AprilsBallot

Hi there, Voters ~ I’m glad you dropped by!
Note to brand new voters:

Yes, the ballot below is confusing. And long. Yes, it is.
And yes, it’s hard to whack through the weeds
to figure out who is a clown and who will work for us,
or to understand what in the heck each proposition means.
As my very smart sister reminds me:
You do not have to vote for everything.

But do vote local:
local issues & local candidates
at the bottom of your ballot.
Please.
Thank you, April
“You can either vote by voting or vote by not voting. If you don’t vote, someone else’s vote counts more. It’s math.” ~ Anonymous

You can download a PDF list of my voting choices here.
(Refresh your browser each time you return ~ I’m continually updating it.)

If you’d like to be on my political email list,
email me: rabbitt101 (at) aol (dot) com with the header: ADD ME

Also,  check out some of the terrific voting resources below…and watch the 30 second video at the very bottom of this page

For your very own ballot, go to VotersEdge.

Governor

John Chiang

 

yes

I voted for Chiang. (There’s also validity in strategically voting for Newsom or Villaraigosa to keep Cox off the ballot. No Republican for governor in November means fewer Republicans will vote—an important consideration in down-ballot offices.)

Consider this LA Times article with more info about each candidate.

Former assemblymember Jackie Goldberg writes:

I love John Chiang!  He was courageous when I was in the Assembly [remember–this is Jackie talking, not April] and when Schwarzenegger decided not to pay employees of the legislators and committee employees when we had no budget passed…Chiang defied the…Governor, and paid all but the elected officials because the other employees had no vote on the budget…John Chiang always attends events in every community, and he is quite progressive.  HE DOES TAKE CORPORATE MONEY, however.

She also says: I love Gavin Newsom!  When he authorized same-gender marriages in San Francisco, he moved the debate over Gay/Lesbian marriage quite a bit further along.  He was roundly criticized for his effort, and he make waves that helped fuel the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Lesbian/Gay marriage, making them legal throughout the nation.  HE DOES TAKE CORPORATE MONEY, however.

And she says: I love Delaine Eastin!  She may be easily the most progressive of all running for Governor at this time.  She was State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and she will be a critical advocate for school funding, and for efforts to reduce class size in California.  SHE DOES NOT TAKE CORPORATE MONEY.

[April speaking now:] I’m going with Chiang. Here’s his info on VotersEdge.org

Lieutenant Governor

Jeff Bleich

   yes

Jeff Bleich is endorsed by one of my heroes, CongressmemberTed Lieu, as well as the Sierra Club, the SF Chronicle, musician Rosanne Cash (as a gun control advocate), and Congressmember Jackie Speier, among many others. He had my vote at Ted Lieu, who says:

“I’m endorsing Jeff for Lt. Governor because he’s demonstrated that he has both the courage and the skill to take on the tough problems affecting Californians across the state. Our new economy has brought new vulnerabilities. From addressing cybersecurity concerns, to modernizing our state’s education system for a new, 21st century workforce, to addressing the anxiety so many Californians are experiencing, Jeff is prepared to take on the big issues that Californians face. I’m also proud to support a candidate with a long track record of standing up for those who haven’t had a voice, including minorities and immigrants. In today’s political climate, we need someone like Jeff Bleich leading California.” ~ Ted Lieu

Secretary of State

Alex Padilla

   yes

This was tough because Ruben Major is endorsed by Elizabeth Warren , whom I adore. See Padilla’s endorsements

Controller

Betty T. Yee

 yes

Treasurer

Fiona Ma

   yes

Attorney General

Dave Jones

   yes

Former Assemblyperson Jackie Goldberg writes:

“I have always supported Xavier Becerra as he represented where I live and work in both the California State Assembly, and in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He has done well in taking on the current U.S. President.

However, he supports the Death Penalty, and Dave Jones opposes the death penalty.

Dave Jones does NOT accept Insurance company donations or donations from “Big Oil,” Walmart, the Charter School Association, tobacco, private prison advocates and the bail industry while Becerra does accept money from all these sources.

