making changes?

Zahra Billoo said...

Good eye! Very very bad typo on my part. I voted "yes" on 5, and "no" on 6 & 9.

Correcting blog post now. Thanks for pointing that out.