California’s next statewide election is on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Make sure you are educated on the issues your vote will determine. The information behind various city and county ballot measures may be confusing and overwhelming, so we’ve made the following voter guide to help explain the ones we are supporting and opposing. If you have any questions, please call our office at 408.986.9874.

Measure A**1
ALAMEDA COUNTY: SALES TAX FOR CHILDCARE AND EARLY EDUCATION

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

To expand access to childcare and preschool for low- and middle-income families; help homeless and at-risk children, including help preventing child abuse and neglect; attract and retain quality childcare workers; and add spaces for childcare at locations throughout the county, shall the County of Alameda enact a 30-year ½% sales tax providing approximately 140 million dollars annually with citizens’ oversight, public disclosure of spending, and mandatory annual audits?

2/3 vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support authorizing a 0.5% sales tax for 30 years on the gross amount on receipts from retail sales to fund programs for childcare, pre-school, homeless, or at-risk children, and child abuse prevention.
  • A NO vote would be against authorizing a 0.5% sales tax for 30 years of the gross amount on receipts to fund childcare, pre-school, homeless or at-risk children, and child abuse protection.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that a child’s brain develops most drastically during the first five years of life, however over half of children do not arrive ready for kindergarten. Childcare costs an average of 25% of a family’s income and many parents are forced to work two jobs to support their family. This measure would expand childcare and preschool for low- and middle- income families and help at-risk children.
  • OPPONENTS say that Alameda County is not able to properly administer the childcare programs with transparency and accountability. They say the measure needs revisions.
Measure D**2
CITY OF OAKLAND: OAKLAND PARCEL TAX FOR LIBRARY SERVICES

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

Shall the measure, to protect and improve library services throughout Oakland, including: providing safe
places for youth after school; preventing library closures; providing youth reading and senior programs,
evening/weekend hours for students/families and adult literacy services; establishing a 20-year annual
parcel tax, $75 for single family parcels, other parcel type at specified rates; and providing about
$10,000,000 annually, with audits, citizens’ oversight and exemptions for low income seniors and
residents, be adopted?

2/3 vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support allowing an annual parcel tax of $75 for 20 years for single family parcels to fund Oakland’s library services.
  • A NO vote would be against an annual parcel tax of $75 for 20 years for single family parcels to fund Oakland’s library services.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that Measure D would provide a safe after-school environment for kids, teenagers, and the elderly at their local libraries. Neighborhood branch libraries have had to close two days a week and limit their hours because of underfunding and rising costs. Measure D funds can only be used for Oakland libraries and has strong fiscal controls and oversight.
  • OPPONENTS say that libraries should have already received enough funding from the 2004 Measure Q. Opponents say that the funding from Measure Q was not spent properly and an independent audit did not occur annually.

1 ALAMEDA COUNTY CHILDCARE AND EARLY EDUCATION MEASURE, County of Alameda, http://bit.ly/2se4s29, Accessed 2 May 2018.
2 “The 2018 Oakland Public Library Preservation Act,” County of Alameda, http://bit.ly/2IJOBDD, Accessed 2 May 2018.

Measure J3
CITY OF ORINDA: LIBRARIES

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

To maintain hours and services; replace worn and outdated materials; undertake building maintenance and repairs; and continue library programs for children, families, and seniors, shall the City of Orinda be authorized to modify the existing thirty-nine dollar annual tax, adding thirty dollars per single family residential parcel, or equivalent unit, so that the amended tax raises a total of five hundred fourteen thousand dollars annually for the Orinda Library, until amended by voters, with audits and oversight?

2/3 vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support an increase in an annual library parcel tax from $39 to $69 to fund library services and operations.
  • A NO vote would be against an increase in an annual library parcel tax from $39 to $69 to fund library services and operations.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that Measure J would fund basic repairs, keep the Orinda Library open every day, replace outdated books and materials, and continue educational programs. The library provides a safe gathering place for the community.
  • OPPONENTS – no opposition filed.
Measure P4
CITY OF PINOLE: ELIMINATE TERM LIMITS

Recommendation: Oppose

Summary:

Shall the City’s ordinance limiting the number of successive terms of members of the Pinole City Council be eliminated?

