These are the notes I collected to determine how I'm going to vote on November 3, 2020. I'm posting this not to tell you how you should vote, but to share my reasons for why I'm voting this way.

United States

President

Biden is the only serious candidate.

Congress

U.S. House California District 13

Barbara Lee (D, Incumbent)

California

State Assembly District 18

Rob Bonta (D, Incumbent)

State Senate District 9

Nancy Skinner (D, Incumbent)

Ballot measures

Prop 14: Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative

Slightly oppose: It’s a good thing to research and support in general, but this isn’t a good time to incur more public debt.

For

  • Gavin Newsom
  • Cal Dems
  • Diabetes research
  • University of California regents

Against

  • No one organized group
  • Main argument: it’s a $5B bond issue we can’t afford right now, even if it’s probably a good thing.

Prop 15: Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative

Support. Raises taxes on large companies while specifically exempting houses, farms, and small businesses.

For

  • Everyone

Against

  • CA Republicans
  • Coalition of industrial property owners

Prop 16: Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment

Support. Prop 209 ended affirmative action. This doesn’t bring it back, but allows it to be considered when it makes sense.

For

  • Cal Dems
  • Everyone else

Against

  • Cal GOP

Prop 17: Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment

Support. If someone’s done their time, then they should be able to participate in society again.

For

  • Everyone

Against

  • CA Republicans

Prop 18: Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment

Mildly support. It seems goofy to allow a 17 year old to vote in the primary for someone they can’t vote for in the actual election, but it’s probably not the end of the world

First time we have a record turnout because a YouTuber urges everyone to support Deez Nuts for the CA Democrat nomination, I’ll protest this with a pitchfork.

For

  • Gavin Newson
  • CA Dems
  • ACLU

Against

  • Not really anyone

Prop 19: Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment

Oppose. This is charity for the rich. You can sell your house and transfer the low tax basis to a new, more expensive house three times? No way. It has some good ideas but we should weigh them in a standalone proposition, or better, a state bill.

For

  • Everyone

Against

  • ACLU

Prop 20: Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative

Oppose. This is a charity to the prison systems. Collecting DNA on shoplifters and drug possessors? WTF.

For

  • CA Republicans
  • Police associations
  • Albertsons Safeway?

Against

  • CA Dems
  • ACLU

Prop 21: Local Rent Control Initiative

Support. It makes sense to let cities experiment. If it doesn’t work locally, change it. What’s good in Oakland may suck in San Diego and vice versa.

For

  • Bernie
  • Employee unions
  • Underlying theme of endorsements: “let cities decide which policies make sense for them at the local level.”

Against

  • Gavin Newsom
  • Builders unions
  • Underlying theme of opposition: “Will reduce incentive to build affordable housing.”

Prop 22: App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative

Oppose: This is some bullshit charity for Uber, Lyft, and Door Dash.

Everything about this seems to be a lie. For example, it provides a good minimum wage, but only while the drive is actively on a run, not when they’re between runs.

For

  • GOP
  • Police unions
  • Chambers of commerce

Against

  • Everyone else

Prop 23: Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative

Oppose: No, and stop asking. No one wants this. As a prop, it’s super hard to get rid of if it turns out to be a horrible idea.

For

  • Healthcare workers union. This would require clinics to hire more workers. It’s a job handout.
  • Cal Dems

Against

  • Cal Republicans, oddly enough
  • Cal Medical Association. Doctors are saying this isn’t necessary.
  • Cal Nurses union

Prop 24: Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative

Oppose. I generally support privacy laws, but this has issues. The EFF described Proposition 24 as "a mixed bag of partial steps backwards and forwards." I'm very skeptical of a privacy bill that the EFF doesn't actively endorse.

Come back next election with a better version and I’ll totally back it.

For

  • Some CA Democrats
  • CA firefighters union?

Against

  • Republicans
  • Greens
  • CA nurses association
  • ACLU

Prop 25: Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum

Support. End the cash bail system. Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “good”. This is a good idea.

For

  • Everyone

Against

  • ACLU doesn’t like the new assessment system, which is a legit concern.

Alameda County

AC Transit District

Director At-large

Peeples (Endorsed by papers. Opponents aren’t bad, but Peeples is more experienced and seems to be pretty good at this.)

Peralta Community College District Trustee

Heyman (Incumbent; opponent doesn’t have much reason to vote for him.)

Superior Court

Condes (Supported by majority of progressive groups. Opponent isn’t awful, though.)

Measure V: Sales Tax

Support. Extends the existing sales tax.

Measure W: Sales Tax

Lightly oppose. Good to fund housing and services, but we’re already slammed with super high sales taxes and that feels regressive.

City of Alameda

Auditor

Kearney (unopposed)

AUSD board

(Best profiles, and endorsed by groups that seemed relevant.)

  • Aney
  • Little
  • Williams

City Council

(By ruling out other candidates, not as an endorsement of these)

  • Codiga
  • White

Measure AA

Mildly support. It’s goofy that voters are being asked to rule on this petty internal bickering, but here we are.

Measure Z

Mildly oppose. Allows altering existing 3-bedroom homes into 2 1-bedroom. Parking and traffic are already bad. We couldn’t live in Alameda if we couldn’t find 3-bedroom housing.

Treasurer

Kennedy (unopposed)

Sources