As millions of voters across the U.S. prepare to cast their votes on November 8th, we have the opportunity to determine more than our elected representatives. State and local ballot measures enable us to directly weigh in on important issues that affect our families, neighborhoods, and futures.
Often cited as a bellwether for the country, California is known for its typically numerous and often trend-setting ballot initiatives, and this election year is no different. Voters in our nation’s most populous state will cast ballots on criminal justice reform (including the potential abolition of the death penalty), multilingual education, school bonds, marijuana legalization, tax measures for education and healthcare, and many others.
Many of these measures carry a disproportionate impact for our low-income communities and communities of color, and it is especially important that we make our voices heard on these and other issues.
As part the effort to galvanize California communities, organizations in the Bay Area Equal Voice Coalition and Equal Voice for Southern California Families Alliance, as well as other friends of Equal Voice Action, have developed detailed and community-specific voter guides to inform folks on their choices on Election Day.
The most comprehensive guide is from Bay Rising, which is the newly formed alliance of Oakland Rising, San Francisco Rising, and Silicon Valley Rising (including Working Partnerships USA). This guide includes analysis on all of the statewide propositions, as well as local and county elections for those regions.
The Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), in partnership with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment, created the 2016 California Asian Pacific Islander Voter Guide, in partnership with over 20 Asian American organizations across the state. In addition to the online English version, voters can download the guide in a host of languages, including Chinese, Korean, Lao, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.
California Calls’ Million Voters Project, a partnership that includes Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, APEN, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, and PICO California, have also developed an informative guide designed to educate and motivate.
As these measures can not only reshape society in California but potentially influence and bring progressive change to other states around the country, the importance of our voice and participation cannot be overstated. As we look to Election Day, we encourage the Equal Voice Action network throughout the country to help inform their communities and get out the vote.