Majority vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote is a vote to eliminate Pinole’s existing term limits for City Councilmembers.
  • A NO vote is a vote to keep Pinole’s existing term limits for City Councilmembers.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that Measure P would ensure that Pinole will keep experienced and knowledgeable councilmembers in office for more than three terms.
  • OPPONENTS say that in 2008, voters overwhelming supported Measure N that instituted term limits to prohibit a councilmember from serving after three consecutive terms, though allowed them to run again two years after terming out. Measure P would overturn the term limits and keep the same people on the council.
Measure E5
CITY OF RICHMOND: FUND YOUTH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

Shall the Charter of the City of Richmond be amended to provide that a portion of general fund money be set aside for funding youth programs and services?

Majority vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support amending the Richmond City Charter to require the City to set aside a portion of their unrestricted general-purpose revenues to be put into a special fund for youth programs and services.
  • A NO vote would be against amending the Richmond City Charter to require the City to set aside a portion of their unrestricted general-purpose revenues to be put into a special fund for youth programs and services.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that it is cheaper to provide these services to help children than to fund juvenile hall. Measure E would provide opportunities for kids to grow physically and emotionally and develop much needed skills.
  • OPPONENTS – no opposition filed.
Measure K6
CITY OF RICHMOND: AMENDMENT TO MEASURE E GENERAL FUNDS FOR YOUTH SERVICES

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

Shall the Charter of the City of Richmond, if amended by passage of the Kids First Initiative, be further amended to: revise the dates in the Kids First Initiative to reflect implementation on July 1, 2018, remove the 20% restriction on funding to public entities to perform the services specified in the Kids First Initiative, and provide that funding obligations beginning on July 1, 2021, are contingent on passage of a general tax measure for the City of Richmond?

Majority vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support amending the Kids First Initiative to make an effective date of July 1st, 2018 to be contingent on the passage of a general tax measure. It would remove the 20% restriction on funding to the Kids First Initiative.
  • A NO vote would be against general purpose revenues to be set aside for youth programs and services.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that children benefit from the extra services provided by the Kids First initiative.
  • OPPONENTS – no opposition filed.

3 “Measure J – City of Orinda.” Contra Costa County Elections, http://bit.ly/2GPNNas, Accessed 2 May 2018.
4 “Measure P – City of Pinole.” Contra Costa County Elections, http://bit.ly/2Lv6S5E, Accessed 2 May 2018.
5 “Measure E – City of Richmond.” Contra Costa County Elections, http://bit.ly/2sdGWCI, Accessed 2 May 2018.
6 “Measure K – City of Richmond.” Contra Costa County Elections, http://bit.ly/2IOS3sA, Accessed 2 May 2018.

Proposition B7
RESTRICTION ON BOARD AND COMMISSION MEMBERS SEEKING OFFICE

Recommendation: Oppose

Summary:

Shall the City require appointed members of boards and commissions established by the Charter to forfeit their appointed seat when they file to run for state or local elective office?

This measure requires 50%+1 affirmative votes to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support requiring board members or commissioners resign from their seats if they are running for state or local office.
  • A NO vote would be against requiring board members or commissioners resign from their seats if they are running for state or local office.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that Proposition B would work to combat potential corruption and special-interest influence. They say that commissioners and board members should not be voting on matters affecting the public while asking for political donations.
  • OPPONENTS say that Proposition B would limit qualified candidates who would be better prepared for entry into political office given their experience volunteering on government boards. They feel it is a disingenuous move for incumbents to limit their competition.
Proposition D8
SAN FRANCISCO COMMERCIAL RENT TAX FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS SERVICES

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

Shall the City impose a new gross receipts tax of 1.7% on revenues a business receives from leasing some commercial spaces in San Francisco, to fund homeless services, housing for extremely low- to middle-income households and for other public purposes? The bill is competing with Proposition C, as only one measure can be approved.