Becerra has had an inactive bar license for 24 of the past 25 years and did not practice law all that time.

DAVE JONES is a progressive Democrat, an environmentalist, and a person who has spent his entire life supporting working people, supporting unions, civil rights, fighting poverty, and protecting consumers.  I endorse him with enthusiasm.”

Now this is April speaking:
Just to confuse you, here’s who’s endorsing them (both lists are impressive):
Dave Jones  endorsements
Xavier Bercerra endorsements

Insurance Commissioner

Ricardo Lara

yes

 

Although I think both Mahmood and Lara would be terrific, I’m voting for Lara, a proud, openly gay state senator.
From his website:
“Dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as the “Point man in the push for immigrant rights,” Senator Lara in 2016 engineered the successful statewide campaign to allow for multi-lingual education in California’s schools. He was also one of the key leaders behind a landmark effort to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in California. “

California Board of Equalization

Member, District 3

Nancy Pearlman

   yes

United States Senator

The LA Times, in supporting Feinstein, writes:”…tension over how to work with an unreliable and frequently unwilling partner in the Oval Office and an unfriendly Republican majority in Congress is at the heart of the race for California’s U.S. Senate seat…” This article is well worth reading.

Kevin de León

yes

However, my father said, “in the primary, vote with your heart, in the general election vote with your head.”   Here’s his website

U.S. House of Representatives

District 33

Ted W. Lieu

   YES!

He’s local and he’s a powerful, articulate champion. What’s not to like?

California State Senate

District 26

Ben Allen

   yes

California State Assembly

District 66

Al Muratsuchi

 YES 

I know, like, and respect Al Muratsuchi  and all he’s done as our assemblymember.  Click on his bio and scroll down for the numerous laws he’s written.

Los Angeles County Superior Court
75% Of us skip voting for judges. You vote counts!

Judge Office # 4

A. Verónica Sauceda

   yes

Listed as Well Qualified by the LA County Bar Association, Sauceda is endorsed by Code Blue, Jackie Goldberg and many others, including my friend who’s a family law attorney.  He writes, “I am told that both [Sauceda, Office #4 and Duron, Office #146] with Family Law experience are currently sitting as “Commissioners” at the Compton courthouse.  The Compton courthouse serves a lower income community, which has a more desperate need for knowledgeable bench officers than some other courthouse communities.  Ms. Saucedo and Mr. Duron apparently both practiced Family Law before they were appointed as commissioners and assigned to Family Law courts.
Judge Office # 16

Patricia “Patti” Hunter

  YES

It’s worth your time to read this May 20, 2018 LA Times article by a writer who researched this office to decide how she would vote.

Also, Hunter is endorsed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl among many others. For more info about Hunter: VotersEdge

Hunter’s opponent, Sydne Jane Michel, “has been married to attorney C.D. “Chuck” Michel for 20 years. She has two sons with the Long Beach practitioner who is known for representing the National Rifle Association in high-profile litigation.” source: http://www.metnews.com/articles/2018/judielec041618.htm

Her husband’s Facebook page lists him as President of the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

Judge Office # 20

Wendy Segall
vs
Mary Ann Escalante

I’m not sure any more

Wendy Segall (Qualified), Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles B LACDP vs Mary Ann Escalante (Well Qualified), Deputy District Attorney, County of Los Angeles B, LA County Federation of Labor
*New information: This is a very weird race. Though judges should not be judged on the basis of their party, they are (and I am frequently guilty of this.)  Segall changed from Republican to Democrat in January. There’s more…check out this article.
And that is exactly why we shouldn’t be voting for judges at all.
Judge Office # 60

Tony J. Cho

   yes

The LA Times endorses Hancock, but many who I respect prefer Tony J. Cho. Cho seems like a better choice to me, based on his info on VotersEdge.org
Judge Office # 63

Malcolm H. Mackey

  YES

It seems to be unanimous: Mackey’s been endorsed by the LA Times and numerous others. In addition, he’s rated as Exceptionally Well Qualified; is challenger is rated unqualified by the LA County Bar. For more info about him: VotersEdge.org
Judge Office # 67

