Proposition 15 Rejected by CA Voters
Sacramento, CA, 11 November 2020 — The Associated Press projected on Tuesday that Proposition 15, a measure which would have reformed the commercial property tax code to raise billions of dollars for schools and communities, has failed. This development comes as many districts face reduced funding and businesses face decreased revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with voters ultimately siding with business interests in this case. The vote is further evidence of how voters are reluctant to enact any changes to Proposition 13, the measure championed by Howard Jarvis in 1978 which significantly reduced property taxes for homeowners and businesses.
California, often taken for granted as a bastion of progressive liberal ideals, let down voters on several fronts and failed to pass critical pieces of legislation that might have drastically changed the lives of average citizens. Although some propositions passed that will be expanding democracy in our state, such as Proposition 17 returning suffrage to former felons who had voting rights revoked by incarceration, we are not doing enough to make constructive change.
This election has made several things clear — voter suppression still exists and is thriving in the 20th century, and Trump’s election in 2016 was not a fluke but rather a representation of unrest and deep conservatism buried both inside and outside of our liberal bubbles in California. As voters and national media remained primarily focused on the Oval Office throughout the course of the election season, grassroots campaigns for candidates and propositions fell through the cracks and voters failed to put legislation into motion.
President-Elect Joe Biden has an optimistic plan for education, including tripling funding for Title I, which will fund low-income schools nationwide, committing to aiding programs that assist teachers in paying off student loans and adding more mental health professionals to campuses everywhere. He has also promised to include educational institutions in legislation to support federal infrastructure funding. GENup hopes to see a qualified and dedicated public servant to take office as Secretary of Education and to see President-Elect Biden follow through on his promises to improve both education funding and quality of education nationally.
In California, our work is far from done. Although we are disappointed to see that Prop 15 will not make it off the ballot, and that prospective plans for affirmative action were not supported by voters, we are committed to continue our fight for funding and racial equity in schools.
Although AB-331 was not passed in California, the fight for Ethnic Studies is NOT over. The UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) has voted on and agreed to make half a unit of Ethnic Studies a UC A-G Admissions requirement.
This incentivizes both California high schools to implement Ethnic Studies and students to take the course. We need to ensure all students have the same anti-racist educational curriculum along their path to higher education, and this is definitively a step to combat racism in America.
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