Nearly 200 Arrested Following Anti-Trump Protest in Downtown L.A.

November 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Around 185 protesters were in custody Friday following another round of protests over Donald J. Trump’s election in downtown Los Angeles, police said.

While most protesters on Thursday were regarded as peaceful by police, officers gave dispersal orders to an aggressive group that refused to budge from the area around Olympic Boulevard and Olive Street around midnight, said Los Angeles police Officer Tony Im.

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

Thursday night’s protests, which extended into the Friday morning hours, prompted Metro to detour some buses off Spring Street.

There were no reports of protesters hurling items at officers Thursday night, unlike the night before, but one officer was assaulted and hospitalized and his condition was not immediately available, said LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman. The suspect who assaulted the officer was also hospitalized, she said.

No other injuries were reported.

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

Eisenman said there were reports of vandalism and graffiti in downtown but did not specify where.

Thirty protesters were arrested 24 hours earlier early Thursday, when hundreds shut down portions of the Hollywood (101) Freeway in unrest that began Wednesday night. The number of protesters late Thursday night was about a third of Wednesday’s 3,000.

Some high school students took to the Hollywood Freeway near downtown Los Angeles again about 3 p.m. Thursday, causing lane closures before officers were able to clear them off.

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

(Photo by Fred Zermeno)

Hundreds of protesters gathered again in the evening and marched from City Hall to Staples Center and back, being joined along the way by a contingent from USC, where protests took place earlier in the day. A protest was also held at UCLA.

“We’re here to protect everybody’s right to free speech but not when it impedes everyone else and not when it puts people in harm’s way,” said LAPD Public Information Director Josh Rubenstein.

In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti said the right to free expression is “one of our greatest privileges as Americans,” but added that unlawful, dangerous behavior won’t be tolerated.

Southeast L.A. County Leaders React to Election

November 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By the time the polling booths closed Tuesday in California, Southeast Los Angeles County residents attending a “Bad Hombres and Nasty Women” election night party were already glued to their phones and TV screens, anxiously watching the electoral votes tally up against their candidate, Hillary Clinton.

The tongue-in-cheek event, hosted by Democrat Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia at The Bicycle Casino Hotel in Bell Gardens, was supposed to be a victory celebration, after all, almost all the polls earlier in the day had signaled victory for Clinton. Instead, a Donald Trump piñata sat untouched at the bar and a solemn mood persisted throughout the night.

At a Democratic "victory party' at The Bicycle Casino Tuesday, Hillary Clinton supporter Evamarie Balderas watches in disbelief as numbers fall into the win column for Donald Trump. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

At a Democratic “victory party’ at The Bicycle Casino Tuesday, Hillary Clinton supporter Evamarie Balderas watches in disbelief as numbers fall into the win column for Donald Trump. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Garcia kicked off the evening by asking attendees to stay focused and hopeful, despite Trump’s early lead.

“Irrespective of what happens we must show unity,” she told the crowd.

Yet, as the clock moved closer to midnight and projections for key battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Iowa brought Trump closer to the 270 electoral votes he needed to secure the election, the bar got busier as attendees struggled with disbelief.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” one person said.

“How did it get like this,” asked another in shock.

The local elected officials, campaign strategists and residents tried to do the math and tally the numbers, hoping for a Hail Mary victory for Clinton, but it was increasingly clear the night would not end as they’d hoped, and the impact would be far-reaching.

“This is a wake up call for our community and for our state,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard told the crowd as Trump’s lead continued to grow Tuesday. (EGP Photo by Nancy Martinez)

“This is a wake up call for our community and for our state,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard told the crowd as Trump’s lead continued to grow Tuesday. (EGP Photo by Nancy Martinez)

“Even if she wins, it’s very disappointing that someone who has dishonored our culture, insulted every minority, talked [disparagingly] about immigrants – and in spite of all that, so many people supported him …even Latinos,” a dismayed Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard told EGP .

The cloud from the presidential race made it difficult for elected officials at the event to celebrate their own victories: Garcia was reelected to serve the 58th District, Sen. Ricardo Lara will contine to serve the 33th District, Rep. Linda Sanchez, chair of the Hispanic Caucus, will once again represent District 38 in Congress and Roybal-Allard, the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress easily held on to her seat in the 40th District.

