2 hours until it's officially ELECTION DAY 2008!! I cannot wait. Literally. I don't know when was the last time I was so antsy... People have already started voting in New Hampshire! EEEEEEEEE. I love how Election Day has kind of become like a holiday. It's a holiday the same way Big Game Day is a holiday- the sort of day where you KNOW something amazing can happen. I am so addicted to political blogs and youtube clips from the campaign trail that I don't know how I'll ever get to sleep tonight...
So to pass the time before I have to go to bed (early, to get up at 5am and make to Steve's by 6 for No on Prop 8 stuff), here is how I'm voting, or recommend YOU vote (in places I care about but am not registered, like back home), on a whole bunch of things. I'm sure no one will listen, but writing it out will help me think it all through, so deal.
PRESIDENT: Barack Obama
This one is one big fat DUH, for both anyone who's been reading this blog and for anyone who has ever met me. I have never cared so much about a politician or a campaign in my entire life. The only presidential debate I paid more attention to was the mock debate we held in 8th grade in 1996, when I was assigned to be Pat Choate, Ross Perot's running mate, and we won by claiming that the Reform Party supported gay marriage. To this day I have no idea if Perot supported gay marriage or not- my "running mate," Vicky Godfrey, and I just said it because it's what we believed and because we knew it would make us win the election at our liberal San Francisco elementary school. But I digress-- VOTE FOR OBAMA!! He's our only hope (yes, Star Wars reference intended).
SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT 5 SUPERVISOR: Owen O'Donnell
I don't know why my Uncle Owen didn't become a politician earlier, but he didn't, and the fact that he is trying to do so now is amazing and hopeful for San Francisco. He is one of the most articulate, passionate people I know, and he is running on a clearly defined platform of affordable housing, improving the quality of public education in San Francisco, developing environmentally friendly city programs, and improving the public transit system around the Bay Area. TO LEARN MORE, GO TO www.owenodonnell08.com and vote for my uncle!
CA STATE PROPOSITIONS:
PROP 1A: Yes!
How can you not like the idea of a $10 billion bond for a high-speed railway system in California? It would allow you to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two hours. TWO FRICKIN' HOURS. It would also take millions of cars off the road at any given time, clean the state's air, and encourage travel throughout the state. How can you go wrong?
PROP 2: Yes!
This is the "treatment of farm animals" proposition, and it basically says that farmers will be required to house their food-producing animals humanely, so that they are able to turn around and sit down and stand up at will. The main two arguments against this prop are that a) it will mean more eggs and such will come from out of state, or (gasp!) Mexico, and b) it will mean food costs a little more. And by "a little more" I mean like $.02 more. People also say that the proposition doesn't take the humane treatment far enough and that we should be doing more for farm animals, which I completely agree with, but I do think that this is a start, and we have to start somewhere.
PROP 3: Yes!
Children's Hospitals. 'Nuff said.
PROP 4: NO NO NO NO!
Didn't we JUST vote on this same initiative 3 years ago? And also 2 years ago? Uh, yes. It's already been decided. This is the load of crap that wants to require parental notification and some sort of waiting period for minors who are pregnant before they can have an abortion. The issues with it should be obvious: not all minors who might get pregnant have loving, supportive parental units at home to help them through this trying time and are just happy to be able to take care of their daughters. This proposition is utter bullshit and will put more teenaged girls in danger of being thrown out of their homes or disowned than it will help make a decision about pregnancy. You want to stop teenage pregnancy, why don't you start funding more comprehensive sex education in the public school system? THAT is a win-win solution.
PROP 5: Yes!
Increased alternatives for drug treatment and taking the burden off the jail system for rehabilitation of non-violent drug crimes. Sounds good to me.
PROP 6: No!
I don't know much about this one, but I don't like the whole "denying illegal immigrants the right to bail" thing that comes with it. The whole thing seems like it will only perpetuate an already delinquent criminal justice system by jailing kids who are 14 and up and are convicted of crimes related to gang violence. Yuck. At that age a kid is still impressionable- why lock him up and refuse to let him change?
PROP 7: No!
Long story short, this prop has good intentions but is written so badly that it provides endless loopholes regarding clean energy laws, and in the end will actually hurt California. It will effectively close most of the small energy providers in the state. Also, if the Sierra Club says it's bad for the environment, you know it's actually bad for the environment.
PROP 8: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
This is one of the closest races in the country: the proposition that seeks to ban same-sex marriage in the California Constitution. WHY? WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE WHO LOVE EACH OTHER MAKING IT OFFICIAL? I legitimately don't understand people who are afraid gay people getting married will somehow affect the way in which straight people marry each other. It is utterly beyond my comprehension. I get that some people disapprove of the gay lifestyle, and while that is idiotic, I know that it's going to take a long time for everyone's mind to be changed (it's like the Civil Rights movement all over again). What I DON'T get is that they think banning gay marriage will somehow make all the gay people disappear. Do they really think that? How ridiculous can people get? The worst part about this whole issue (well, other than the denial of basic human rights) is my own inability to argue against the point The Other Side makes when they say "marriage is between a man and a woman." I mean, NO IT IS NOT, marriage is between TWO PEOPLE WHO LOVE EACH OTHER, but how do you explain that to someone who is so stuck on their definition of the word "marriage?" (Can you tell I've had this conversation a couple times??) So yeah, NO ON PROP 8-- IT IS UNFAIR AND WRONG.
PROP 9: No
I don't know much about this one either, but it seems to say that an unlimited number of victims and their families can attend a criminal's parole hearing. While I don't necessarily side with the criminals here, it seems like a huge victim-presence could sway the decision of a judge or parole board, and this is never a good thing.
PROP 10: No!
Financial incentives for alternative vehicles that run on a fuel that is not the right direction to go in terms of renewable energy? No thank you. I don't know if this was actually written by the natural gas companies or not, but I don't think natural gas cars are the ONLY way to go for alternative vehicles, and if there are financial incentives, they should be for all kinds of alternative vehicles that reduce emissions.
PROP 11: Yes
I didn't really have an opinion on this until Steve told me about it, and it's still a lot of mumbojumbo, but basically it has to do with redistricting and it's good.
PROP 12: Yes
Housing for Iraq and Afghanistan vets. I think this prop helps them with mortgages and stuff. I don't really know how this will play out given the current subprime mortgage crisis or whatever it is, and the crappy housing market, I don't think it's a bad idea. They've served in two horrible wars that should not have happened in the first place- least we can do is help them find somewhere to live.
More on San Francisco and LA city props when I get back from Sean's house in a little bit.