2020 Election Briefs | KALW

2020 Election Briefs

Here's a quick guide to your Bay Area ballot, covering all statewide propositions and county measures in digestible 2-minute summaries.

This election season, we're focusing on areas with historically low-voter turnout. Residents of these neighborhoods — East Palo Alto, Fairfield, Richmond, West Oakland, and San Francisco's Bayview-Hunter’s Point — can find every measure on your ballot by clicking on your city below:
East Palo Alto Fairfield | Oakland | Richmond | San Francisco

You can also see measures listed by county:
AlamedaContra CostaSan Francisco | San Mateo | Santa Clara | Solano | Sonoma

You can find every California proposition here

Alan Turkus, Flickr Creative Commons

Oakland Measure RR asks voters to remove a $1,000 limit on fines received for violating ordinances. This includes rules against misdemeanors like illegal dumping, vandalism, and excessive noise.

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Right now in Oakland, you have to be 18 years old to vote in a school board election. Measure QQ would give the City Council the power to allow 16 and 17 year-olds to vote in them. To be clear, they don’t have to allow it, but they could. 

By Flickr user Wayne Hsieh / used under CC / resized and cropped

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

 

Berkeley Measure KK would change four things in the city charter. Let’s take them one at a time. 

 

Wikimedia Commons

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Berkeley Measure JJ would do many things, but the main one is this: it would give Berkeley’s mayor and city councilmembers a big raise. The mayor would get over $107,000 per year and councilmembers would get $67,000. That’s 75% more than they make now.

888bailbond / Flickr Creative Commons

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Berkeley was an early adopter of citizen oversight of its police force. It established a Police Review Commission in 1973, well before Oakland and San Francisco.

But after nearly fifty years, proponents of Measure II say the commission is outdated, lacks power, and lags behind other progressive reforms found around the Bay Area.

Paul Sullivan / Flikr Creative Commons

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Alameda County Measure X is a bond measure that would authorize the Alameda County Fire Department to take out a $90 million loan to repair and replace some of its outdated fire stations. 

Sharon Hahn Darlin / Flickr Creative Commons

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

Alameda County Measure W is 0.5% increase on sales tax for the next 10 years, to fund services for homeless people across Alameda County.

Chris Hunkeler / Creative Commons

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

Measure V seeks to renew a tax on utility bills paid by households in several of Alameda County's unincorporated areas.

AidanHowe / pixabay.com

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

San Jose’s Measure H aims to generate about $15 million annually by increasing taxes at the city’s two card rooms.

Srishti Sethi / Wikimedia Commons

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Santa Clara County Measure T is a $24 parcel tax designed to raise funds to protect and preserve natural open spaces in the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority district. This covers the eastern foothills of Santa Clara County, south of the US-101 corridor. The tax would apply to real estate in the cities of San Jose, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell, Morgan Hill, and the unincorporated portions of the county. It requires a supermajority to pass and would generate almost $8 million each year for projects in those areas. 

 

Schmiebel / Creative Commons

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Santa Clara County Measure S asks voters to renew the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. This program was originally passed overwhelmingly in 2012 by voters of Santa Clara County. 

Wikimedia Commons

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

San Mateo measures Y and R are related measures that regulate housing and development throughout San Mateo County. 

by Peter Kaminski, used under CC BY 2.0

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

San Mateo Measure V would raise the hotel room tax in East Palo Alto. Every year, the proceeds would go toward improving affordable housing.

Flickr User Albert / Creative Commons

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

 

Measure RR would add a 0.125% sales tax on Caltrain fares for the next 30 years. In regular times, Caltrain estimates this would bring in $100 million dollars annually for the financially struggling transit service.

Jericho / Wikimedia Commons, used under CC BY 3.0 / cropped

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

San Francisco Measure L is more popularly known as the “overpaid executive tax.”

Here’s how it would work: Starting in 2022, if a San Francisco-based company’s highest-paid employee makes between 100 to 200 times the median salary of the company's local workforce, then the city would levy a point one percent fee of the company’s total revenues.