“This is a wake up call for our community and for our state,” Roybal-Allard told the crowd as Trump’s lead continued to grow. “Take tonight, regardless of turnout and use it as a foundation for building awareness, strengthening our community and being proud of being American.”

Rep. Linda Sanchez speaks to room full of Democrats Tuesday at the "Bad Hombres and Nasty Women" election night party in Bell Gardens. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Rep. Linda Sanchez speaks to room full of Democrats Tuesday at the “Bad Hombres and Nasty Women” election night party in Bell Gardens. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

In the early hours of the morning, business mogul and TV personality, and now President-Elect Donald Trump would rule the night, beating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, receiving 279 electoral votes to Clinton’s 228. Clinton was ahead in the popular vote.

Excerpts from EGP’s Election Night interviews:

Senator Ricardo Lara on electing more “nasty women and bad hombres:”

“We’re used to fighting,” he said. “We’re looking to elect more women and Latinos to state legislator.”

Rep. Linda Sanchez on being proud of California Democrats:

While campaigning in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona there were always “busloads of California Democrats [trying] to help turn those states blue,” she told the large crowd of Democrats. “As we’re still waiting for election results I know I did everything in my power before November to bring it home for Hillary Clinton.”

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard on Hillary Clinton’s Challenges:

“Part of what happened was the press and FBI Director [James] Comey,” she told EGP. “It was hard to recover from misinformation that was out; the FBI really undermined the election.”

On the U.S. Senate Race: “Its kind of sad that in the most Latino state we didn’t elect the Latina,” she said. “Southern California will not have reps in Washington.”

On Prop 64: “Given what’s happened in Colorado and facts from reputable, proven science that have shown marijuana negatively impacts the brain, there is just not enough research and safety regulations in place.”

On a Trump Presidency: “The reality is if Donald Trump wins the election I don’t know if he will follow through on what he promised like the wall and getting rid of immigrants,” she told EGP. “Everything is up in the air.”

Senator Tony Mendoza on what election means for State: “California will not change one bit, it stands alone and is trendsetter,” he said. “We have to set the example, nationwide we still need a lot of work to do.”

“Next session we have a lot of untouched issues, many that revolve around transportation.”

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia on increasing the number of women and minorities in the State Legislature: “I made a commitment to uplift other women,” she told EGP. “For women and women of color the work starts today to make sure our country looks more like California.”

On Prop 64: “There needs to be a change in the system,” she said. “My community is more likely get in trouble.”

Commerce Mayor Ivan Altamirano on Measure M:

“If it passes I’m hoping it will create a win-win and we can all sit at the table and start to fix our neighborhoods,” he told EGP. “In a way the repair of the 5 freeway was the main concern for Commerce, the expansion of the freeway needs to happen right, not 20 years from now.

Montebello Unified School Board Member Joanne Flores on Prop 51: “It will help us with funding tremendously,” she told EGP. “It will compliment funds we already have from our local bond that passed.”

Trump Win Stuns Dem-Centric L.A.

November 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Republican Donald Trump’s victory in Tuesday’s presidential election left some local Hillary Clinton supporters stunned, but Democratic elected officials tried to maintain a positive attitude as they looked to the future.

“Let me just speak for a moment from my heart, because I know for a lot of people tonight, your heart is heavy,” Mayor Eric Garcetti told Clinton supporters in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night. “I know it is in the little girls who I talked to this morning who joined their mothers and fathers at the ballot box to try to change history. I know it’s in the faces and the conversations I’ve had with immigrants, who are so fearful about their future in this America.

“Let me tell you, America is in this room tonight. Our America is right here. We’re an America that says each one of us has worth,” Garcetti said.

“We’re an America that doesn’t ask you where you come from or what your religion is. We’re an America that doesn’t degrade you or insult you.”

trump-pence

Garcetti said he and other Democrats who supported Clinton “will stand up for who we are and what this campaign has represented” and show that “we can come together across those divisions.”

City Councilman Paul Koretz said Trump’s victory gave him pause.