Maria Lucy Armendariz

   yes

Agreement across the board. For more info about her: VotersEdge.org
Judge Office # 71

Danielle R.A. Gibbons

   yes

LA Times: “Our preference would be to elect both [candidates]…to the bench.”
The very conservative ElectionForum.org  rated Berger 9 and Gibbons 5. Good enough reason for me to vote for Gibbons.
Judge Office # 113

Javier Perez

   yes

Perez is rated Well Qualified by the Los Angeles County Bar Association and endorsed by many people and organizations I respect.
Judge Office # 118

David D. Diamond

   yes

For more info about him: VotersEdge.org
Judge Office # 126

Rene Caldwell Gilbertson

   yes

Enthusiastically endorsed by former assembly person Jackie Goldberg, among others. For more info about her: VotersEdge.org
Judge Office # 146

Armando Durón

   yes

Durón is enthusiastically supported by  former assembly person Jackie Goldberg.  (See also my comments on Office #4)

In addition, it may be worth your time to read this article in the Metropolitan News-Enterprise on March 20, 2018 which writes, in part:

“Primarily distinguishing Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Armando Durón and Deputy District Attorney Emily Theresa Spear in this two person race are age and experience.

He’s 63, admitted to practice May 1, 1981. For her, transpose the numerals; she’s 36, and has been a lawyer since Dec. 1, 2005.

Durón’s political advantages include having a professional political consultant—which Spear doesn’t—and having a base of supporters, as well as personal savvy as to fundraising.

But Spear—who, as an amateur, ran the 2014 campaign of then-Deputy District Attorney Carol Najera that resulted in the challenger toppling an incumbent—knows about social media, which she utilized four years ago and will be relying upon this year. She has a husband who can write programs enabling widespread dissemination of messages, which he did in Najera’s campaign.

Durón does not have conversancy with social media, reflected in his seminal March 1 campaign tweet: “I never used Twitter before how do I send my first message welcoming everyone to a winning campaign?”

The contest might, ultimately, be one between traditional campaign techniques and more modern ones aimed at attracting younger voters.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Tony K. Thurmond

yes

Los Angeles County

Assessor

Jeffrey Prang

   yes

Sheriff

Alex Villanueva

 yes

Ballot Measures
these quick summaries are from Patch.com

Proposition 68 — Bonds for Environment, Parks and Water
Bond Measure

   yes

What Is Proposition 68?

Proposition 68, the statewide bond measure, has the support of environmental groups and is opposed by conservative taxpayer groups.

Proposition 69 — Transportation Funding
Constitutional Amendment –

   yes

What Is Proposition 69?

Proposition 69, or the lockbox amendment, requires lawmakers to spend new gas tax revenue on transportation projects.

Proposition 70 — Cap-and-Trade Amendment
Constitutional Amendment –

 

there’s universal agreement
vote no 

What Is Proposition 70?

Prop 70 is a constitutional amendment that would require a legislative supermajority vote in 2024 to pass a cap-and-trade spending plan.

“And why should voters today bind the hands of lawmakers, one time, in 2024? If voters are truly concerned…about how climate change dollars are being spent, they should address that problem now rather than waiting until 2024…There’s no point cluttering the ballot with so-called reform measures that serve little or no purpose.” ~
full LA Times article on Prop 70

 

Proposition 71 — Ballot Measure Effective Date
Constitutional Amendment –

   yes

What Is Proposition 71?

Proposition 71 would amend the state constitution so that new ballot measures take effect five days after election results are certified.

Proposition 72 — Taxes for Rainwater Capture Systems
Constitutional Amendment –

yes

What Is Proposition 72?

Proposition 72 would allow lawmakers to exclude new rainwater capture systems from property tax assessments.

Manhattan Beach Unified School District
Measure MB

   YES!

No one submitted an argument against this measure to keep our schools academically and artistically competitive. Seniors can opt out.

