2020 Elections | KALW

2020 Elections


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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. 


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

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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

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.

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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.

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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. 

    Do you understand what Prop 15's proposed 'split roll' is? On our next show, we will dig into this question and examine the arguments for and against Prop 15. Is it an appropriate amendment to Prop 13, as supporters claim, or a deliberate weakening of an important protection for property owners? 


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. 

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.



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

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



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


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. 

On this edition of Your Call’s Media Roundtable, we'll get the latest on the devastating fires in California. Since August 15, 700 wildfires have charred more than 1.3 million acres and destroyed more than 3,000 structures.

City Visions: Bay Area Activists Volunteer for Out-of-State Races

Aug 27, 2020

Beyond the Presidential ballot, thirty-three Senate races, hundreds of House seats and the control of 86 state legislative chambers hang in the balance this November. Local Bay Area activists are not leaving anything up to chance as they harness local dollars and volunteers to help turn out the vote. On Monday, we'll hear from representatives of Indivisible, Sister District and Airlift about their work. We'll also get an update on breaking news and visit with a musician bringing live music to your doorstep.

Dennis Jarvis / Creative Commons

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. 



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

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.

As the United States reckons with our history of racism and a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting people of color, race promises to feature front and center in this year's election.  But can Democrats talk about race and still win?  

On this edition of Your Call’s Media Roundtable, we're discussing the impacts of China’s national security law on Hong Kong. In recent weeks, independent media organizations have come under attack, activists have been arrested, and several have fled the country. What’s next for the territory?

Flickr User Doran / Flickr

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

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

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

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. 

Proposition 21 is also known as The Rental Affordability Act, or RAA, and seeks to expand rent control across the state.

California Proposition 20: Revising Prison Reforms

Jul 29, 2020
Flickr user brustin / Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC 2.0

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the extreme overcrowding in California state prisons was unconstitutional. In response, three criminal justice reforms were enacted. 

Sanfranman59 / Creative Commons


Basically, Prop 19 would allow homeowners to move into a nicer place without their tax bill ballooning.

Proposition 18 proposes to allow 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election if the voter will turn 18 by the time of the general election.

Proposition 17 would let people who are on parole for felony convictions vote — that’s more than 50,000 people.

California Proposition 16: Affirmative Action Amendment

Jul 22, 2020
Amtec Photos / Creative Commons / amtec.us.com

In a nutshell, Proposition 16 is about repealing Proposition 209, which passed back in 1996.