“I’ll have to take a deep breath and think about what things will be like for a city in a Trump administration,” he said.

He called the prospect of a Trump presidency “pretty frightening,” but said he was encouraged that voters backed a $1.2 billion bond for homelessness and were narrowly approving another half-cent tax for transit and transportation projects.

“I think that’s particularly important because I don’t think the federal government is going to be giving us a lot of help, so we need to be self-reliant,” he said. “And that’s what these initiatives are about.

“… It would certainly be better to get the federal help that we were hoping for too, but it makes these measures more important than ever,” Koretz said. “I think if we knew that we were going to wind up with a Trump administration, I think more people would have even voted for (Measures) M and HHH.”

Sue Dunlap, CEO of the Los Angeles chapter of Planned Parenthood, an organization that has been criticized by Trump and other Republicans, told Clinton supporters that Tuesday’s election results simply means they need to “roll our sleeves up and keep on working.”

“At Planned Parenthood, we know what it is to work hard,” she said.
“We know that we don’t win and lose, but that we stand up each and every day and do hard work.”

Elizabeth Peterson, a 53-year-old Clinton campaign volunteer who works as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking students at Fontana High School, said Trump’s victory caught her off guard.

“We’re volunteers, and we started very early, so we were working very hard for months, so to see this — I mean this morning I was talking to people in North Carolina and Michigan and everything looked very good,” she said.

“… This is a surprise. It’s really, really sad.”

She said Trump’s victory raises questions about the future of her students.

“I work in a high school in a low-income area and I know that there are a lot of my students who don’t have legal status, and they’re ready to go to college, and now I’m thinking ahead — What is going to happen to them next year?” she said. “Where are they going to be, now that their government is going to have their information, their family’s information? What is going to happen to them?”

Trump Surpasses Clinton by One Point in Polls

November 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Donald Trump is one point ahead of his campaign rival for the presidency of the United States, Hillary Clinton, according to a new poll published Nov. 1, a week ahead of Election Day.

The survey released by the Washington Post and ABC News gives Trump the lead with 46% versus Clinton’s 45% support.

Of the 1,128 probable voters surveyed by phone between October 27th-30th, 3% said they support Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 2% were for the Green Party’s candidate Jill Stein.

This is the first time, since last May, that Trump has ranked higher than the former secretary of state in the poll periodically shared amongst the media outlets.

In a similar survey conducted over the past weekend, the roles were switched, with 46% of the support declared for Clinton and 45% for Trump.

Just a little over a week ago, the former First Lady possessed a 12-point lead over Trump (50% versus 38%).

A “strong enthusiasm” was also expressed towards Trump by 53% of those surveyed versus 45% who felt the same towards Clinton.

Among those surveyed, 21% identified as early voters and 24% said they plan to mail in their votes. The rest said they to plan to vote in person November 8.

According to RealClear Politics, an analysis of all the polls throughout the country, Clinton had a 2.2 lead over Trump as of Nov. 1.

Trump resorted to celebrating the findings on Twitter.

“Wow, now leading in ABC/Washington Post Poll 46 to 45. Gone up 12 points in two weeks, mostly before the Crooked Hillary blow-up!,” he wrote alluding to the new chapter in Clinton’s email investigation.

The former first lady has been under pressure since last Friday when the FBI announced a reopening of the investigation regarding her use of a private email server from 2009-2013 while Secretary of State, after discovering new evidence on one of her top aides’ former husband’s computer.

The FBI’s ‘October Surprise’

November 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

With just five days to go until the Presidential Election, we are surprised that the “October Surprise” candidates fear is coming from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and specifically from FBI Director James Comey who in a letter light in details to Congress just 11 days before the election stated that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails had been restarted. Comey wrote that the FBI had become aware of more emails “that appeared to be pertinent to the investigation.”

No other information was initially released leading to wild speculation about what the emails contained. Trump and other Republicans used the news to claim Comey’s letter is proof that the emails contain evidence of wrong doing by Clinton.

It has since been learned that the emails were found on a laptop computer shared by longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her former husband Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation in an unrelated case. But there is no information as to what those emails contain, proving that if a lie is continually repeated people will after a while believe it’s true.

