Why is this even on the ballot? California has far more serious (let alone REAL) issues to deal with and there are so many other things that should be on the ballot way before something so ridiculous (gerrymandering on a grand scale, really) is presented to the voters.
- Universal Healthcare – while the uninsured rate in California is at an all time low, millions of people are still uninsured, or while they have insurance still don’t get treated because the costs over and above (rising) insurance rates still makes it cost prohibitive for many to adequately care for themselves.
- Cost Of Housing – Many households spend MORE than half their income just on housing. The average household income in California hovers somewhere around $60,000, netting just under $3900 per month, and their housing payment is likely around $2500 per month OR MORE. And that is JUST housing. (Don’t get me started on the utility companies, their rising rates, and their ability to cause disasters like the worst wildfires in history—KILLING AND DESTROYING WITH IMPUNITY.
- Homelessness – There are over 135,000 homeless people in California, which has risen by 16% in the past two years. Just for perspective, there are 58 counties in California. If we average that out it’s 2327 homeless people per county. And many of these people are homeless because of the cost of housing (see paragraph above). There is and has been money budgeted to assist with this but it’s been tied up courts because, well, California.
- Poverty – 15% of all Californians (about 6 million people) live at or below the poverty level. The “poverty line” in California is ridiculously defined as $24,000 per year FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR. That’s $6,000 per person per year, or $500 per month.
- Hunger – Even though California produces about half the fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States millions of Californians are “food insecure” which has been defined as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” One in four (25%) of children in California go to bed hungry.
- Safe Drinking Water – Yeah, it’s not just Flint, Michigan that’s getting poisoned. Last year California legislators overturned the law that limits the amount of toxic chemicals that are allowed in the drinking water. Because, corporate profits. This is just one example of why public services should not be privatized: they put profits over people. I’m sure California isn’t the only state, but this article is about California.
- Pollution – California has 8 out of the 10 most polluted cities in the United States. The air quality in some parts of the state isn’t just unhealthy, it’s actually deemed hazardous.
- Minimum Wage – If minimum wage does increase to $15 per hour and you work full time your take home pay will be about $2100 per month. As illustrated in previous paragraphs, that will get you… next to nothing. Even a studio apartment is likely to run you about $1500 per month. So good luck living on $600 for everything else you need.
- College Education – Why are college degrees required to be gainfully employed? Why are they valued more than ingenuity, experience or even willingness to work hard? Why is it even allowed that they be required? Honestly… it’s discrimination. As evidenced in the paragraphs above working full time at $15 per hour, much less the currently minimum wage is not enough to put a roof over your head and feed yourself. So you’re going to have to have more than one job just to literally survive. So that makes obtaining a college education a bit challenging. BUT WAIT, you can’t get a decent paying job or (ever increasingly) even a job with shitty pay, without a degree. Of course, if you weren’t born in any kind of wealth you see where I’m going with this: in circles. Circles of poverty.
- Student Loans – Students. People who are gaining an education so they can get work. In other words people that probably don’t have any money. It’s called predatory lending.
- Non-Sufficient Fund Fees – And not just banks. If one is late on their bills because they don’t have the money in time, or they don’t have enough to cover the basics, then they are charged MORE of what they already don’t have enough of. Why is this legal. Especially when utility companies, banks etc. are raking in BILLIONS in profits. Not just revenue, but PROFITS. In 2016 THREE banks, Chase, BofA and Wells Fargo, collected $6.4BILLION in overdraft fees alone. Now, that’s nationwide, not just California. But why is that legal?
These are things that need to be addressed. These are things that people care about, that affect their daily lives. Honestly, we need to do a better job of voting for people that actually give a fuck about us. And make the criteria for ballot measures to be that it’s not an insane idea.