2/3 vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support authorizing funding low- and medium-income housing, homelessness services, and the general fund through an additional 1.7% tax on the lease of commercial property gross receipts.
  • A NO vote would be against authorizing funding low- and medium-income housing, homelessness services, and the general fund through an additional 1.7% tax on the lease of commercial property gross receipts.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say it would generate $70 million a year to support programs helping the homeless, low- and middle-income housing, and senior households. It exempts non-profits and small businesses.
  • OPPONENTS say it only adds one building a year to the affordable housing supply and is throwing money away. Some say that this proposition is disingenuous and was introduced to stand in the way of Proposition C, since only one can be implemented.
Proposition F9
CITY-FUNDED LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL TENANTS IN EVICTION LAWSUITS

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

Shall the City establish, fund and run a program to provide legal representation for all residential tenants in San Francisco facing eviction?

The measure would require the City to provide a legal assistance within 30 days after a tenant receives an eviction notice or a lawsuit seeking eviction. The lawyer would provide legal representation to the tenant until the notice is withdrawn or the lawsuit is resolved. The measure would not require the City to provide legal representation to tenants who reside in the same dwelling unit with their landlord.

The program would increase the City’s program costs by between approximately $4.2 million and approximately $5.6 million annually, and would likely grow.

This measure requires 50%+1 affirmative votes to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support the city funding legal representation for any residential tenant facing an eviction lawsuit.
  • A NO vote would be against the city funding legal representation for any residential tenant facing an eviction lawsuit.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that landlords have gone to court to evict about 40,000 San Francisco tenants from their homes over the last five years. While the landlords usually had lawyers, most tenants did not. A study by the Board of Supervisors’ Legislative & Budget Analyst found that 83% of tenants were unrepresented in court eviction cases.
  • OPPONENTS say that this proposition is poorly drafted and doesn’t come with any financial limit or track record. Counsel could be given to tenants who are abusive to others or destructive to property, and the landlords would have to be forced to cover their legal fees.10
Proposition G11
SAN FRANCISCO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT PARCEL TAX

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

Shall the City collect an annual tax of $298 per parcel for investment in education, subject to certain exemptions including those for senior citizens?

The proposed measure would authorize the City to collect an annual parcel tax of $298 per parcel of taxable real property beginning July 1, 2018 until June 30, 2038, adjusted annually for inflation. The revenue would increase salaries of teachers and paraeducators, and increase compensation or benefits of other school district employees. It would increase staffing and funding at high-needs schools, provide professional development, invest in technology, and fund charter schools. Oversight would be provided
to monitor how the School District is spending the parcel tax revenue. $50 million could be generated annually.

This measure requires 50%+1 affirmative votes to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support authorizing an annual parcel tax of $298 per parcel of taxable real property for 20 years to teachers’ salaries, increased staffing, training, technology, charter schools, and funding oversight.
  • A NO vote would be against authorizing an annual parcel tax of $298 per parcel of taxable real property for 20 years to teachers’ salaries, increased staffing, training, technology, charter schools, and funding oversight.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say it would generate $50 million a year to increase wages and help retain educators. An annual survey found that 60% of San Francisco teachers and 2/3 of its paraeducators struggle with housing insecurity.12
  • OPPONENTS say that San Francisco teachers are already paid more than teachers all over the Bay Area. The government is imposing more taxes on top of the other parcel taxes assessed.
Proposition H13
POLICY FOR THE USE OF TASERS BY SAN FRANCISCO POLICE OFFICERS

Recommendation: Oppose

Summary:

Shall the City set a policy for when police officers can use tasers and authorize the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to purchase tasers for all officers, subject to specific conditions?