Comey is being criticized by both Democratic and Republican members of Congress and former attorneys general who say his action is paramount to meddling in the election.

Nonetheless, Trump’s constant assertions that Hillary is a liar has been a way for him to deflect attention from his own pervasive habit of lying.

We guess that Trump’s practice of throwing mud at the walls to see what sticks has inured voters to such an extent that folks no longer question his outlandish remarks, such as Putin being his friend and that he knew him well, but  later admitting he’s never met the Russian president. Or that he can’t release his tax returns because he’s been audited; there’s nothing in the IRS rules that prohibit him from releasing the returns.

Both Trump and his surrogates claim he donated millions to charity. There’s little evidence to support the claim and what evidence there is shows he used money from his charitable foundation to pay for a portrait of himself.

When the video of him saying he had admitted to groping and sexually assaulting women, and they let him do it and liked it was released, he called it “locker room talk” that men engage in, and denied ever acting on his boasts. When dozens of women came forward to say he had lied and they were victims of his assaults, he called them liars and threatened to sue them: we bet he never does.

The list of Trump’s lies and innuendoes could fill an entire newspaper, so our take is that Trump is the bigger liar.

Trump claims to be the only one who can save the economy, but gives few details, only saying he will bring jobs lost to other countries back. But his claims fail to take into account the U.S. manufacturing industry’s greater reliance on technology to do jobs once done by humans, or that there’s not much incentive by manufacturers to fire their robots.

Giving U.S. corporations large tax breaks will add to the country’s deficit, so it’s hard to understand how that will help the economy.

As for Trump being the best person to protect the U.S. from its enemies, particularly Muslim radicals, we don’t see it happening with a man who shows little understanding or knowledge of geopolitics, and whose fall back position is that he knows more than the country’s top generals. Really?

And let’s not forget his plan to do away with Obamacare, to repeal it as soon as he takes office.

People should ask if more people have insurance since the law was passed, if their coverage is cheaper or more expensive, and if they have pre-existing conditions, would they be able to get insurance coverage if Obama Care is done away with?

So, yes, Hillary Clinton has made mistakes. There are questions about her emails, but there is no foundation for the accusations of criminality and absent of that evidence, there is nothing to disqualify her from being president.

We strongly object to Trump’s statements that if elected he will investigate and “jail” his opponent. Its something we would expect from Russia’s Putin or Syria’s Assad, or the Philippines’ Duterte, not from the person who proposes to run a free and democratic country.

The Worst Thing That Could Come Out of the Election: ‘Latinos Didn’t Vote’

October 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

For more than thirty-five years, we at EGP have been driven to nearly pulling our hair out when we hear politicians and the media say, “Latinos don’t vote.”

This election cycle, many political observers, statisticians and pollsters have pointed out that Latinos can play a major role as decision makers, not only in California, but throughout the U.S. Their population numbers and the numbers of Latinos registered voters are large enough to merit substantial influence in the Presidential Election and down ballot races for candidates and on ballot measures.

Over the last few days, however, we are again hearing rumblings that Latino voters may not turn out in states where they believe Hillary Clinton has already clinched the election. If true, this is very bad news.

On Wednesday, according to the polls, the race for president in Florida has tightened, and GOP nominee Donald Trump is leading Clinton by 2 percentage points.

Our point is that the election is not over until the last vote is counted and so it just isn’t smart for voters to skip voting.

That’s doubly true for Latinos who have been under attack by Trump during this election, and now have the opportunity to flex their muscles at the ballot box.

If politicians believe Latinos will not stand up and show up at the ballot box, and   Latinos prove them right, they’ll believe they have no reason to fear continuing to ignore and disenfranchise this large segment of the population.

Latinos finally have an opportunity to show that they can and will swing an election and must turn out in large numbers to prove the point.

It’s nail-biting time here at EGP as we look towards November 8.

On November 9, let’s make sure we don’t hear those dreaded words: “Latinos didn’t vote.”

As Trump Conjures the Voter Fraud Boogeyman, Voter Suppression is the Real Issue

October 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

New America Media – As Donald Trump roams the country encouraging hatred of immigrants and distrust of the election process, in many places it’s immigrants and minorities who have reason to worry about being blocked from the polls.

