When it comes to voting and the youth of America, there is always a portion of citizens that vote merely for the sake of saying that they voted, or cast a ballot without knowing the real consequences of the vote that they cast.
Of course when the race for presidency is at hand, everyone has an opinion based on the propaganda and political jargon that has been presented to them. When there is an issue of reform or proposition, some young people draw a blank, mainly because of the form in which the information surrounding the issue was presented.
Nonetheless, as voters in the registered population, in a somewhat utilized democracy, it is our obligation to participate in all forms of political action as an individual means to a unified end. As Californians, propositions 91-97 are measures that will inevitably determine the fiscal future of our state and our way of life.
In order to cast an even-hearted vote, people have to be able to understand what it is they are voting on. To shed some light on the propositions at hand, a summary of each amendment is as follows:
Proposition 91 -The funds accrued by this sales tax of gasoline are allotted specifically for the Public Transportation Account, Transportation Investment Fund and Local Transportation Funds, that supply the funds necessary for such things as roads, streets and highways. Proposition 91, if passed, will change how and when General Fund borrowing from the PTA, TIF and LTF is allowed.
Proposition 92 – Will change educational funding requirements; one for schools with grades K-12 and one for community colleges, it also lowers tuition fees for community colleges, from $20 to $15 per unit and sets new limits on the states authority to increase fee levels in the future. In regards to governance in community colleges, this proposition will increase the size of community college governing board and the board’s administrative authority.
Proposition 93 – Will reduce the cumulative amount of time state officials can serve legislative service, from 14 to 12 years, in either the state Senate, Assembly, or both. Also it would provide a transition period to allow current members to serve a total of 12 consecutive years in the house in which they are currently serving, regardless of prior service.
Proposition 94-97 – Are all in fact referendums on amendment to existing Indian gaming compacts. Propositions 94-97 involve four particular native American tribes; the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation, and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Each proposition specifies, that if passed, each tribe will be allowed to add a substantial number of slot machines to their casinos, which in turn would considerably increase the amount of money that is paid by each particular tribe to this state’s General Fund.
Proposition 91 is essentially a law that has already been in place for some time, by voting no, we, as citizens, will no longer allow the power-ponds to keep their hands in our respective pockets. By voting yes, we put our faith and command in their hands and continue to allow them to tell us, as citizens, what the revenue generated from the gasoline we buy should and should not be used for.
Proposition 92 is a bill that supports education. The bottom line consequence of this proposal is more education at a cheaper rate. But at the same time, everyone in this state needs to realize that we are feeling the slump and brunt of the nationwide economic recession. More money in certain areas means less in others.
Proposition 93 basically means certain officials can stay in certain positions of power for only a given amount of time and we have the opportunity to see continued change at the highest levels of state office. On the other hand, there have been certain politicians in the past that have proved that longevity can have its strengths. At a time when the people need a source of inspiration or leadership in times of national or state peril, a familiar face with a familiar feel of the current situation may be welcome and needed change.
Proposition 94-97 share a common fa?ade: they all have to do with particular Native American tribes and their plan to increase their individual income through an influx of slot machines. The final summation of these bills spells out vast amounts of money for this state and its depleted infrastructure. Thinking in opposite terms, the state will receive less money from other, smaller tribes.
These are all issues that affect all of us in one way or another. Some of us take public transit and most of us drive cars that consume nominal amounts of gasoline. Some of us live on streets that aren’t streets at all, but rather a metropolitan clich’eacute; of more dirt than concrete. Some of us at the college level have had the common opportunity to go to community college and transfer out. We have all needed to utilize the education that we have accumulated over the years. Having state officials in office for 14 years could be considered by some to be outdated and that new faces and new ideas are needed. Some people may say that this state already receives enough money from Native American tribes, and that we may be exploiting them.
For my college constituents, most of these propositions should not have to be a hard sell.
For Proposition 91, we should vote yes. Regardless of whether or not you take public transit or live on a cracked street, it is important to have the necessary funds to support local infrastructure.
For Propsition 92, we should vote yes. Most of us were all college students at one point or another, and financially we can understand the plight of a college student. Vote yes to make it just a little bit easier on the students and the prices they have to pay for the educations they need to make in the world.
For Proposition 93, we should vote no, for the same reason we should vote yes on Propositions 94-97.
The country is going through somewhat of a financial crisis and this state is definitely feeling the effects. A yes on 93 will mean that we keep the familiar government faces in office during a time when they are needed because of the experience they have with the situation that we are in. A yes on 94-97 will mean more money for this state and the people in it, so the more money they better.
Sine qua non, we should vote, as citizens in a functional democracy. I say it again, it is our function as the moving parts of the state machine.