This measure requires 50%+1 affirmative votes to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support authorization for the purchase of tasers for each SFPD officer and a policy for the use of tasers.
  • A NO vote would be against an authorization for the purchase of tasers for each SFPD officer and a policy for the use of tasers.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say that police officers need less lethal options available to them to control potentially dangerous confrontations. They claim it would reduce injury to community members and officers and would reduce officer-involved shootings.
  • OPPONENTS say that this is a special interest measure designed to bypass the Police Commission and Chief of Police in decision-making and oversight, making it very difficult to change any ineffective procedures and inappropriate policies. They say it would bypass the community reform process that receives input from diverse residents and groups. Proposition H would allow officers to use tasers without first employing lifesaving de-escalation techniques. One UCSF study found that in every California city that has introduced Tasers, the opposite is true. Shootings increased by 227% in the first year following Taser introduction. They averaged 127% per year increase after that.

7 Voter Information Pamphlet & Sample Ballot, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Elections, http://bit.ly/2LumHJu, Pages 85-89, Accessed 2 May 2018.
8 Voter Information Pamphlet & Sample Ballot, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Elections, http://bit.ly/2LumHJu, Pages 98-104, Accessed 2 May 2018.
9 Voter Information Pamphlet & Sample Ballot, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Elections, http://bit.ly/2LumHJu, Pages 110-117, Accessed 2 May 2018.
10 Board, Chronicle Editorial. “Editorial: San Francisco’s Housing Troubles Doesn’t Mean Every Tenant Gets a Free Lawyer.” San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Mar. 2018, http://bit.ly/2LuAwb3, Accessed 2 May 2018.
11 Voter Information Pamphlet & Sample Ballot, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Elections, http://bit.ly/2LumHJu, Pages 118-126, Accessed 2 May 2018.
12 Laura Waxmann on January 31, 2018 6:17 pm. “Parcel Tax Measure in June Could Raise SF Teachers Salaries.” The San Francisco Examiner, http://bit.ly/2s8kBHn, Accessed 2 May 2018.
13 Voter Information Pamphlet & Sample Ballot, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Elections, http://bit.ly/2LumHJu, Pages 126-136, Accessed 2 May 2018.

Measure A14
CITY OF SANTA CLARA: Charter Amendment – By-District Council Elections

Recommendation: Oppose

Summary:

Shall the City Charter be amended: to establish two districts starting in 2018 to be represented by three councilmembers each; and, when available, use ranked choice voting to allow voters to select candidates in order of choice to determine the winners of elections of all city elected officers?

Currently, council members are elected from the entire City at large and each candidate must state which seat they are running for.
If Measure A goes through, there would be two districts with three councilmembers representing each district and elected through ranked choice voting.

With ranked choice voting, a voter would rank up to three candidates in order of preference and votes are tallied in rounds using the preferences indicated by the voter.

Majority vote needed.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support dividing the city into two three-member city council districts and adopting ranked-choice voting for all municipal elections.
  • A NO vote would be against dividing the city into two three-member city council districts and adopting ranked-choice voting for all municipal elections.

Argument:

  • SUPPORTERS say that Measure A would allow for more even and reflective representation of candidates. Candidates will not have to run citywide and would make campaigns less expensive. Ranked choice voting allows for a vote of multiple candidates, not only one.
  • OPPONENTS say Measure A’s two “district” system will not empower voters, but is an attempt to avoid a lawsuit filed against the City of Santa Clara that found the City to be in violation of the California Voting Rights Act.15 Measure A will split the City of Santa Clara’s voting districts in half along El Camino Real. This could weaken the minority vote and threaten to disproportionately disenfranchise Asian Pacific Islander (API) voters, Latino voters, and seniors. The “single transferable vote form of ranked choice voting” is an overly complicated voting method that most people do not understand.16 The proposed drawing of a north-south boundary, coupled with ranked-choice voting, opens the door to spoiled votes and limited ballots. These factors – combined with inadequate resources for voter education – stand to continuously cripple the voice of minority communities in local elected representation.17
Measure G18
EAST SIDE UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT: PARCEL TAX

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

To support quality education for East Side Union High School District students, with funds that cannot be taken by the State, to maintain: 21st century science, technology, engineering, math, reading, writing instruction; college preparation; career/technical education in computers, arts, hands-on science, business; attract/retain high quality teachers, counselors, staff; shall the measure to levy $49 per parcel for seven years be adopted, raising $6 million annually, exempting senior citizens, requiring independent oversight, with all funds supporting classroom instruction?