November 8th will be the first presidential election since the 2013 Shelby v. Holder Supreme Court decision, which did away with provisions of the Voting Rights Act that protected minority voters from discriminatory practices at the polls.

The Shelby decision has been part of a more general trend toward voter suppression across the country since 2010, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. One of the most common measures is imposing strict requirements for voter ID. Restrictions on voting tend to disproportionately affect not only immigrants and people of color, but also young people and students, seniors, low-income people, and people with prior felony convictions.

According to the Brennan Center, just this year – 2016 – 14 states have put new laws into effect that restrict voting. And in the past six years, the states most likely to create new policies suppressing votes are ones that had the highest rates of African American turnout in the 2008 election that put President Obama in office, and ones that had the highest rates of Latino population growth between 2000 and 2010.

In addition to state-sanctioned measures, though, says Judith Browne Dianis, the executive director of The Advancement Project, “The other concern that we have for this election cycle is that we may see anti-democracy vigilantes being engaged in erecting barriers to the ballot.”

“The Trump campaign and other lawmakers at state and local levels have repeatedly lodged false claims about voter fraud that they say is widespread, and the Trump campaign has gone even further, calling for aggressive poll-watching,” she says. “There’s this continuing narrative of conjuring up the boogeyman who is going to steal an election.” Dianis spoke in a telebriefing organized by The Media Consortium.

Advocates are most concerned about places where the scaremongering around voter fraud intersects with anti-immigrant rhetoric and a backlash against people of color.

In Georgia, for example, there’s been a trend toward “precinct closings and precinct consolidations in predominantly black communities” that makes it harder for people to register to vote, according to Nse Ufot, the executive director of the New Georgia Project. The closures often happen “under the pretense of saving money.” For voting rights advocates, working against the tide is difficult because “each County Board of Elections is essentially run as a fiefdom.”

For immigrants in Florida, according to Maria Rodriguez, the executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, “There is a systematic exclusion from the voting process and from democracy.” Florida has nearly a million undocumented immigrants, who
are disenfranchised despite being “the backbone of agriculture and tourism.”

Additionally, Rodriguez says, among the state’s legal permanent residents, there’s currently a 66,000-case naturalization backlog “of people who had hoped to become eligible to vote in this election.” They will not be able to.

The news is not all dark, however. The New Georgia Project alone has registered more than 100,000 voters this year. In July, a federal court ruled against North Carolina’s strict voter ID law, stating that it “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision.” In August, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe restored voting rights to 13,000 people with felony convictions (after attempting, earlier in the year, to restore voting rights to 200,000 felons).

California, with its longtime Democratic legislature, has undertaken an abundance of measures over the past ten years to increase its voter rolls, including online registration and vote-by-mail. And in California, a third of new voters are Latino.

Indeed, in a broader sense, minority voters have more power than ever before. According to Pew Research Center, nearly 1 in 3 eligible voters in the upcoming election will be a member of a minority group, and minorities account for more than 40 percent of newly eligible voters born in the United States. In swing states, where margins are thin, the impact of ethnic voters is gaining importance. With the nation’s changing demographics, the tide will continue to turn.

 

Clinton’s Lead Over Trump Growing, Survey Says

October 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Hillary Clinton holds an 11-point lead over her Republican rival for president, Donald Trump, according to a survey published October 11 by The Atlantic in partnership with PRRI.

According to the survey, likely voters favor Clinton by 49% compared to 38% for Trump.

Only two weeks ago, the same survey showed a tie between Clinton and Trump, with each standing at about 43% among voters most likely to show up at the polls.

But Clinton’s lead has been going up steadily since the first debate between the candidates in Hempstead, New York, on Sept. 26, when her lead grew six points (47%-41%),

In the aftermath of the release of a scandalous video last Friday showing Trump engaged in a lewd conversation about women, Clinton now leads Trump by 11 points, according to The Atlantic survey.

A big part of the change is being attributed to the flip within independent voters, the survey shows.

A week ago, Trump held an advantage of eight points over Clinton, (44%-36%) among voters without a party affiliation; however, among independents likely to vote, 44% now favor Clinton compared to 33% who favor the Republican candidate.

