The CN&R recommends …
Our picks for the Nov. 6 election
The Nov. 6 ballot is packed with important contests, from the local to the federal level. The CN&R editorial board has done its homework to make the following endorsements. Note: We are not weighing in on every race. As always, we urge voters to research candidates and issues and come to their own conclusions.
Chico City Council: Rich Ober, Scott Huber and Alex Brown
This election is a pivotal one for Chico. Will the progressives take control of the council and return civil discourse to the level that existed prior to the conservative takeover four years ago? Will they mandate police officers receive additional training to peacefully interact with people with mental health issues? Will they be given a chance to install policies that address the root causes of homelessness? Each of the candidates listed above is committed to those efforts and has the right skillset to carry them out.
Huber and Ober, for example, have experience in the public sphere—on the Chico Unified School District board of trustees and Bidwell Park and Playground Commission, respectively. Huber has immersed himself in the homelessness debate and Ober brings to the table years of experience as a member of the Torres Community Shelter’s board of directors. Meanwhile, Brown, who holds a master’s degree in social work, has a background in crisis counseling. Her relative youth and connections with the LGBTQ community will bring much-needed diversity to the panel.
All are smart, articulate and open-minded. They have the temperament and willingness to serve all constituents—regardless of politics or economic status—and seek out best practices and data-driven approaches rather than the knee-jerk ideological reactions that have divided the community of late.
Measure S (term limits): No
It would mandate a two-year hiatus for Chico City Council members elected to three consecutive terms. The idea is that it will bring “fresh blood” to the council. Our question: at what cost? Historical knowledge and wisdom gained from experience are key to effective government. Moreover, taking away voters’ choice is fundamentally anti-democratic. The conservatives wasted taxpayer money putting this on the ballot.
Governor: Gavin Newsom
Our choice is less an endorsement of the current lieutenant governor and more a rejection of his challenger. Republican John Cox has spent nearly two decades in the Midwest waging failed efforts to become a high-ranking public official. The change of scenery doesn’t change the fact that he’s not qualified for the job.
Prop. 1 ($4 billion affordable housing bond): Yes. We need additional housing now, especially for low-income residents. This is one tool to get us there, and a quarter of the funding is earmarked for veterans.
Prop. 2 (mental health money for housing): Yes. Allows $2 billion to be borrowed for use on supportive housing for mentally ill individuals with repayment from revenues collected via the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act.
Prop. 3 ($8.9 billion water bond): No. We approved a water bond during the June primary that pays for water systems, state parks and conservation. This one, however, calls on taxpayers to pay for regional water conveyance systems used by big ag. Our take: Private industry is benefiting and should foot the bill.
Prop. 4 ($1.5 billion for children’s hospitals): Yes. Funds upgrades at public and private nonprofit hospitals that treat children—most of them run through the University of California campuses. These facilities provide a critical service to ailing kids, especially those with special needs who are enrolled in state programs, such as Medi-Cal, which provides abysmal reimbursement rates.
Prop. 5 (portable Prop. 13): No. Allows older and disabled homeowners to keep their lower property tax rate no matter how many times and where they move in the state. Championed as a way to address the housing crisis, what it really does is serve its backing group, the California Association of Realtors, whose members stand to make beaucoup bucks in commissions.
Prop. 6 (gas and vehicle tax repeal): No. Repealing the lawmaker-enacted fuel tax and vehicle fees means California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure—from highways to bridges to local streets—would not get the maintenance it desperately needs.
Prop. 7 (daylight saving time): Yes. Puts Californians closer to getting rid of that antiquated time tradition. The goal is to switch to daylight saving time year-round. However, that effort hinges on congressional approval, so this is just the first step.
Prop. 8 (dialysis clinic profit pruning): Yes. This one pits unions against two major dialysis companies raking in enormous profits from private insurers. There’s a complex gambit at play here, and the end result is increased insurance rates and insurers pulling out of health care exchanges. The measure would cap the companies’ revenues.
Prop. 10 (expanded rent control): Yes. We’re in a housing crisis that has resulted in tens of thousands of Californians living on the streets. This measure would repeal a law that widely prohibited rent control. It allows cities to take up the issue, but does not mandate policies.
Prop. 11 (paramedic break time): Yes. Makes a special exception in the labor code for private company EMTs and paramedics that requires them to remain on call during paid breaks, as a matter of public safety. This has long been the case, but a recent state Supreme Court ruling put companies at risk of lawsuits.
Prop. 12 (farm animal welfare): Yes. Mandates that eggs sold in the state are produced by cage-free hens, starting in 2022. Additionally, mandates sales of veal and pork products are from animals that were not confined.
Congressional District 1: Audrey Denney. Smart, capable, resilient. Denney is true blue, and we don’t mean she’s a Democrat. We mean she has the best interests of the North State’s residents at heart and is not under the thumb of corporate interests. That cannot be said of the incumbent.