Tuesday will be an exciting day in our house, especially for those of us more politically inclined. I kept my voter registration in California and voted absentee, mainly because of my strong feelings about Proposition 8. Otherwise I would have re-registered here in Texas to try to make it just a little more liberal. A poll last week found that 23% of Texans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. This is a scary country.
I'll take this opportunity to share how I voted. (Deciding how to vote was a long involved process involving many hours on the phone asking my sister to look things up online and tell me what to do.)
President: Barack Obama
Barack Obama is not my ideal presidential candidate, but he's far better than John McCain for sure. He's too moderate for me, but any presidential candidate with a chance of winning would have to be (for now, at least). And as Democrats go, he's really pretty good. He's a great speaker and has inspired a whole lot of people to take interest in politics and recognize their own power to make change. If he doesn't win, a certain roommate is likely to start breaking things and lighting them on fire, so we're all crossing our fingers here.
Vice President: Joe Biden
I honestly don't know a lot about him, but I do know he voted against giving money to the Salvadoran government in the '80's (which is a very good thing), and he would make an incredible president in comparison to Sarah Palin. Also, the ballot didn't give me a choice whether or not I was going to vote for him if I was going to vote for Obama.
U.S. Representative, 9th District: Barbara Lee
Barbara Lee speaks for me! She's not perfect, but she was the lone voice in Congress voting against funding the war in Afghanistan after 9/11, and I give her major props for that. Also, the other choices are a Republican and a Libertarian, and you know that's not going to happen.
State Senator, 9th District: Loni Hancock
I almost voted for Marsha Feinland, the Peace and Freedom candidate, but after I made my sister read what Hancock has accomplished, I decided to stick with her. She may be part of the establishment in Berkeley ("the establishment" always being a negative thing, of course), but when you're the establishment in Berkeley, you're very progressive by everyone else's standards.
Member of the State Assembly, 14th District: Nancy Skinner
Superior Court Judge, Office 9: Dennis Hayashi
I actually could have gone either way on this, but Hayashi's bio was more impressive to me. I really like his emphasis on civil rights.
City of Berkeley Mayor: Zachary Running Wolf
I chose the write-in candidate because I don't particularly like Tom Bates or Shirley Dean. Running Wolf might not actually make a good mayor, but this is a symbolic protest vote. I met him this summer, and he's a cool guy, though a bit extreme.
Berkeley City Council, District 2: Darryl Moore
I don't know a lot about Moore, but he seems good and better than the guy running against him.
Rent Stabilization Board Commissioners: Clydis Ruth Rogers, Judy E. Shelton, Nicole Drake, Igor Tregub, and Jesse Townley
School Directors: John T. Selawsky and Toya L. Groves
AC Transit District Director, At Large: H.E. Christian (Chris) Peeples
I almost didn't vote for him because I really don't like the weird Belgian-designed buses they have now.
Bart Director, District 7: Lynette Sweet
East Bay Regional Park District Director, Ward 1: Whitney Dotson
Proposition 1A: Yes
I hesitated about this one because it's a whole lot of money, but it would be so cool to have a high speed train to LA.
Proposition 2: Yes
Let the chickens turn around in a circle! This will not give us bird flu.
Proposition 3: Yes
I really like health care for children, and the arguments in favor convinced me.
Proposition 4: No
I actually thought a long time about this. I believe in reducing abortions as much as possible, but I'm afraid this proposition would do more harm than good.
Proposition 5: Yes
I was a little unsure about this because the arguments against it make it seem pretty scary, but our prison system is really bad, and a focus on rehabilitation is very important.
Proposition 6: No
Proposition 7: No
Also not good.
Proposition 8: NO!!!
I am very passionately in opposition to this proposition. As I mentioned above, it's the reason I kept my voter registration in California. I'm usually really good at understanding people's points of view, even if I disagree with them. In general, I see complexity and get that issues aren't black and white. However, I have yet to hear any real, legitimate argument against gay marriage. The only arguments I give any recognition to are the religiously based ones - I strongly disagree with these, but I respect the right to believe them (as long as you don't turn them into hateful actions, which I do not respect). But religious arguments have no place in a state proposition. Under the law, we are all equal. By denying same-sex couples the right to marry, we are turning them into second-class citizens. You may say that they can get the same legal protections through state-recognized civil unions, but even if that were the case, refusing to use the word "marriage" says that the nature of the relationship and partnership is in some way different and lesser than that of a straight couple. You may personally believe that is the case, but the government has no right to say that. Gay marriage does not destroy "traditional" marriage. Gay marriage *strengthens* the institution of marriage because it means there will be more loving couples formally and legally committing themselves to each other. Gay marriage creates more stability and is good for children because they can be raised in the committed environment of a marriage. If anything is destroying marriage in this country, it is divorce. If you pay attention to one thing in this blog post, let it be this: VOTE NO ON PROP 8!
Proposition 9: No
This seems like a bad idea.
Proposition 10: No
This is also a bad idea.
Proposition 11: No
I went back and forth about this, but eventually the arguments against it convinced me. I do think that the redistricting process should be changed, I'm just not sure this is the right way to do it.
Proposition 12: Yes
I'm all about helping veterans have homes and farms.
City of Berkeley Measures
Measure FF: Yes
I love libraries.
Measure GG: Yes
I also like fire stations.
Measure HH: Yes
Measure II: Yes
Measure JJ: Yes
I'm impressed that there's no argument against this.
Measure KK: No
I had mixed feelings about this because I would like a say in whether a street becomes bus-only, but it seems like this measure could hold up some positive progress, and the impartial description says that it's "not clear whether the voter approval requirement of the ordinance is lawful because it conflicts with California Vehicle Code," so I decided to vote no.
Measure LL: ???
I didn't vote on this measure because I couldn't even figure out what it would do, let alone whether it was a good idea. If anyone wants to explain it to me, please do.
Yes on VV and WW.
If you are a San Francisco voter, please vote no on K, which would keep SF law enforcement from investigating sex trafficking, among other things.