My first thoughts on the Nov 2020 election

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Jeff Hobson

Sep 21, 2020, 11:07:51 AM9/21/20
Dear fellow voters,

This is a really big election. The Presidential election looks huge. The Senate races look huge. And because this is a presidential general election, there are many state and local measures on the ballot too. With COVID and heightened concern around voter security, many people will vote earlier than ever this year (you should too!). With this first post, I encourage you to do 3 things:
  • Read my slam-dunk no-doubt positions on 6 of the state propositions (Yes on 15/16/17, NO on 19/20/22)

  • Get involved in the election -- see below for ideas

  • Give me input/advice on other races: is there a race you’re particularly torn on, or think is particularly crucial?

You can read (and comment on) these on my blog, or read on. This one’s short enough that I just pasted it into this email. 

Jeff’s Slam-Dunk No-Doubt Positions on Key Ballot Measures

  • YES on 15 for Schools + Communities First: I’ve wanted to vote for this for decades, since Prop 13 took away my school buses and decimated school and city budgets. Join me in phone banking with SURJ

  • YES on 16 to support racial and gender equality by repealing Prop 209

  • YES on 17 to restore voting rights to people on parole

  • NO on 19: this is mostly a retread of a failed measure in 2018 and would have the effect of taking funding away from schools and communities by giving tax breaks, the majority of which will benefit wealthy white homeowners. Does anybody know about an organized opposition campaign? I just see newspaper editorials

  • NO on 20: don’t reimpose harsh sentencing requirements that create overcrowded prisons; don’t roll back reforms voters have supported over the past decade

  • NO on 22: don’t let Uber+Lyft exempt themselves from labor law and subvert democracy (this measure would require an 88% vote of both houses of the legislature to change a word of it!)

In the coming weeks, I’ll explain these positions and many more on all the state and local measures and candidates. 

Get Involved

This summer, along with many white Americans, I recognized that I’ve been too silent and too inactive about the evils of racism in our society. I made a commitment to take anti-racist action. To make sure that I keep up that action, not let it die down when the protests do, I asked my 19 year-old son to be my accountability manager over (at least) the next year. That’s about much more than this November election (as important as it is). 

Here are three resources I encourage you to check out and consider using to get involved:

  • Showing Up for Racial Justice organizes (mostly) white people to take anti-racist actions. Through the SURJ Bay Area chapter I’ve started phone banking for Prop 15, supported many criminal justice + voting rights reforms, and donated to support Black-led groups leading those fights. Join me!

  • WeCanDefeatTrump is a great summary of LOTS of effective ways to get involved, put together by my friend Tom Lent. It includes resources on being prepared to Vote -- early + securely, Help Your Friends/Family be successful voters, Donate to effective organizations, and Participate in GOTV and voter protection efforts. It’s a great summary of LOTS of effective ways of getting involved. 

  • Indivisible is a simple way to ‘join the resistance.’ It’s a national movement of thousands of local groups working to defeat Trump and reinvigorate democracy -- give ‘em your zip + email and they’ll connect with your neighbors. If you’re near me, see Indivisible Berkeley’s calendar for lots of actions you can take right now. 

Give me advice

Tell me what I should consider as I develop my full list of recommendations. Is there a race you’re particularly torn on? Is there a race you think is particularly crucial? Is there a resource you want me to make sure to read? 

I normally peruse the CA Secretary of State’s Voter Info guide, lots of resources from the League of Women Voters of California, and Ballotpedia. Plus I often look at websites for campaigns and groups I respect -- especially the California Budget + Policy Center.

**********************   Jeff's Election Picks   **********************
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