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Ranked Choice Vote Details

Ranked Choice Vote ID41
Ranked Choice VoteGPCA position on Prop 42: Public Records Open Meetings State Reimbursement to Local Agencies Legislative Constitutional Amendment
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 opposes Proposition 42
GPCA takes no position on Proposition 42
GPCA endorses Proposition 42


This is the ranked choice vote for the GPCA to take a position on Proposition 42: GPCA position on Proposition 42: Public Records. Open Meetings. State Reimbursement to Local Agencies. Legislative Constitutional Amendment., 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 42. An 'oppose' vote means the GPCA would oppose Proposition 42. A 'no position' vote means the GPCA would not take a position on Proposition 42. 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'.

Below is information from the State of California Voter Guide, as well as the 'oppose' recommendation of the Green Party of Alameda County, that will be in their June 2014 primary election voter guide.


Ballot Title and Summary: Public Records Open Meetings State Reimbursement to Local Agencies Legislative Constitutional Amendment


- Requires local government agencies, including cities, counties, and school districts, to comply with specified state laws providing for public access to meetings of local government bodies and records of government officials.

- Eliminates requirement that the State reimburse local government agencies for compliance with these specified laws.

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

- Reduced state payments to local governments in the tens of millions of dollars annually. Potential increased local government costs of tens of millions of dollars annually from possible additional state requirements on local governments to make information available to the public.

A YES Vote Means:

You want to amend the state Constitution to require local governments to comply with public access laws like the Brown Act and the Public Records Act; and you want the state to stop reimbursing local governments for the costs of complying with these laws.

A NO Vote Means:

You do not want to amend the state Constitution to require local governments to comply with public access laws like the Brown Act and the Public Records Act, and you want the state to continue reimbursing local governments for the costs of complying with these laws.

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

Legislative Analysis: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/42/analysis.htm

Argument in Favor: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/42/arguments-rebuttals.htm

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/42/arguments-rebuttals.htm

Argument Against: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/42/arguments-rebuttals.htm

Rebuttal to Argument Against: http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/42/arguments-rebuttals.htm


Recommendation of the Green Party of Alameda County: Proposition 42 – NO
Local governments, such as cities and counties, have very tight budgets and very few options for raising revenue. By contrast, the state of California has a broad array of revenue choices, but usually does not avail itself of them and instead cuts public programs such as education and public assistance. Unfortunately, Prop. 42 would codify our state government imposing an unfair burden on local government.

The California Public Records Act (1968) and the duo of the Ralph M. Brown Act (1953) for local & county and the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (1967) for state agencies, boards and commissions are important laws to help the citizens access information of their incorporated governmental entities and the proceedings of their supposedly elected representative’s meetings. Due to the "People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation" – better known as Proposition 13 (1978) – and shenanigans on both sides of the one party duopoly, the State no longer has a balanced collection of personal wage, business income, property and sales taxes. Whenever the economy is periodically crashed, the State always finds itself unable to fully fund all of it’s mandates. The State often either dumps the responsibility onto the lower jurisdiction or reimburses that entity at a later date.
With people being forced to work longer and longer hours over the past few decades, their ability to keep track of their government has become almost non-existent. The Media has allowed itself to become irrelevant and no longer helps to provide the watchdog service it once might have. The various levels of government are aware of this and often hide behind minimal levels of noticing requirements. Hiding behind a veil of “greenwashing” they have also been eliminating handouts & reports at public meetings and have not been providing printed copies of the often very large reports and studies generated by purposely expansive efforts within certain departments. They will say this information is available online but it’s important for us to remember that there is still a large digital divide in our country and not everyone has access to or the money to print copies for themselves. With all of that in mind, this seems like a worrisome situation.

Bottom-up organizing and local control are the ideals of a democratic process. We have little of that remaining. There is the issue of whether or not each city, county and regional jurisdiction would have had the inertia and interest to enact these laws. Therefore, we are fortunate to have these laws applied statewide. That said, if it’s a state law, the state should fund it. Otherwise, it becomes an unfunded mandate. And, the fine print of this amendment states that the lower jurisdictions can’t raise their property taxes to pay for this necessary requirement. When compared to the entire budget of a city or county, the tab for this can be relatively small but it can be a part of many little expenses here and there that may necessitate cuts in other parts of the budget or the need to increase revenue. And aside from the state using it’s ability to progressively tier the levels of personal wage and business income taxes, all of the methods available to localities in raising revenue is regressive. With the huge effort and success of income distribution further into fewer and fewer hands, increasing a regressive tax is unconscionable and will further hinder the economy.

This legislative constitutional amendment was in committee as far back as December of 2012 but gained further relevance after the 2013 state budget process. In this budget, certain legislators saw the opportunity to hide behind the veil of saving the money needed to reimburse local jurisdictions to support the aforementioned laws, to essentially loosen those laws. Pressure from the newspapers and a few advocacy groups caused a temporary reprieve when the SB71 General Government Omnibus Trailer Bill was passed in June of 2013. Almost immediately this amendment was brought forward and proposed as a solution. Under the guise of a constitutional amendment, the legislators want to add the Public Records Act and the Brown Act into the constitution by reference but not by actually including the language of those Acts. By doing this, they feel they exempt the state government from having to pay for a state law since it is now a constitutional issue affecting all of the lower jurisdictions. Once again, this could loosen the aforementioned laws by allowing them to essentially be de-funded by the lower jurisdictions ability to pay for them. Or, it might cause regressive taxes to be levied.

The State’s Legislative Analyst states in the brochure that “California voters amended the State Constitution in 2012 to eliminate the state’s responsibility to pay local governments for these Brown Act costs.” We have not found that in the propositions from that year. The California Newspaper Publishers Association endorsed this bill while in the legislature. That might sound good considering their reporters are probably the people most commonly accessing the local & county governmental records, but it’s important to remember that since the late 1980's most cities have had one daily monopoly paper and that paper usually skews a little or a lot to the view representing what the local oligarchy wants the people to hear.

We recommend voting NO and forcing the state assembly to make the appropriate adjustments to the state personal wage and business income tax solutions to pay for this mandate. There is no shortage of millionaires and billionaires in this state.


Other references:

Smart Voter: http://www.smartvoter.org/2014/06/03/ca/state/prop/42/

League of Women Voters of California Education Fund http://www.cavotes.org/vote/election/2014/june/3/ballot-measure/proposition-42

Candidate Information

GPCA opposes Proposition 42

GPCA takes no position on Proposition 42

GPCA endorses Proposition 42

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