Mark Your Ballot and Get in Line

On every Election Day, I post this column for people who have not yet voted – who want to vote- and have not done all the homework they think they should have. There are important candidates, crucial propositions, and lots of judges. There are local measures that you might already have your mind made up about (note the vast collection of Letter to the Editor here on the site on Measure K) and one you may have heard nothing about.

I make no attempt at being unbiased here; this is how I am voting.

Governor – Gavin Newsom. I don’t know how anyone can fill Jerry Brown’s shoes, but someone has to try.

Lt. Governor – Eleni Kounalakis. I just want to see more women at every level of government on this planet.

Secretary of State – Alex Padilla. He’s already the Sec. of State, and so far, he has not done anything that Debra Bowen would not have done. Thumbs Up.

Controller – Betty Yee – a stellar presence in Sacramento.

Treasurer – Fiona Ma

Attorney General – Xavier Becerra

Insurance Commissioner – Ricardo Lara – There are probably more than a dozen posts on the this site about the excellent job Lara did with Senator Holly Mitchell ( down ballot, you’ll be voting for her too,)  to get some change in state laws for justice reform. If you think the person in charge of insurance in the state of California could have that kind of outlook, Lara is your guy.

State Board of Equalization – Tony Vasquez. I don’t agree with everything Vasquez voted on at Santa Monica City Council, but he gets my vote for state office. Culver City’s former mayor Mehaul O’Leary ran for this one in the primary, saying he’d like to do away with the office. That won support in the single digit range, so know that someone will be holding this title for the foreseeable future.

Senator – Diane Feinstein. She has more legislative experience than just about everyone else on this ballot, combined. Show some respect.

Congress – Karen Bass. She has been at the forefront of the Democratic response since 2016. Her town hall meetings, both live and online, have been excellent sources of information and inspiration. At one of them, she said “I thought Nixon was going to kill us all. I thought Regan was going to kill us all. So glad I was wrong. I hope we make it through this administration.” Bass is doing all she can to help. AND she’s been a solid ally on Quiet Skies.

State Senator – Holly J. Mitchell. Her work is vital and crucial. Support her. If you have a few spare hours,  scroll through the site and see how often her name comes up doing good stuff for her district and truly life changing stuff for the people of California.

Assembly –  Sydney Kamlager is such a huge improvement on Sebastian Ridley- Thomas I hardly know where to begin. Keep her at this desk, and good things will happen.

Assessor – Jeffery Prang. In his first term, this guy really cleaned up an office that has a lot of challenges. Keep this one sailing smoothly.

Sheriff – Jim McDonell. This guy is still trying to clean things up, but he’s doing it. It may take years, but starting over with new leadership won’t expedite the process.

State Superintendent of Schools- Tony Thurmond. The charter school money still trying to get a foothold in California botched it badly with their LAUSD school board choice. Thurmond is so much more in touch with actual needs of actual students, he is far and away the better choice. Keep public eduction out of the hands of profiteers.

Vote Yes on all the judges where it’s just a yes or no. Even Carol Corrigan. Vote yes.

Where it is one judge running against another, recommended picks are #4 Veronica Sauceda,  #16 Patricia Hunter, #60 Holly Hancock and #113 Javier Perez. Representation matters, particularly on the bench. 

State Measures ( also known as Propositions – ) 

Prop #1 – Vote Yes. Fund housing assistance programs. There are tens of thousands of people living in the street. You’ve seen them.

Prop #2 – Vote Yes. If you weren’t crazy before you had to start living in street, you will be soon afterwards.

Prop #3 – Vote No – Water politics in California are slanted to benefit agriculture and not cities. We need equality.

Prop #4 – Children’s Hospitals. Vote Yes.

Prop #5 – Vote No. Property tax cheat voucher. If you move, you should pay the taxes. This would further deplete the income needed by schools and local services.

Prop #6 – Vote No – it’s pennywise and pound foolish to think saving yourself a few cents and starving the transportation infrastructure is a good thing. Do you know how much a broken axle is going to cost you?

Prop #7 – It does not matter – As much as I hate Daylight Savings time shifts, this is a long shot that has to wait for Congress to act before we get to do anything. Vote yes if you want, but you could be waiting for hell to freeze over. I next to never sit one out, but this one … toothless.

Prop #8 – Vote No. Tough call, with companies paying big bucks to defeat, and service union trying to crunch said companies. But with diabetes ever on the rise, and dialysis a factor in staying alive for some folks, I don’t want to limit their treatment options. I’m a big fan of unions, but not when they behave like bullies. Private companies for dialysis exist because our health care is so pathetic. Keep the doors open and work for bigger changes.

Prop #10 – Yes, yes, yes for pity’s sake yes. Local control please.

Prop #11 – Vote No – If you think some EMT is going to finish a sandwich while you bleed out,  you are wrong. All they want is to be PAID for the breaks they miss, and this prop is only on the ballot so some ambulance company can skate out on a lawsuit over how much they owe their employees for not getting to eat or rest.  Vote no.

Prop #12 – Vote yes. Free range eggs. Over easy.

County Measures – 

Measure W – Vote yes. This is the water measure we need. Preparing for drought will prevent it from being a disaster.

Measure K – Every time Culver City has to vote to tax ourselves, we vote yes. So vote yes. Money spent on education is never wasted.

Measure C – Every time Culver City has to vote to tax ourselves, we vote yes. Go ahead, vote yes. Everyone else will.

Measure D –  This is the one you have heard nothing about. Move the city council election from April to November. Hoping to increase voter turnout, but could also get local issues lost in the bigger picture. It will change the flavor of local races. I recommend a yes vote.

Water District – Scott Houston. He’s done well in his first term, and there is no urgent need to replace him.

Now, go and vote and know that we can make the world – and Culver City – a better place.

Whatever happens today, stay focused on the positive. Be patient, be gentle and go easy on the folks around you. We have all been whipped up to a froth by the last two years, and picking arguments does not change anyone’s mind. Send good vibes, light a candle, breathe. Know that the great country people talk about ‘bringing back’ has never yet existed. The best of times are ahead of us, and our job is to bring them into being.



Judith Martin-Straw




The Actors' Gang

1 Comment

  1. Thanks a million, Judith. Just finished filling out my sample ballot and was pleased to check against yours. Especially liked your final advice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.