Also contributing to the shift, according to the survey, is the lack of growth in the number of white women without college degrees who support Trump, which is now at a draw with Clinton’s at 40% of likely voters.

This is especially telling about the split among Republicans, since conservative candidates usually win the support of this demographic by a large margin; in 2004 George W. Bush led by 19 points, John McCain led by 18 points in 2008, and in 2012, Mitt Romney’s led by 20 points.

Trump is still holding strong among male voters, with 65% compared to Clinton’s 22% among white males without a college degree, and 46% verses 39% for Clinton among those with a college degree.

“In a moment in which Trump needs to expand his support, this new survey shows his decline of support within independent voters and his fallout among women. Even if the white evangelicals continue to support the candidate, that enthusiasm on its own won’t be enough on Election Day,” PRRI’s Director Robert P. Jones said.

The website Real Clear Politics compares election survey results and has Clinton leading Trump by 6.5% (48.1% to 41.6%).

The survey’s results were based on telephone interviews conducted through a partnership between the Atlantic and PRRI between October 5 and 9 and were among a sample of 1.327 adults with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.

 

EGP Ballot Recommendations – Nov. 8 General Election

October 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

There’s a lot at stake in the November General Election, from the election of a new U.S. President and U.S. Senator from California, U.S. House of Representatives and members of the State Assembly. There are also
17 State, two L.A. County, one Community College District and four City of Los Angeles measures on the ballot. It’s a lot to keep track of and it’s easy to understand how some voters could feel overwhelmed.

But if ever there was a time to not sit out an election, this is it. There are billions of dollars and major shifts in crime policy at stake, all with potential long-term impacts to our economy and way of life.

 

Clinton for President

EGP endorsed Hillary Clinton for President during the June Primary Election and our support of her candidacy is even stronger today.

In June, we noted that her credentials as a former U.S. Senator and former Secretary of State and even her role as the country’s First Lady have made her the most qualified in the race for this country’s highest office. That hasn’t changed.

The mean-spirited, hateful, misogynist bullying by her Republican challenger Donald Trump is of deep concern to us. We believe that he has repeatedly failed to demonstrate the type of self-control and temperament needed to gain cooperation by other elected officials here at home and on the world stage.

In our view, a vote for Trump could be a vote for further deterioration of our political process, killing any chance of his achieving any of the vague policies goals he claims to have.

We are impressed by Clinton’s agreeing to examine and fix areas of the Affordable Care Act that are not working well, and her understanding of the fragile state of international affairs.

 

Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senator

As we stated in our Primary Election endorsement of Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate, her years of experience in the House of Representatives make her the most qualified candidate to replace Barbara Boxer.

In the currently charged, politically polarizing environment, it is especially noteworthy that her colleagues in the Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, have during this election stood up to support her candidacy because of her hard work ethic, ability to work in a bi-partisan way to get things done, and her extensive knowledge in key areas like the Armed Services.

We said we were disappointed by the early anointing by state Democrats of her opponent State Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, and that still stands.

We find statements that Latinos will get their chance when Sen. Feinstein retires unsettling. They remind us of all the times Latino candidates for office have been told to step back, “it’s not your turn yet.”

They’re wrong. It is time. Vote for Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate

 

Statewide Ballot Measures

Proposition 51 – Vote No

The School Bonds. Funding for K–12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statute would authorize $9 billion in general obligation bonds for new construction and modernization of K–12 public school facilities; charter schools and vocational education facilities; and California Community Colleges facilities.

It is EGP’s first inclination to say yes to any Proposition that provides funding for schools and colleges. But the fact is that the need to construct new K-12 schools is declining along with enrollment. What this measure really does is secure billions of dollars for developers and contractors at a cost of $17.6 billion to taxpayers: $9 billion for the principal and $8.6 billion on top of the $2.7 billions were already on the hook for bonds approved in the past.

The cost of new spending should be done at the local level to meet local needs. Cities can require developers to pick up the slack for school funding, something they have been spared from doing as long as state bond funds are available.

