Heal the Bay’s 2016 Voter Guide
September 16, 2016 — There’s a record-breaking number of propositions on California’s general election ballot this year. We created this voter guide to help make your trip to the polls as painless as possible. On November 8 (or earlier, if you’re voting by mail), cast your votes with confidence and remember to Vote Blue!
Proposition 67: A vote to uphold the ban on single-use plastic carryout bags in California.
The issue: California became the first state in the nation in 2014 to enact plastic bag ban legislation through SB 270, which prohibits grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies from distributing single-use plastic bags, and requires stores to charge a minimum of 10 cents for paper bags. The plastics industry has spent more than $6 million in attempt to overturn California’s plastic bag ban by delaying its implementation by placing this item on the November ballot.
The stakes: Designed for minutes of use, plastic bags do not break down in the environment, and pose a large threat to aquatic life. Over 663 species of marine life have been impacted by ingestion of or entanglement in plastic pollution. By 2050, scientists project that plastic pollution will outweigh fish in our oceans. These lightweight plastic bags also blight our communities and are costly to clean-up. California spends up to $107 million each year managing plastic bag litter.
Our recommendation: Cast your ballot for cleaner beaches and neighborhoods. Vote YES.
Proposition 65: A rival measure to Prop 67 funded by Big Plastic.
The issue: Prop 65 will deliver little for the environment. It was placed on the ballot by out-of-state plastic bag companies who keep interfering with California’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution. Prop 65 is designed to distract from the environmental priority of defending the state’s plastic bag ban. All Prop 65 would do is direct money from the sale of paper bags to a vaguely defined environmental fund administered by the state.
The stakes: The sole purpose of Prop 65 is to confuse voters. It would only serve the interests of plastic bag companies and would distract from phasing out plastic bags entirely. Prop 65 also fuels the tired paper vs. plastic debate. The real issue is reducing the overall use of single-use bags – be they paper or plastic.
Our recommendation: Prop 65 is a smoke screen. Vote NO.
Measure A*: Safe, clean neighborhood parks and beaches measure of 2016.
The issue: Measure A asks voters to continue their support for local parks, beaches, open space, and water resources by approving an annual parcel tax of 1.5 cents per square foot of development. If approved, the estimated tax for the owner of a 1,500 square foot home will be $22.50 per year, and will be included on the annual property tax bill. Generating approximately $94 million per year for our local parks, beaches, and open space areas, Measure A will replace expiring dedicated funding from the voter-approved Propositions A of 1992 and 1996.
The stakes: For more than 20 years, our communities have relied on local, voter-approved funding from the Los Angeles County Safe Neighborhood Parks Acts of 1992 and 1996 (Proposition A) to protect and maintain our neighborhood parks, outdoor areas and water resources. However, funding from the 1992 Proposition A ended in 2015 and funding from the 1996 Proposition will end in 2019.
Our recommendation: Updating park infrastructure makes our region more resilient. Vote YES.
Ballot Measure CW**: Funding support for stormwater capture and reuse projects in Culver City.
The issue: Cities in LA County are required by the Regional Water Quality Control Board to manage pollution from urban runoff flowing through their systems. However, since stormwater services, unlike our other essential utilities, have minimal and in some cases no fees to support them, funding for fulfilling these requirements falls far short of the need. Culver City’s ballot measure would establish fees on property owners to support the stormwater projects the City is required by regulation to complete.
The stakes: Urban runoff is the number one source of pollution to our rivers, lakes and ocean. In addition, losing that volume, which can reach millions of gallons even on a dry day throughout LA County, to the ocean is a wasted opportunity that we can’t afford, especially in the midst of a drought. The proposed fee would support projects that would reduce urban runoff pollution from reaching our waterways, and where possible capture and reuse that water.
Our recommendation: Support cleaner waterways and more local water supply. Vote YES.
*Los Angeles County voters only.
**Culver City voters only.
Got election questions? Not sure when/where/how/if to vote? Visit the Secretary of State’s election FAQ page.