Dllu / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4. / cropped

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Measure K would authorize San Francisco to develop and own up to 10,000 units of affordable rental housing. Its supporters call it a “green light for social housing.” That means housing for a mix of income groups, owned or financed by the government.  But Measure K is just an authorization: a separate citywide measure would need to pass in order to provide the funding. That’s Proposition I.

Jeff Troth / Flickr Creative Commons

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

Measure J is a $288 parcel tax designed to raise funds for teacher salaries and school improvements. It would apply to all taxable real estate in the city though there is an exemption for seniors over 65. The Controller’s Office says the measure could generate almost $50 million a year. 

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

Measure I proposes to double property tax rates for properties sold at more than $10 million. San Francisco’s Accounting Office estimates this could increase annual revenues by an average of $196 million, but that could fluctuate significantly. 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Measure H is called the Save our Small Businesses Initiative. This prop intends to assist small businesses in San Francisco by making it easier for them to open and operate.

Pexels.com

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

Measure G proposes to amend San Francisco’s voter age requirement for local elections, allowing 16 and 17-year olds to vote on municipal measures. It would not affect voting eligibility for state or national ballot measures. 

KP Tripathi / Creative Commons

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

 

Local government leaders are aiming to soften COVID-19’s blow to the economy by overhauling the city’s tax structure.

BY TORBAKHOPPER / LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

If passed, Measure E would allow San Francisco to make changes to the number of full-time police officers on its force.

Urban

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since the story was originally published, San Francisco's Office of the Controller increased the estimated annual cost of creating the Inspector General's Office from $1.4-$1.8 million up to $2-$2.5 million.

Earlier this year, George Floyd’s killing while in police custody prompted greater focus on police oversight and accountability nationwide. Here in San Francisco, Measure D aims to investigate misconduct within the Sheriff’s Department. 

Dennis Jarvis / Creative Commons

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

San Francisco Measure C would allow any San Francisco resident of legal voting age — at least 18 years old — to become a member of a board, commission, and advisory body. 

FLICKR USER D COETZEE / CREATIVE COMMONS

 

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Currently, San Francisco does not have a department solely dedicated to keeping its streets and public areas clean. Those responsibilities are currently part of the Public Works department. Measure B proposes splitting off some of public works’ responsibilities into a new department of sanitation and streets.

 

Flickr User Vitor Pamplona

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

San Francisco Measure A is a proposal that takes on three major issues: To address homelessness, enhance parks, open spaces and recreation facilities, and improve street conditions.

Flickr User Doran / Flickr


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all

Currently, California uses a cash bail system, for those awaiting trial in jail. But, many advocacy groups have long criticized cash bail, arguing it targets low income people who aren’t able to pay these bonds. In 2016, California Senator Robert Hertzberg introduced Senate Bill 10, or SB 10 — a bill that would end cash bail in California and replace it with a “risk assessment” system based on the likelihood that the person awaiting trial will fail to appear in court.

by Cerillion Skyline accessed flickr user Dominic Smith / Resized


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

 

Proposition 24 is about consumer data privacy laws in California. And it’s a complicated one.

Two years ago, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Consumer Privacy Act, or the CCPA. It was the first state law in the country to protect consumers’ personal information. 

Government of PEI / Flickr Creative Commons


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

 

California’s Proposition 23 is the latest round in an ongoing fight between labor unions and two major dialysis corporations. You may recall 2018’s Proposition 8, which would have required those companies to offer refunds for overcharging many of their patients. It failed after opponents spent more than $111 million to fight it. 

Pixabay user oknesanofa / Creative Commons


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

 

Proposition 22 is the “app-based drivers as contractors” initiative.

Remember AB5? The so-called “gig worker bill” that was signed into law last year in California? That law aimed to remove ambiguities around whether gig workers could be classified as independent contractors or employees. And, while it applied to all types of freelancers, the bill was largely seen as going after Uber and Lyft to get them to provide healthcare and other benefits to their drivers. 

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