Thursday, October 28, 2010

Election Day: A Day to Speak on Behalf of the Environment

Election Day is right around the corner! I hope all you fellow Californians are registered to vote and are geared with the knowledge to address the issues. Want some tips? Below are the propositions that I found will affect the environment and my reasoning on whether to vote Yes or No:

yosemite national parkProp 21- establishes $18 annual vehicle license surcharge to help fund state parks and wildlife programs; grants surcharged vehicles free admission to all state parks.
Vote: Yes. California’s state parks have undergone multiple budget cuts and need funding for proper maintenance and repairs. Not only will this measure allow for the continued existence of our beautiful parks, it will incentivize the public to visit these areas and enjoy the outdoors.

Prop 22- prohibits the state from borrowing or taking funds used for transportation, redevelopment, or local government projects and services.metro red line
Vote: Yes. Last year the State passed a budget that borrowed and took approximately $5 billion in city, county, transit, redevelopment and special district funds. Beyond taking money away from police services, healthcare services, road repair and maintenance, parks, and libraries, the State hurt public transit maintenance. As I’m sure many of you have noticed, bus/rail/shuttle fare prices have increased and routes have been redirected. Saying Yes on 22 will protect these necessary services from further cuts and protect the local community that relies on them.

Prop 23- suspends implementation of air pollution control law (AB 32) requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until unemployment drops to 5.5% or less for full year.
Vote: climate change polar bearNo. California’s Global Warming Solutions Act AB 32, signed in 2006 by Governor Schwarzenegger, is set to bring the state’s emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. Prop 23 would stop the implementation of AB 32 until unemployment is below 5.5% for at least a year, a number our state’s unemployment has not even touched in three years. It would effectively kill California’s landmark climate change law and discourage other states from passing similar statutes. We cannot let this measure go through; if there is only one thing that you remember on November 2nd as you stand in the booth, I hope it is “No on 23.”
For further information: Learn more about AB 32, hear a catchy tune, read what Environment California has to say.

Prop 26- requires that certain state and local fees be approved by two-thirds vote; fees include those that address adverse impacts on society or the environment caused by the fee-payer’s business.air pollution
Vote: No. This measure, if passed, would make it more difficult to pass fees on industries that pollute our air and water and ultimately endanger our health. The funds raised by these pollution fees are used by state and local governments for programs to clean up oil spills or hazardous waste and address the health effects of cigarettes, pesticides, and alcohol.

To learn about all the propositions that will be on the ballot November 2nd, please visit the official voter’s guide or Even if you ultimately disagree with what I have said here, I hope that you stay sharp, stay aware, and make sure your voice is heard.

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