Editorial: This Election’s Propositions

Editorial: This Election's Propositions

Harris G., Staff Writer

     Every election — in addition to voting for the president and many other important government positions — California voters vote on propositions. But these propositions are often difficult to understand because little information is provided on the ballot. Voting becomes even harder when you take into consideration the aggressive advertising for propositions that one sees online. I will be giving my opinion on two propositions that both directly impact my daily life, and most likely yours.

     California schools used to be some of the best in the nation. Now, they rank only 38th out of all the 50 states and D.C. What went wrong? Well, to simplify it, California schools have a lack of funding. That’s where Proposition 15 comes into play: it will implement a property tax on large corporations (corporations with properties worth over $3 million) and this money will go to local governments and schools. I believe that voting yes on Proposition 15 will greatly improve California schools with minimal harm to the average person’s wallet.

     Recently I have been bombarded with advertisements encouraging me to vote yes on Proposition 22. The advertisements claim that Prop 22, which affects app-based drivers for companies such as Uber and Doordash, will give these drivers flexibility, wage guarantees, and healthcare benefits. However, I was skeptical, as these ads are largely funded by Uber, Lyft, Postmates, and Doordash (conveniently placed at the bottom of the list of contributors). One doesn’t need to be a genius to wonder why companies would want to pass a proposition that requires them to give larger wages and benefits to their employees. So what exactly does Prop 22 do? Well, as it turns out, it labels app-based drivers as “independent contractors” rather than employees. It’s easy to see why this would give the drivers more flexibility, but being employees requires their employers to give them the typical benefits that all employees have across California. Some voters might want to vote yes on Prop 22 because voting no might mean that Uber and other companies will leave California entirely. This seems reasonable, but it turns out that this is exactly what Uber wants you to think as they have threatened to leave other states in the past only to return later or never leave at all. So, I believe that Prop 22 is a misleading proposition made entirely to benefit large corporations such as Uber and Lyft, with little benefits to the actual employees listed. 

     Hopefully, I have changed your view about these confusing propositions, or at least offered some much-needed clarity and information. And if I did, I encourage you to spread what you’ve learned to your parents or other people in your life who, unlike you, can vote. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I hope you are encouraged by this article to learn more about what’s on this election’s ballot.