Posts related to California

San Francisco Voter Framework

I have a general voting framework for ballot props which works most of the time. I’ve developed this framework over several elections and it is now fairly stable:

  1. Prefer to vote for new taxes, preferably without a set-aside
  2. Vote for groups that don’t have a strong lobby (youth, disabled, homeless, low-income people, the environment)
  3. Vote for social policy change in ways that agree with my values
  4. Vote for things that price externalities
  5. Vote against things which increase needless or unhelpful bureaucracy
  6. Vote against things which infringe upon rights of the people
  7. Vote against things which undermine good government
  8. Generally vote against budget set-asides, which limit the ability of representatives to budget effectively
  9. Vote to liberate funds from budget set-asides, to be useful for other purposes (new this election)
  10. Vote to fund infrastructure (new this election)

Don’t just vote NO on every ballot initiative. California’s broken tax system requires that way too many things go to the ballot because the legislature doesn’t have the constitutional authority to pass certain taxes and other laws. Voting NO for everything based on a principle of “we shouldn’t have to vote on so much” ensures the state is poorly run. My long term strategy with much of my political activism is to undo these rules and to bring California back to full representative democracy where ballot initiatives are rare.

read more