To maintain quality education, keep Manhattan Beach schools among California’s best, offset severe state funding shortfalls and provide $2,650,000 annually the state cannot take away, to: Attract and retain high-quality teachers; Maintain manageable class sizes; Protect quality math, science, reading, art/music programs, shall Manhattan Beach Unified School District levy $225 per parcel annually, expiring in six years, with senior exemptions, independent oversight/audits, no money for administrators, and all funds staying local?

If cousin Pookie would vote,
if Uncle Jethro would get off the couch and stop watching sports center
and go register some folks and go to the polls,
we might have a different kind of politics.
That’s what the Moses generation teaches us.

Kick off your bedroom slippers.
Put on your marching shoes.
Go do some politics.
Change this country!”

-Barack Obama

Voter Resources
(many of which I used to determine my positions)

  • See below for L.A. County Vote-by-Mail drop-off locations and much more
  • Register to vote here  ~ a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the candidates and measures on your ballot.

  • California Choices is so cool…check it out! It creates a chart that includes the positions of unions, newspapers, political parties and non-profits on ballot measures.
  • LA County Bar Association evaluations of candidates  ~ a good  place to start figuring out the puzzle of voting for judges.
  • The California Democratic Party’s endorsements
  • CAvotes.org ~ the League of Women Voter’s Education Fund’s site. Click on “VOTE,” and become a wizard in all things election-related. While you’re there, consider making a donation  (contributions to the League’s Education Fund are tax deductible.)
  • EasyVoterGuide (“For new voters and busy voters”) ~ print a copy of the Easy Voter Guide in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean.  (this guide is a collaboration of the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and the California State Library.)
  • Los Angeles Times endorsements 
  • South Bay Cares ~ a socially-minded nonprofit dedicated to advocating for human, environmental, and constitutional rights through community action.
  • Swing Left ~ Swing Districts are places where the winner of the last House of Representatives election was determined by a thin margin. Swing Left helps you find and commit to supporting progressives in your closest Swing District so that you can help ensure we take back the House in 2018.
  • Indivisible ~ Their mission is to fuel a progressive grassroots network of local groups to resist the Trump Agenda.
  • Sometimes it helps to check out how the opposition is voting.
  • The Torrance Refinery Action Alliance  is a well-organized grassroots organization that has taught me a lot ~ just click on the first page of their website for a scary map of what could happen if MHF is released by the Torrance Refinery or the Wilmington Refinery.
Peace Action ~ Of all the groups I give to, I save my biggest donation for Peace Action, which is a lean, efficient and politically pragmatic organization. Once a year, a Peace Action staffer comes over for lunch and teaches me a TON about the peace movement and specifically what Peace Action is doing to move our politicians, our policies, our country towards peace.
Contact me to join us for lunch:
rabbitt101 (at) aol (dot) com with the header: PEACE ACTION
Authors and Illustrators for Children is a nationwide organization of children’s book creators and associates committed to vote, campaign, and speak out for candidates and policies to create a safe, healthy, and inspired future for children everywhere. Join us.
Useful links from the LA County Registrar:
Drop off your Vote By Mail ballot before Election Day.
Find your nearest drop-off location  to return your VBM ballot before Election Day.
Request a VBM Ballot  for this election.
Become a Permanent Vote by Mail Voter  ~ make it easier to vote!
 Check Your Status  ~ not sure if you are a VBM voter already OR do you want to check the status of your ballot?
 Send Me Text Messages  ~ receive quick and easy text message notifications about important election information.Make Your Mark on June 5th!
LAvote.net
(800) 815-2666, Opt. 3
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
12400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650
Why the heck do I tell you and your friends how I voted?I started this site because I used to call my brilliant uncle Raphael Konigsberg and ask him how to vote–especially for judges. I mean, who knew how to pick judges?  When he died, I said, “So now who’ll tell me how to vote?”

Then I realized, “Uh-oh…”

So…I’ve been researching, comparing, and sharing my ballot with friends, and friends of friends for more than 15 years.  

If you’d like to be on my political email list, email me at:
rabbitt101 (at) aol (dot) com with the header: ADD ME

This video is 30 seconds long

If you experience, see or hear about voting problems in your state, please call the toll-free, nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline:
1-866-687-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)

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