 

Proposition 52 – Vote Yes

The Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program Initiative permanantly extends the fee imposed on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal services. It’s true hospitals in California will get back the fees they paid, but the added matching funds from the federal government increases the funds available to provide patient care to Medi-Cal patients and the uninsured that would otherwise be lost.

The funding that hospitals are paid for the services in question are among the lowest in the nation and should probably be raised to insure adequate hospital services for all Californians.

Proposition 52 is a win for the State, and a hedge against the ever increasing cost of health care.

 

Proposition 53 – Vote No

The California Voter Approval Requirement for Revenue Bonds above $2 Billion Initiative is unnecessary as far as we are concerned. Voters expect their elected officials to decide what funds for local projects are needed and adding another constitutional amendment will only complicate matters for local jurisdictions.

The measure is poorly reasoned and written, and will add unnecessary delays to an already slow process.

 

Proposition 54 – Vote Yes

The last minute bargaining that goes on in the Legislature often winds up with the inclusion of untold numbers of items into legislation that the public has no time to vet.

In an effort to provide greater transparency, this proposition calls for the posting of any bill or changes to a bill on the Internet 72 hours prior to a final vote. It also authorizes use of recordings of all public meetings of the Legislature to be posted online for the public to review.

This proposition requires no new tax money, but it will certainly expand the public’s right to know what its elected officials are doing, and the ability to voice their opposition, or for that matter, their support, to legislative action.

Proposition 56 – Vote Yes

Increasing cigarette taxes by $2 per pack and taxing other tobacco related products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine, as this measure proposes, will help reduce the number of smokers in the state, and recoup some of the high cost of treating smoking-related illnesses.

We believe that increasing the cost of the new smoking sensation, electronic cigarettes, among our young people will cut their use.

Revenues raised will be used to increase service reimbursements to doctors, pay for smoking prevention programs and healthcare by the very people who need and use the services the most. California can no longer afford to pick up the tab for the damages caused to public health and our environment by smoking, let alone the cost of providing health services to those addicted to nicotine.

Just 5 Days Left to Register or Switch Party Preference

May 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The turbulent presidential primary season has generated larger than usual interest among California voters in the presidential campaign, but some eligible voters could find themselves shut out of the process if they fail to register to vote for the party of their choice by the 11:59 p.m., May 23 deadline.

Thousands of Californians who believe they are independent voters, meaning they have no political party preference or decline to state a preference, may have mistakenly registered for the ultraconservative American Independent Party, according to an LA Times investigative report.

To be considered “independent,” a voter would have had to check the “no preference” box on the voter registration form, which lists six parties — American Independent, Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian and Peace and Freedom — along with the “other” and “no preference” designations.

As many as half a million people in the state are members of the American Independent Party, but according to the Times’ analysis, 3 in 4 people they surveyed, or about 73% said they registered for the party by mistake.

Started back in 1964 to support segregation, today AIP’s platform denounces same-sex marriage, opposes abortion and supports building a wall around the entire county.

Volunteers register voters Wednesday at Lincoln Heights Farmers Market. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Volunteers register voters Wednesday at Lincoln Heights Farmers Market. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

The word “independent” in AIP’s name may have confused some voters into thinking they were registering as independents and not for a particular party.

Earlier this month, state election officials reported that 43 percent of California’s 17.2 million voters registered as Democrats, 28 percent as Republicans and 24 percent stated “no party preference.”

While in state races the two top finishers regardless of party affiliation move on to the general election, presidential primaries follow a different set of voting rules that could leave some voters empty handed on Election Day.

On the Democratic side, only registered Democrats and those who checked off “no party preference” will be able to cast a vote for either Secretary Hillary Clinton or Senator Bernie Sanders. The Republicans only allow registered Republicans to vote in their presidential contest.

People who wish to register to vote or switch party affiliations in time for the June 7 primary election have just five more days to do so, according to Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan.

Residents can apply online — or check their registration status — by visiting www.lavote.net. Registration forms are also available at libraries, post offices and most government buildings, and they can be mailed in or dropped off at 12400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk.
Election materials are also available in Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai or Vietnamese by calling (800) 481-8683.

The election will feature races for president, Congress, Legislature and some city posts.

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