This is a time for Santa Monicans to be informed and make thoughtful decisions on the leadership and initiatives that will have an immediate, profound impact on their lives.
To start with, we choose Senator Barack Hussein Obama for President of the United States. His eloquence, judgment, practical nature, and inclusive campaign stand in sharp contrast to Senator McCain’s divisive, ugly, politics-as-usual approach to the election. We are also deeply troubled by his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, as her lack of experience and candor do not bode well for the Vice Presidency. McCain also offers more of the same policies that placed our country into the financial and military morass that has caused so much pain to so many Americans, regardless of their political affiliation. It is time for a change. It’s time for Senator Obama.
Of the many measures on the ballot, there are two that the electorate must vote on: Prop 2 and Prop 8.
Prop 2 calls for the humane treatment for confined farm animals, including egg-laying hens, calves, and pigs. Vote YES.
Prop 8 would overturn the newly won right for gays to marry in California. Passions are running high on this measure: we read that someone yanked a “Yes on 8” campaign sign, equating the measure with legalized discrimination. Though we don’t agree with stealing signs, we certainly understand and agree with the sentiments. Vote NO.
Prop. 1A: Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act. The state can use an alternative to cars and planes to help connect Southern California to the Bay Area and Sacramento. There are some environmental problems with the Altamont Pass, but in all it is a good idea. Vote YES.
Prop. 3: Children’s Hospital Bond Act. This measure authorizes $980,000,000 in bonds to construct, expand, remodel, and renovate children’s hospitals. Although this is a noble cause, we are wary of burdening the taxpayers with such a large bond measure at this time. No Position.
Prop. 4: Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy. Another one of those measures trying to block and make difficult abortion decisions. Ideologically motivated at the expense of teens in crisis. Vote NO.
Prop. 5: Nonviolent Drug Offences. Sentencing, Parole, and Rehabilitation. Initiative Statute. Let’s stop making drug users part of the criminal justice system and help them through the mental health system instead. Vote YES.
Prop. 6: Police and Law Enforcement Funding. Criminal Penalties and Laws targeted at gang members. The measure looks to spend nearly One Billion Dollars on untested programs without proper accountability. Vote NO.
Prop. 7: Renewable Energy Generation. Initiative Statute. We need definite government guidance in this area, but not this. Vote NO.
Prop. 9: Criminal Justice System. Victims’ Rights. Parole. This measure will just send more kids to jail, not the right approach. Vote NO.
Prop. 10: Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy.
Tom Elias says this is a cushy deal for multi-millionaire T. Boone Pickens and should be defeated (Mirror, September 11-17). Vote NO.
Prop. 11: Redistricting. Does not address independents, alternative parties, electoral reform, and just institutes a stronger role for the two major parties. Vote NO.
Prop. 12: Veterans’ Bond Act of 2008. It makes moral and economic sense to serve our veterans by giving them investment capital and increased buying power in the real estate market. Vote YES.
Measure R in LA County is a transit tax that promises to bring mass transit to Santa Monica, among other improvements. One has to weigh the additional pocketbook cost versus the improvements to our business environment. With the uncertainties of where our economy is heading, it is difficult to endorse greater taxation. Since we can’t begin to understand every individual’s ability to pay extra at this time, we’ll leave these choices (extra taxes) to you. No Position.
Measure SM: The City of Santa Monica does not need to find another taxation route. Let’s give residents a tax break instead, an idea that has, to our knowledge, not taken root among any local politicians. Vote NO.
Measure AA: It is difficult to say no to AA, the SMC bond measure, because we value the college and its influence in our community. But once again, at this time, we cannot fully endorse burdening the electorate with more taxation. This is a very personal choice by each voter. No Position.
Measure T: The people behind Measure T, the RIFT approach to city planning, are civic-minded and of high integrity in their attempt to control and slow growth. The Mirror appreciates their concern, and we disagree with their opposition who went so far as to say T “might increase global warming” (Terry O’Day). Oh, c’mon. Unlike the citywide LUCE effort, T has not had broad community participation; it has not been fully vetted by the public. We prefer our existing processes, city council, planning, and all the ways in which Santa Monica organizes itself. Sometimes we blow it, sometimes we get it right, but in any event, the entire community has an opportunity to participate. And that is the way it should be. Vote NO.
In keeping with our ideals of community-based decision-making, if you feel you cannot trust the current City Council to keep growth and development to reasonable proportions, then we recommend you vote to change the Council.
It is time for Richard Bloom, Ken Genser, and Herb Katz to go back to their day jobs. None of them stood up against the slaughter of our urban forests; none of them stood up, despite consistent voter approval, in favor of a legal marijuana pharmacy in town; and all of them overdeveloped the city. Replace them first with Ted Winterer, then Susan Hartley, and yes, Jerry Rubin, a resident with his heart in the right place. They will help bring the change you want.
Also make sure to vote for Bobby Shriver. He blew it on the trees, and on the pharmacy too, but his work on the homeless issue will bring real change, his openness on a variety of issues is refreshing, his access to powerful individuals is a useful tool for this town, he is owned by no one, his sense of right and wrong and fair play is strong, and his legal and journalistic backgrounds make him unique in assessing politics and real life. We are happy he has chosen to return and are looking forward to the possibility of his becoming Mayor.