2/3 vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support authorizing a parcel tax for seven years of $49 annually per parcel to fund East Side School District High School improvements.
  • A NO vote would be against authorizing a parcel tax for seven years of $49 annually per parcel to fund East Side School District High School improvements.

Argument:

  • SUPPORTERS say that the parcel tax will maintain 21st century instruction in key subjects, prepare students for college, and will help attract and retain high quality teachers.
  • OPPONENTS – no opposition filed.
Measure H19
CAMBRIAN SCHOOL DISTRICT: PARCEL TAX

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

To provide Cambrian neighborhood elementary and middle school students with stable funding for instruction in math, science, reading, engineering, technology, and arts; retain highly qualified teachers; and maintain class sizes; shall Cambrian School District establish an annual parcel tax of $84 for 8 years, its continuance subject to voter approval, raising approximately $740,000 in the first year, subject to annual adjustment; with exemptions for senior citizens, no funds for administrator’s salaries and every dollar benefitting Cambrian children?

2/3 vote needed to pass.

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support authorizing an $84 annual parcel tax for eight years to fund the Cambrian School District improvements.
  • A NO vote would be against authorizing an $84 annual parcel tax for eight years to fund the Cambrian School District improvements.

Argument:

  • SUPPORTERS – no support filed.
  • OPPONENTS – no opposition filed.

14 “Santa Clara, California, Measure A, By-District Council Elections and Ranked-Choice Voting Charter Amendment (June 2018).” Ballotpedia, http://bit.ly/2kpp18v, Accessed 2 May 2018.
15 DeRuy, Emily. “Santa Clara’s Current Voting System Isn’t Fair, Judge Says.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 16 May 2018, https://bayareane.ws/2kpDqS7, Accessed 25 May 2018.
16 Argument against Ballot Measure A, http://bit.ly/2J8fsst, Accessed 2 May 2018.
17 “Home.” Vote No on Measure A, noasantaclara.com/, Accessed 25 May 2018.
18 “East Side Union High School District, California, Measure G, Parcel Tax (June 2018).” Ballotpedia, http://bit.ly/2sev0R5, Accessed 2 May 2018.
19 “Cambrian School District, California, Measure H, Parcel Tax (June 2018).” Ballotpedia, http://bit.ly/2ILrWqP, Accessed 2 May 2018.

Measure Q20
HAPPY VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT: PARCEL TAX

Recommendation: Support

Summary:

To support academic excellence, maintain quality art and music programs, integrate modern technology into classrooms, retain high quality teachers and provide local funding that cannot be taken by the State, shall Happy Valley Elementary School District’s measure be adopted authorizing the levy of a parcel tax for six years at a rate of $99 per year raising $61,000 annually with an exemption for seniors and with annual citizens’ oversight?

What Your Vote Means:

  • A YES vote would support a parcel tax of $99 for six years annually to fund academic programs, instruction, and technology for the Happy Valley Elementary School District.
  • A NO vote would be against a parcel tax of $99 for six years annually to fund academic programs, instruction, and technology for the Happy Valley Elementary School District.

Arguments:

  • SUPPORTERS say this ballot measure would maintain small class sizes, attract and retain quality teaches, and maintain/expand music, art, and technology programs. All funds must be spent locally and cannot be taken by the State.
  • OPPONENTS – No opposition filed.

20 “Happy Valley Parcel Tax.” SC Sales Tax 6.18, http://bit.ly/2x8MjIS, Accessed 2 May 2018.