Propositions and Measures for Consideration

The following Propositions and Local Ballot Measures are up for consideration for endorsement by membership on October 16, 2014. Provided below are quick summaries of the initiatives and measures. For further information and analysis, consult the California Secretary of State’s website for state ballot initiatives here, and the Alameda County Registrar of Voters for local ballot measures here. Only Members in Good Standing may vote in this meeting. Please see the Constitution or contact VP of Membership Anthony Barros (membership@caldems.com) if you would like to determine your standing.

State Ballot Initiatives: 

Proposition 1: Water Bond. Proposition 1 is a ballot initiative placed by the legislature that asks for the authorization of $7.1 billion in bonds that would provide funding for statewide water supply infrastructure projects, such as surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration; drinking water protection; water supply management; water recycling and advance water treatment technology; and flood control. Appropriate money from the General Fund to pay off bonds, which would be paid off over the next 40 years; or roughly a 1/3 of a percent of the state’s current General Fund budget ($360 million annually).

Proposition 47: Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute. Proposition 47 is a state ballot initiative that would reduce certain drug possession sentences from felonies to misdemeanors. Would also reduce crime sentences from felonies to misdemeanors in cases in which amount involved is $950 or less (petty theft, forging/writing bad checks, etc.). However, allows for felony sentences if individual has previous convictions for high level crimes such as rape, murder, etc or is registered as a sex offender. Prop 47 would also require resentencing for individuals serving felony sentences for these offenses. Net state savings would amount into the low hundreds of dollars; savings would be required to be appropriated to mental health and drug treatment programs, school truancy and dropout prevention, and “crime victim services” (this is done by creating a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund, that is funded by savings identified in the General Fund).

Local Ballot Measures:

Measure D: Measure D is a Berkeley ballot measure that, if approved, would impose a 1 cent per ounce tax on the distribution of sugar-sweetended beverages and sweeteners used to sweeten such drinks; exempts: sweeteners used by the consumer, drinks distributed to very small retailers (those with less than $100,000 in annual gross receipts), diet drinks, milk products, 100% juice, baby formula, alcohol, or drinks taken for medical purposes.

Measure P: Measure P is a Berkeley ballot measure, if approved, would call for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would abolish the legal concept that corporations are persons entitled to constitutional rights, and the doctrine that the expenditure of money may be treated as speech.

Measure R: Measure R is a Berkeley ballot measure , if approved, would amend existing Zoning Ordinance provisions for downtown Berkeley. Would establish new requirements for new buildings over 60 feet; eliminate current historic resource determination for Green Pathway projects; establish a Civic Center Historic District overlay; amend LEED requirements, parking requirements for new buildings; restrict permitted building uses; reduce hours of operation for businesses selling/serving alcohol.

Measure S: Measure S is a Berkeley ballot measure that, if approved, would approve the redistricting ordinance that was adopted by the City Council, which would allow it to go into effect. Rejecting the ballot measure would require Council to adopt a new redistricting ordinance, leaving in place the existing districts that were adopted in 2002 until it does so. Under the considered ordinance, population deviation between districts is less than 1%; current districts have a population divination between 4.5% and 18%.

Measure BB: Measure BB is a County of Alameda ballot measure that, if approved, would authorize the implementation of 30 year transportation expenditure plan that would: “expand and modernize” BART in Alameda County; improve transit connections; fix road, highway infrastructure while improving bicycle and pedestrian safety; reduce traffic congestion; maintain low, affordable senior, student and disabled transit fares. Would extend the existing county sales tax (of 0.5 percent), and would augment it by 0.5 percent, for a new total of 1 percent that would expire March 31, 2045. Requires 2/3rd approval from voters as required by state constitution.