BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
I apologize for the extreme lateness of this article. I’ve already been scolded by a few people for not having my electoral suggestions presented. This will be extremely condensed, therefore my explanations will not be as thorough as they typically have been. Once again, apologies.
First, let’s dispense with a massive number of positions. Please refer to the ANCA’s endorsements for California’s, Nevada’s (June 12), and Colorado’s (June 26) primary elections. I will fill in some of the gaps.
At the state level, it’s a toss-up between Jeff Bleich and Ed Hernandez in my mind. Please read their statements in your ballot book and choose one or the other. Vote for Tony Thurmond as Superintendent of Public Instruction (note that in your ballot book, this position is listed separately from the other statewide offices).
There is one Congressional district, the 25th, whose incumbent is barely decent on Armenian issues but horrible on just about everything else. There are three leading challengers – Bryan Caforio, Katie Hill, and Jess Phoenix. If you live in this district, please vote for one of them. Come November, there will likely be a runoff between the incumbent and one of these three.
If you live in the 29th State Senate District, please vote no on the recall of Josh Newman. This is a childish ploy to unseat an elected official because some people didn’t like one particular vote he cast. If everyone did that to each elected official, we’d have a crisis of democracy and governance.
Next come the judges (but only for Los Angeles County), perhaps the most difficult to assess. Here, I will just list my recommendations. If you want more details, you can check the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s report.
Office 4: Veronica Sauceda
Office 16: Patricia “Patti” Hunter
Office 20: Wendy Segall
Office 60: Tony Cho
Office 63: Malcolm Mackey
Office 67: Hon. Maria Lucy Armendariz
Office 71: Danielle Gibbons
Office 113: Javier Perez
Office 118: David D. Diamond
Office 126: Rene Caldwell Gilbertson
Office 146: Hon. Armando Duron
Moving to the County level (once again, only for Los Angeles), please vote for Jeffery Prang – County Assessor and Jim McDonnell – Sheriff. Two supervisorial districts have elections. If you live in District 1, please vote for Hilda Solis, and if District 3, Sheila Kuehl.
Next up are the state ballot measures, five this time:
Prop 68- This is a park bond. It helps buy more parkland for the public or make improvements on existing park properties. It also helps fund local initiatives to improve the availability of such amenities, saving cities/counties tens of millions of dollars. It is well worth it. Vote YES on 68.
Prop 69- A constitutional amendment, like the next three, this measure prohibits the legislature from diverting money generated by a 2017 transportation funding law to other purposes. I am not usually fond of cluttering up the California Constitution with minutiae such as this, but it is a good idea that should have been a simple law instead. Vote YES on 69.
Prop 70- As a result of an agreement between Governor Jerry Brown and Republican legislators, this constitutional amendment appears on the ballot. Basically it is silly, and will disrupt the timely use of funds generated by the state’s cap-and-trade program for limiting greenhouse gases by imposing a super-majority (2/3) requirement to spend these funds. Vote NO on 70.
Prop 71- Yet another constitutional amendment, Prop 71 determines when laws passed by voters through ballot measures will go into effect. If this had been a good idea, it indeed would have belonged in the constitution. But it is unnecessary. If the authors of the ballot measure see a need to determine when it will go into effect, they can include it in the language of the measure itself. Vote NO on 71.
Prop 72- This is a no brainer. It enables homeowners to construct rain-capture systems (an ever increasing necessity in drought prone California) without being hit with a property tax increase. Vote YES on 72.
Finally, on the local level, three cities – Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena – with significant Armenian populations have ballot measures for voters to consider. All three are suggesting moving their local elections to coincide with statewide elections in response to a coercive state law. There really is no choice, so just vote for these measures. In addition, Burbank is proposing amending its Charter to reaffirm a transfer of funds from its electric utility that has been authorized since the 1950s, but is now coming into question because of certain court cases. Pasadena is updating its marijuana related laws through ballot measures. Bottom line, if you live in any of these cities, vote YES on all the ballot measures you see.