As Obama and many other citizens are echoing around the country, this Midterm Election is, in fact a very crucial one, in years. It essentially foreshadows what the future holds for immigrants, citizens, minority groups, and America, as a land of the free.
In California alone, there are multiple candidates, ballot measures, and propositions to consider, that will shape the state’s future. Our representatives, the measures and Propositions, all impact our lives at some point and impact the whole population of California in the longer run. After all, centuries of fighting took place in this nation so that everyone had a fair opportunity to vote. It is a right we are taking for granted when we should be exercising it instead. Our votes are the backbone of what makes this nation a true Democracy. writes Siliconeer youth editor Vansh A. Gupta.
In the last decade, we have seen how voting effectively impacts our daily lives firsthand. Let’s go back to 2008, when Barack Obama was elected as the first African American president, and the country was facing a recession, a bleak time for the American economy. Under the Obama administration, a new hope sparked for many citizens and minorities, and America changed for the better. However, a shift took place in 2016 and we are now witnessing a divided country. These last two years we have been regressing to the Cold War era and the situation continues to escalate as we speak.
However, this could all be changed if the American citizens were to take initiative and use their right to vote. As Obama and many other citizens are echoing around the country, this Midterm Election is, in fact a very crucial one, in years. It essentially foreshadows what the future holds for immigrants, citizens, minority groups, and America, as a land of the free.
In California alone, there are multiple candidates, ballot measures, and propositions to consider, that will shape the state’s future. We have to figure out whether we want a Democratic governor who has liberal ideologies or a governor with conservative ideologies but wants to bring more affordable housing and work on immigration reform. Gavin Newsom wants to make healthcare accessible for everyone. John Cox wants to look into the quality of healthcare being made available. On immigration, Newsom has a liberal stance, while Cox wants to go to smart immigration. Newsom wants to improve public schools meanwhile Cox wants to make charter schools more accessible. Along with our government representatives, we also have to consider propositions and assess how they can help or hurt the state as a whole.
I think one very important Proposition is Proposition 10. It affects all of us at some point, especially in the Silicon Valley.
Proposition 10 is a ballot measure repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Costa-Hawkins limits local governments from regulating rent as it imposes limitations on rent control from the state. Both the renter and the landlord may benefit from Proposition 10 as it regulates rent and rent hikes from landlords, however, assures landlords a fair rate of return by reducing property tax and income tax paid by landlords. The local and state government, however, could potentially lose millions of dollars of property tax revenue in the long run, according to Ballotpedia. Overall, A yes vote on this measure means the local government will have the power to regulate rent, leading to regulations on any type of property and rent increases, and a decrease in property tax revenues. A no vote on this measure means state law would continue to limit rent control laws cities and counties could have, leading to local governments losing the potential to control rent and allowing landlords to continue their current practices.
With rising demand for housing and low supply of rentals in California, rent prices are at an all-time high and are increasing as we speak, according to the Daily News. The measure itself states, “Rents for housing have skyrocketed in recent years. Median rents are higher in California than any other state in the country, and among all 50 states, California has the 4thhighest increase in rents,” according to Ballotpedia. Due to the competitive market and with Costa-Hawkins in effect, landlords could raise rent and might follow unethical practices towards renters. This proposition would allow the local government to regulate the landlord’s practices and protect renters from sudden price hikes. With a proposition this big, it is imperative to see whether it will be effective in solving the problem.
Since this proposition is on rent control and housing in general, this will have an effect on a few criterions. The economic side: property tax income, housing market, supply and demand, will be impacted. Also, consider the impact on the build quality and maintenance of a property. Lastly, consider whom this proposition benefits and what kind of problems can arise if it was enacted.
Proposition 10 might sound good on paper, but many problems can arise with Prop 10. For starters, Prop 10 might make rentals very stringent and cumbersome on a landlord. This could lead to a deterioration in the quality of rental properties and a lower supply of rentals available to one. Prop 10 also decreases property tax income significantly as it ensures a fair rate of return by reducing property tax rates. The state would lose money from rental properties that it is currently gaining. Most of these problems are economic problems potentially affecting California’s overall economy.
This proposition might be the most significant proposition as California rents have risen to some of the highest in the nation and that impacts a majority of the population, according to an article in Los Angeles Daily News. A vote on this would predict the future of the rental market in California.
Like Proposition 10, we have the power to tackle other issues such as the repeal of gas tax (Prop 6) and the removal of Daylight Savings Time (Prop 7). While one makes a lot of sense, the other is very opinionated.
With Proposition 6, a no vote means you agree to pay more for gas so that you can have better roads to drive on. A yes vote means that the 12 cents gas tax is repealed, and we will have control over the taxes imposed on us. One side argues that 12 cents of gas tax is a very small price to pay because you have better and safer roads, thus spending less on car maintenance. The other side of the argument is that the gas tax was imposed upon us and California already has some of the highest prices for gas, however, with bad road conditions you spend more on car maintenance.
In essence, voting is crucial in both the macro and micro aspect. Our representatives, the measures and Propositions, all impact our lives at some point and impact the whole population of California in the longer run. After all, centuries of fighting took place in this nation so that everyone had a fair opportunity to vote. It is a right we are taking for granted when we should be exercising it instead. Our votes are the backbone of what makes this nation a true Democracy.
We would like to extend our support to Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna who has been keeping himself busy in Washington, D.C., and has managed to resonate with the youth in Silicon Valley.