Edie and Janet’s November 2014 Voter Guide

Well, my friends, it’s that time again!
This year I haven’t been able to follow all the many issues very closely from North of the border, so I’m very grateful to my mom, Janet Cox, for doing a lot of the heavy lifting on this. She hosted a party at her house to hash out all the issues with friends and neighbors, and these are their results. I’ve added and edited a few comments, and am happy to expand on anything, but I’m keeping it short because the ballot is so long.
Whatever you do, please do vote! Unless of course you’re happy with the state of your city, your state, the country and the world exactly as it is.
And if you have any time to do local GOTV or phone into key Senate races next weekend, my mom is hosting a big GOTV walk and phone bank next Saturday from 12-6pm! And I’ll be there! Let me know if you want the details for that.
Governor — Jerry Brown
Lieutenant Governor — Gavin Newsom
Secretary of State — Alex Padilla
Controller — BETTY YEE!
A personal mentor of mine and progressive champion, utterly qualified, and going up against the only Republican with a chance at statewide office in CA.
Treasurer — John Chiang
Attorney General — Kamala Harris
Insurance Commissioner — Dave Jones
State Board of Equalization, 2nd District — Fiona Ma
13th Congressional District — Barbara Yee
Assembly District 15 — TONY THURMOND!
Tony and Elizabeth will vote the same on 99% of legislation, so it comes down to character, leadership, policy focus, and style. Knowing both of them personally, I’m going with Tony. Also it’s time we had someone from Richmond in this seat.Echols’ attempts to tie Tony Thurmond to “Big Oil” etc. are completely disingenuous. “Alliance for California’s Tomorrow” is a PAC not affiliated with Tony’s campaign and forbidden by law from coordinating with any campaign. Tony has stood up to Chevron in Richmond and will continue to be a champion for environmental justice in the Assembly. Here’s more background on that.
Judicial candidates: We refer you to Oakland City Councilman Dan Kalb’s endorsements for State Supreme Court:
Goodwin Leu
Mariano-Florentino Cuellar
We don’t have enough information about the other judicial candidates to make a recommendation. Read your ballot books or blank these races!
Superintendent of Public Instruction — Tom Torlakson
Marshall Tuck is all about charter schools. His own website brags about it. That’s a complicated issue but I don’t want to speed the privatization of public schools. 
Alameda County Superintendent of Schools — Karen Monroe
AC Transit Director, at large — Dollene C. Jones
This is an “anybody but Joel Young” vote. He is the embarrassing incumbent.
BART Board, District 4 — Robert Raburn
Marguerite would tip the balance of the EBMUD board to enlightenment and conservation. She is supported by her future colleagues, my friends Andy Katz and Doug Linney, and everybody else I trust.
Ballot measures
Prop 1: The Water Bond
A tough call. Most of the folks at my mom’s party decided to vote no, and after reading some more analysis, I am too. This HuffPost piece by the Pacific Institute was helpful to help me decide. There’s a lot of potential in this expensive bond, but not a lot of guarantees that it will actually be used well.
Pros: This may be the only bond money for water projects we see from this liberal a legislature for a while; some of the things it will accomplish are indeed necessary; the measure excludes funding for “the tunnels.”
Cons: It really doesn’t do anything for the Delta, other than possibly shoring up some levees; arguments that it will address the drought are disingenuous as what we need is rain and snow, not new infrastructure. It could fund the creation of more dams, which is not the way to go. Only 1% going for conservation and efficiency, only 9% going to help “disadvantaged communities.”
Prop 2: The Rainy Day Fund
Another hard one. The group was split, my mom and I are voting yes.
Pros: The consequences for state government of the late budget crunches, with furloughs, etc., were horrible, and horribly damaging. You have to give the governor some credit for trying to put in place a long-term solution to a long-term problem (i.e., California’s horrible post-Prop 13 revenue profile). This could help.
Cons: This is too prescriptive, and it would be better if the legislature had the guts to put money aside instead of punting to the voters.
Prop 45: Healthcare Insurance. Rate Changes — Yes
Prop 46: Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits. — No
We support raising the cap on medical negligence lawsuits (not increased since 1975), but the bathwater surrounding this baby is just too toxic. 
Prop 47: Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties — Yes
Prop 48: Indian Gaming Compacts — No
Alameda County Measure BB, Transportation Expenditure Plan — Yes
Alameda County Measure N Oakland high school student support — parcel tax with low income and senior exemptions — Yes
City of Oakland Measure Z Police , fire, emergency response services, continued parking tax surcharge and parcel tax — Yes
City of Oakland Measure CC, Public Ethics Commission support — Yes
City of Oakland Measure DD, independent redistricting committee for Council districts — Yes
City of Oakland Measure EE, administrative cleanup of pension system — Yes
City of Oakland FF, increase minimum wage to $12.25, require more employer accountability — Hell Yes!
This has actually been shown to strengthen economies and create jobs. Plus, duh.
Oakland Mayor: Edie’s #1 is Courtney Ruby, or choose your own adventure.

For more info about the candidates, see http://www.oakmayor2014.com/.
This is a really personal choice, and I’m not convinced that my answer is the right answer. I am still open to persuasion about #s 2 and 3, but I’m pretty sure about voting Courtney Ruby #1.
I think what city hall needs right now is a great manager, and a leader. Courtney turned around the failing Auditor’s office and turned it into one that wins awards. I know that she is a great boss, she has integrity and character. As Auditor, she’s full of ideas about how to run the city more effectively and efficiently. I’ve heard she’s down in the polls, but the great thing about Ranked Choice Voting is it allows you to vote your conscience without “throwing away” you vote.
I THINK I’m voting for 1) Courtney Ruby and 2) Libby Schaaf, and 3) Jean Quan
Oakland City Council District 2: Abel Guillen, my dear friend! Can’t wait to have him on the council.
Oakland City Council District 4: Annie Campbell Washington
Oakland City Auditor: Brenda Roberts
Mostly because Len Raphael is a loose cannon and a gadfly, running for yet another municipal election to play out his political vendettas. Though Brenda has experience and a more level-headed approach, she changed her party registration from Republican to Democrat on the day she filed her papers to run. So I’m holding my nose and wishing Courtney could keep the job.

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