By Quinci LeGardye, California Black Media
2020 is a big election year. With all eyes on the presidential race, Californians can’t afford to lose sight of our state and local elections. These decisions need the same amount of consideration being given to the big race. They are the ones with the most — and the most immediate — effects on you and your family’s safety, quality of life and finances.
This year, California as a whole is reckoning with some big changes. The 12 qualified propositions on the ballot cover many issues, including tax codes, voting rights, workers’ rights and affirmative action. The results of these ballot measures will affect every life in California in some shape or form, and it’s important that voters understand them and make informed decisions on how to vote.
Prop 22 – Exempts App-Based Transportation and Delivery Companies From Providing Employee Benefits to Certain Drivers. Initiative Statute
Prop 22 is about employment classification for rideshare and delivery drivers, affecting the companies Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, among others. If it passes, these companies will be allowed to continue to classify their drivers as independent contractors with benefits from those app-based companies, including a base wage and healthcare subsidies. Currently, these drivers are legally classified as employees under AB-5.
Proponents of the ballot measure argue it would allow gig drivers, who are majority African American and Latino, to keep their flexibility and continue earning income in a turbulent economy.
Those against Prop 22 argue that it would allow the companies to underpay their drivers, and exempt gig companies from providing standard benefits that drivers need, like unemployment insurance, paid time off, and workers compensation.
Prop 23 – Authorizes State Regulation of Kidney Dialysis Clinics. Establishes Minimum Staffing and Other Requirements. Initiative Statute.
Prop 23 regards state regulation of dialysis clinics. If Prop 23 passes, all dialysis clinics would require at least one licensed physician on site during treatment. It would also require clinics to report infection data to state health officials and require state approval for clinics to close or reduce services. State and local health care costs would increase due to increased dialysis treatment costs.
Supporters of Prop 23 argue that the regulations are necessary to keep large dialysis corporations in line.
Opponents of Prop 23 argue that many dialysis clinics would have to restrict hours or shut down if they had to pay a licensed physician, and that dialysis patients would have trouble affording increased treatment costs. They also note that the proposition does not require that the physicians have any specialized knowledge in dialysis or kidney function.
Prop 24. Amends Privacy Laws. Initiative Statute.
Prop 24 concerns consumer data privacy laws, which prevent businesses from sharing personal information gathered digitally, including from websites. If passed, it would strengthen the California Consumer Privacy Act by letting consumers tell businesses to limit the use of their sensitive data, such as an individual’s exact location and race, and prohibiting businesses from keeping consumer data for longer than necessary. It would also establish a new state agency dedicated to enforcing privacy laws and increase financial penalties for violations concerning consumers under age 16.
Those in favor of Prop 24 argue that the current consumer privacy law isn’t strong enough, and that the measure would give people more control over their personal data, and make it easier for consumers to sue companies if their email accounts and passwords are stolen or hacked.
Opponents say the measure was written behind closed doors and included the participation of companies that are the targets of regulation.
Prop 25 – Referendum on Law That Replaced Money Bail with System Based on Public Safety and Flight Risk
Proposition 25 is a veto referendum on SB 10, a 2018 law that would replace cash bail with risk assessments for suspects awaiting trial. If Prop 25 passes, it would replace the current system, where suspects pay a cash bond to be released from jail with a promise to return for trail, with risk assessment to determine whether a detained suspect is a flight risk or a danger to the public. The state superior courts would establish divisions
responsible for conducting risk assessments and making recommendations, and the state Judicial Court would determine which factors are considered for the assessments.
Prop 25 supporters argue that the risk assessment system would be fairer than the current system, which depends on a suspect’s ability to afford bail.
Opponents of Prop 25 argue that the risk assessments will likely discriminate against Black and Brown people and increase racial profiling. They also point out that it will give judges unchecked power with no accountability, and that setting up the new system would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
For more information on the propositions visit the California Secretary of State Website: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/qualified-ballot-measures