Next month are national elections that go beyond voting for who occupies the presidential office of this nation. We also vote for legislators and law propositions, which if approved, will become law. This year, 17 proposals appear on the ballot. Several of them have a strong impact on society, regardless of whether we are Democrats, Republicans or Independents, our immigration and economic status, or our ethnicity.
Several community leaders, like Angelica Salas of CHIRLA (The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles), and others have said that for Latinos there are especially important propositions—55, 56, 57 and 58—because they focus on investing more money in schools; additional taxes for Tobacco; reform on the judicial system that sentences youth, and bilingual education. While for the Catholic church, these are extremely important for all of society; propositions 62 and 66, related to the death penalty. A “Yes” to Proposition 62 would implement a law that would end the death penalty, and convert the sentence to life imprisonment without parole. While a “No” on Proposition 66, would not limit the appeal process and accelerate the execution of those condemned to die.
The following is a summary of the other props: Proposed Law 51—Authorizes a $9 million loan for public schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade, and community colleges. Proposed Law 52—Indefinitely extends an existing law which imposed taxes to hospitals for services funded through Medi-Cal. Proposed Law 55—Increases taxes for people with incomes over $250,000 a year. The money raised would be invested in schools from kindergarten through grade 12, community colleges and Medi-Cal. Proposed Law Allows 56—Taxes increase cigarette prices, with the purpose of financing health care, Tobacco use prevention, research and implementation of the law. Proposed Law 57—Changes the laws on parole for individuals with non-violent offenses, and requires that young people have a hearing with a judge before a penalty is imposed. Proposed Law 58—Authorizes school districts to establish bilingual immersion programs by persons whose primary language is that in which they teach, and not another. Proposed Law Imposes 61—Price controls on state medical drug purchases. Proposed Law 62—Replaces the death penalty punishment with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Proposed Law 63—Establishes new restrictions to buy weapons. Proposed Law 64—Legalizes marijuana to be used only by those over 21 years. Authorizes new judgment and destruction of records of previous convictions for marijuana use. Proposed Law 66—Speeds up the death penalty process. Proposed 67—Continues the act that bans plastic bags for individual use.
Voting is your right to decide what you want to happen in your life, and that of your loved ones. Do not waste it.