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Ranked Choice Vote Details

Ranked Choice Vote ID40
Ranked Choice VoteGPCA position on Prop 41: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014
TypeOpen Ballot
Number of Seats1
Ranked Choice Vote AdministratorMike Feinstein
Discussion04/07/2014 - 05/04/2014
Voting05/05/2014 - 05/11/2014
Presens Quorum11 0.5001
Candidates GPCA endorses Prop 41
GPCA opposes Prop 41
GPCA takes no position on Prop 41


This is the ranked choice vote for the GPCA to take a position on Proposition 41; Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014, which has been placed by the California state legislature on the June 2014 primary election ballot.

The choices are to rank 'endorse', 'oppose', 'no position' and/or 'abstain.' Delegates can rank as many or few of these options in their order of preference.

An 'endorse' vote would mean the GPCA would endorse Proposition 41. An 'oppose' vote means the GPCA would oppose Proposition 41. A 'no position' vote means the GPCA would not take a position on Proposition 41. An 'abstain' vote means the voter is not expressing a preference, but is voting to help achieve quorum. Any of these position that receives 2/3 after all preferences are transferred is the position of the party. If neither 'endorse' nor 'opposes' receive 2/3, the GPCA's position will be 'no position'.


Ballot Title and Summary: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014


- Authorizes $600 million in general obligation bonds for affordable multifamily supportive housing to relieve homelessness, affordable transitional housing, affordable rental housing, or related facilities for veterans and their families.

- Provides funding for programs to address homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless and annual evaluations of the effectiveness of housing programs funded by the bonds.

- Appropriates money from General Fund to pay off bonds.

Summary of Legislative Analyst's Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

- Increased state bond repayment costs averaging about $50 million annually over 15 years.

State Bond Cost Estimates Authorized borrowing $600 million
Average annual cost to pay off bonds $50 million
Likely repayment period 15 years
Source of repayment General tax revenues

A YES Vote Means:

You want California to sell $600 million in general obligation bonds to fund affordable multifamily housing for low-income veterans.

A NO Vote Means:

You do not want California to sell $600 million in general obligations bonds to fund affordable multifamily housing for low-income veterans

Full text of Proposition 41: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/pdf/text-proposed-laws.pdf

Legislative Analysis: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/41/analysis.htm

Argument in Favor: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/41/arguments-rebuttals.htm

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/41/arguments-rebuttals.htm

Argument Against: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/41/arguments-rebuttals.htm

Rebuttal to Argument Against: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/41/arguments-rebuttals.htm


Recommendation of the Green Party of Alameda County: Proposition 41 - NO

Generally, the Green Party is very cautious about the use of bonds. Specifically, because bonds are largely purchased by the very wealthiest (the "1%"), as they are paid off, there is a deplorable transfer of money from working class taxpayers to the rich. Bonds should therefore only be used when there is no other alternative, and now that forming public banks as an alternative is being actively pursued in dozens of states, it's time for California to also move away from this very regressive form of financing. Furthermore, we can find no provisions within this proposition which will prevent (or even reduce) "profiteering" by the private builders, developers, and financiers who will be involved, nor any requirements that the proposed housing be close to jobs and transportation, with considerations for liveability and community.
In the November 2008 general election, Californians passed Prop 41 – the Veteran’s Bond Act – with 63% of the vote. As had happened more than twenty times prior, this allowed for the sale of bonds to support the Veterans Farm and Home Purchase Program which has been around since the early 1920's. Prop 41 allowed for the sale of up to $900 million in bonds. Unfortunately, NONE of this has been used during the intervening period. Hence, the State Assembly has returned with this restructured proposal which maintains $300 million of Prop 41's original authorization while changing the remaining $600 million to be directed “for the construction and rehabilitation of multifamily housing for veterans and prioritize projects that align housing with services”. Essentially this will be apartment-type rental housing equally split between two groups: housing for low-income veterans (earning less than 80% of average family wages) and half for extremely low-income veterans (earning less than 30% of average family wages) with 60% of this half to be used for supportive housing.

