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A Local Voter’s Guide for L.A. County Elections

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This November, Californians will vote on 12 statewide propositions. The measures span a wide range of issues: race, medicine, property taxes, data privacy — and yes, even Postmates.

Some ballot initiatives are repeat attempts of propositions that failed in past years, while others try to engage with the country’s recent reckoning over racism. For more information on the origins of certain propositions and their backers, check out the ballot guides compiled by CalMatters, the L.A. Times and California’s secretary of state.

To review hyper-local measures appearing at the city level, visit L.A. County’s complete ballot measure list.

Prop. 14: Fund Stem Cell Research

Authorizes borrowing $5.5 billion in state bonds to fund grants for stem cell research, which would be distributed to various educational, nonprofit and private entities by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a state entity created by a $3 billion ballot measure 16 years ago. If approved, California will eventually pay off $7.8 billion total, $5.5 billion being principal and $2.3 billion in interest.

  • Supporters: Californians for Stem Cell Research, Treatments & Cures and Robert N. Klein II, real estate investor and stem cell research advocate.
  • Opposers: Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, and the editorial boards of the Orange County Register, Bakersfield Californian and Mercury News & East Bay Times.

Prop. 15: Increase Property Taxes for Commercial Landlords to Fund Schools and Local Government Services

Repeals the property tax protections established for commercial landlords in 1978 by Prop. 13. Rather than maintaining a cap on taxes, this proposition would require that commercial and industrial property owners pay taxes based on current market value, resulting in an estimated $6.5 billion to $12.5 billion per year in revenue allocated to public schools, community colleges and local government services. Residential property taxes would remain unaffected, and these new rules would be gradually phased in over three years.

  • Supporters: Schools and Communities First (also known as Yes on 15) and various Democratic politicians, California school districts and political advocacy organizations.
  • Opposers: Stop Higher Property Taxes and Save Prop 13 (also known as No on Prop 15), Republican senator Ted Gaines and various chambers of commerce.

Prop. 16: Repeal a Ban on Affirmative Action

Repeals a 1996 measure, Prop. 206, which banned state schools and public agencies from taking race, ethnicity and gender into consideration in admission or hiring decisions.

  • Supporters: The Opportunity for All Coalition, (also known as Yes on Prop 16), Democratic Assemblymember Shirley Weber, the Equal Justice Society, Chinese for Affirmative Action, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and various Democratic politicians.
  • Opposers: Californians for Equal Rights (also known as No on 16), businessman Ward Connerly and various Republican politicians.

Prop. 17: Allow People on Parole the Right to Vote

Removes restrictions that prevent California parolees — currently about 40,000 people who are not in prison — from voting.

  • Supporters: Free the Vote CA (also known as Yes on Prop 17) and various Democratic politicians.
  • Opposers: Republican senator Jim Nielsen.

Prop. 18: Allow 17-Year-Olds to Vote in Primaries if They Turn 18 by the General Election

Allows 17-year-old U.S. citizens to vote in a primary or special election if they will turn 18 years old by the general election.

  • Supporters: Democratic politicians Kevin Mullin and Alex Padilla and the California Association of Student Councils.
  • Opposers: The Election Integrity Project California.

Prop. 19: Allow Older Homeowners to Transfer Their Property Tax Base to a New Home

Lets homeowners who are 55 or older, disabled or victims of a natural disaster to transfer their property tax base to a newly-purchased home. This proposition would also prevent home inheritors from keeping the same low property taxes that their predecessors paid. Most of the funding gained from this measure will be allocated to fund wildfire firefighting efforts.

  • Supporters: The Yes on 19 committee, the California Association of Realtors Issues Mobilization PAC and the National Association of Realtors.
  • Opposers: The editorial boards of the Orange County Register, Bakersfield Californian and Mercury News & East Bay Times.

Prop. 20: Increase Punishments for Parole Violations and Property Crimes

Partially undoes Prop. 47, passed in 2014, and Prop. 57, passed in 2016, which reduced sentences for nonviolent offenses. Instead, this proposition would toughen up the penalties for those who violate their parole, allow prosecutors to charge certain theft-related crimes as felonies, exclude those convicted of domestic violence and certain nonviolent crimes from early parole and expand the scope of DNA testing, among other crime-related policy changes.

  • Supporters: Keep California Safe, Democratic Assemblymember Jim Cooper, Republican Assemblymember Vince Fong and various sheriff and police unions.
  • Opposers: Former Democratic governor Jerry Brown, SEIU California State Council and the ACLU of Northern California.

Prop. 21: Allow Cities to Enact Rent Control on Residential Properties

Allows local governments to establish new rent control laws affecting properties that are at least 15 years old. This proposition is an amended version of the 2018 rent-control ballot measure, Prop. 10.

  • Supporters: Renters and Homeowners United to Keep Families in Their Homes (also known as Yes on 21), the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the California Democratic Party and various political advocacy organizations.
  • Opposers: Californians for Responsible Housing (also known as No on Prop 21) and various trade worker unions, real estate corporations and chambers of commerce.

Prop. 22: Categorize App-Based Ride-Hail and Delivery Drivers as Independent Contractors

Designates drivers for app-based services — such as Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart — as independent contractors rather than employees. Companies would be exempt from providing drivers with the minimum wage, overtime, and worker’s compensation protections that employees typically receive. Instead, drivers would receive alternative benefits, such as minimum compensation based on driving time and a health insurance stipend.

  • Supporters: DoorDash, Lyft, Uber, Instacart, Postmates, Yes on 22 - Save App-based Jobs & Services and various sheriff and police unions and chambers of commerce.
  • Opposers: No on Prop 22, various Democratic politicians and labor unions.

Prop. 23: Increase Staffing Requirements at Kidney Dialysis Clinics

Requires that every kidney dialysis clinic has at least one physician on-site during all treatments. This proposition also requires clinics to report their infection data to government officials, acquire approval before closing or reducing their services and bar discrimination against patients on the basis of payment method.

  • Supporters: Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection and SEIU-UHW West.
  • Opposers: Stop the Dangerous & Costly Dialysis Proposition.

Prop. 24: Expand Consumers’ Data Privacy Laws

Strengthens the data protections created by the 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act by allowing consumers to prevent businesses from sharing their personal information and request that businesses delete their data entirely.

  • Supporters: Californians for Consumer Privacy and real estate developer and investor Alastair Mactaggart.
  • Opposers: California Consumer and Privacy Advocates Against Prop 24 (also known as No on Prop 24), the ACLU of California and various political advocacy organizations.

Prop. 25: Eliminate Cash Bail

Lets voters approve or reject a 2018 state law that abolishes cash bail in California, which is the practice of allowing people to pay to avoid jail time as they await trial. Instead, judges would decide on whether a person can be released before their trial based on factors such as public safety or flight risk.

  • Supporters: Yes on Prop 25, various Democratic politicians, the California Teachers Association and the SEIU California State Council.
  • Opposers: No on Prop 25 (also known as Californians Against the Reckless Bail Scheme) and various bail organizations and chambers of commerce.

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