As my millions of readers may have noticed, last week came and went with no 'cause of the week'. There's just so much election on my mind I'm having a hard time letting anything else in (Larry David's weigh in about waiting is spot on). I'm holding my breath as swing states do their swinging thing, talking up the talking points, and sticking stickers on anything not already stuck. I tried to vote early, but found out that the reason my LA County option is an hour away from my house is that by law each county can only have one early voting site. Considering LA County could swallow whole many of the states in this country, I'll have to wait until the 4th. That said, as these final days to the election approach, vote early if you can. Also, take a listen to this week's This American Life if you missed it. The story looks at Pennsylvania, a tricky and important swing state. Part one follows student volunteers who registered 16,000 new voters and part two follows voter activists talking to union members about race, what they've learned about racism and their neighbors, and why bigotry has no place in policy. Click on Ground Game.
In California, there is tremendous controversy over the 15 state, county, and school propositions on the ballot. For example, though Measure R claims to be a comprehensive plan for LA transit, many residents are arguing that it prioritizes high ticket items (light rail, airport links, subway extensions) that serve the affluent to the detriment of investments in new buses, bus routes, and bus lanes (which already have unfilled commitments on the table). Measure R would impose a half cent sales tax across the board for 30 years. Those who need it most, those represented by the Bus Riders Union and its Strategy Center, are against Measure R. There is also prop 10, which seems to support alternative fuel use and pro-eco measures like renewable energy resources, but is also apparently funded by the man who monopolizes the local distribution of same alternative fuel resources and is expected to line his pockets with some prop 10 gold. I'm still in the process of doing the research on these.
There are, however, two I am sure of:
No on Prop 8, and No on Prop 4.
Prop 8 is the discriminatory proposal that initiates a constitutional amendment to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. There are so many arguments against this -- the first being that it is flat out discrimination based on sexual preference and the last being that heteros certainly don't have such great role model marriages yet we still get to do it -- that to even consider not voting against prop 8 should be criminal.
Prop 4 institutes a waiting period and parental notification requirement "before termination of a minor's pregnancy." Not only could this result in the dangerous seeking of illegal options - most detrimental to unprotected minors - but it could also result in notification procedures to parents who might not prioritize the interest of their children's rights and safety foremost. Prop 4 is a dangerous step backwards in the rights of all women to make personal, safe, and confidential decisions about their own family planning options. However, it further emphasizes the need for accurate, thorough, and available sex education to everyone along with prevention and protection measures. See the Planned Parenthood site for further new initiatives to fight the latest administrative plan to allow health care providers to impose their personal morality on the options provided to patients who expect and deserve factually accurate and inclusive medical advice.
Next Sunday will be two days before the election, and I can only imagine that the one cause on my mind will be helping to elect the candidate who looks out for all the causes I believe in - education, equity, rights, opportunity. After that, we'll branch out again and find other things we can do each week to change the world. This week get educated on your options, stand up for the little guy, and VOTE vote vote vote vote.