A number of reasons have been provided by the state for the lack of Prop 41's use including “competitive” rates being offered by the private sector since the mid-1990's and governmental changes in the structuring of the bond program. Currently the Cal-Vet program is supposedly a dollar “neutral” program in which the CA Dept of Veterans Affairs (DVA) essentially purchases the farm/home requested by the veteran and precedes to provide the veteran with a loan that is backed by bonds. If passed, half of the program will now engage local governments, non-profits and private builders/developers/financiers to renovate/build/manage rental units. While technically remaining dollar “neutral” the number of units will depend upon how much the private sector charges to renovate/build/manage. The more they charge, the fewer the units renovated/built/managed. Companies that provide parallel management services to seniors and lower income renters are notorious for shifting funds towards profits before providing the necessary housing services. Will the DVA be able to accomplish this major change in direction? They might need to expand staffing and oversight. The Federal Housing & Urban Development program was rife with corruption and over-charging for the construction and management of housing units.

The sale of bonds are intended to occur over the first 5 years. This will help to leverage financing of the housing. Then the occupants will be renters of whatever entity has built/managed the property and will pay off the bonds with their monthly rent payments making both the bond-holders and the property managers the rentier. Will these buildings be placed close to jobs and transportation? The buildings will probably be of the modern “stack & pack” tenement type so favored by developers because of their supposed efficiency and higher profit. Liveability and community are never thought of in these densely built areas. What will that do for these veterans, who just like all of us, need community?

One has to be curious if the change in this program also represents the “neoliberal” desire for privatization. During the same period when the economy was purposely imploded and the housing bubble was pricked, a program which could have helped place families in their own homes – and they could have had many foreclosed homes to choose from – was sitting idle. No doubt, the incredibly weak employment rates have really hindered this program in recent years. Do the banks not want the competition for loans? For many years now, the banks have been holding large numbers of foreclosed homes in hidden reserve for gradual release onto the market so the prices can be raised. Had veterans been placed in those foreclosed homes, they could have been maintained. This would have allowed the neighborhoods to retain community and help to retain more of their home value. This would have meant fewer “underwater” mortgages, a better sense of worth of those homeowners and hence more of a sense of ability to spend therefore helping to keep their local economies afloat.

It’s important to remember that wars are for the benefit of those who feign to own and run the world. Federal executive administrations on both sides of the single party duopoly have jingoistically supported the oligarchy’s wars and supposedly expressed their support for the soldier’s post combat support services. Yet, not surprisingly, continue to fail in that support. 60% of our federal taxes go to support the military-industrial complex and as has been well-documented the combat itself is only a part of the purchase. Afterwards, there is the massive medical, psychological, housing and other basic necessities support that is needed if employment cannot be found. Leon E. Panetta, Former US Sec of Defense has endorsed the “argument in favor”. It was his department that should have budgeted appropriate amounts to support the returning soldiers.

As with everything, it’s the masses of the population that are intended to financially support the initiatives of those who rule from behind the scenes. We are then asked to backstop this deficit of veteran support through the general budget funds of the state. Socialize the loses, privatize the gains. Then again, 10% of the population controls 90% of the wealth. It will be those people who will have the extra dollars to purchase these bonds to support the capital costs of the building/renovating program and then reap the rents from the apartments. As mentioned above, it's time for California to end regressive bond financing and instead form a state bank, as is already being used in North Dakota, as well as in many other countries across the planet. This proposition should be re-written and brought back in November. Vote "No" on Prop. 41.


Other references:

Smart Voter: http://www.smartvoter.org/2014/06/03/ca/state/prop/41/

League of Women Voters of California Education Fund http://www.cavotes.org/vote/election/2014/june/3/ballot-measure/proposition-41

Candidate Information

GPCA endorses Prop 41

GPCA opposes Prop 41

GPCA takes no position on Prop 41

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