Election party results for November 2018 election

These results reflect the consensus of the group, and are not necessarily the opinion of the host or any particular attendee. The results below follow the actual ballot items in order for a city of Santa Cruz voter. I've done my best to summarize people's reasoning. That's obviously difficult to do, and any party attendees should feel free to send comments for me to add to this page if they feel I have missed something. The results below are of course limited to representing the perspectives of those who attended the event.

Ballot item Consensus Notes
Governor Gavin Newsom *
Lieut. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis Half of the group was ready to endorse Eleni after our discussion. The other half still wanted to consider the choice more because both candidates seemed good.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla *
Controller Betty  Yee *
Treasurer Fiona Ma *
Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra *
Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara *
State Board of equalization, 2nd district Malia Cohen *
United States Senate Diane Feinstein 61%, Kevin de Leon 17%, 22% undecided There was a spirited debate. People commented that Feinstein has become more progressive, and knows how to work the Senate for the benefit of California. DeLeon is more of a "not business as usual" progressive. Although this was appreciated, the majority of participants felt that Feinstein's effectiveness was important in the Trump administration times.
United States representative 20th district Jimmy Panetta Strong support for Jimmy.
State Assembly 29th District Mark Stone Strong support for Mark.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, And Court of Appeals Judges NO - Carol A. Corrigan

YES - All other judges

Carol, a Republican appointee, has opposed marriage equality in two court decisions
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond Tony's list of endorsements was very impressive and persuaded the group
Santa Cruz city school district Jeremy Shonick (94% supported), Rocco Cappalla (39% supported), Deb Tracy-Proulx (11% supported) I strongly support Jeremy because he has been a strong supporter of our counties great new science education coordinator. We didn't have a lot of information about the other two candidates, so their low support numbers don't really reflect that they are not good candidates, but rather are limited information. But one attendee had spoken at length with Rocco (door-to-door visit) and felt he had made a very good impression.
Governing Board Area 3 No endorsement due to limited time and insight, we skipped this item
Santa Cruz city Council Justin Cummings (94% supported), Drew Glover ( 56% supported), Donna Meyers (31% supported), Greg Larson and Cynthia Hawthorne (17% supported), Richelle Noroyan (8% supported) The best way to pick your 3 candidates is to see where they stand on issues important to you at www.santacruzcitycouncil.org.

That said, there was an interesting conversation... People endorsed a candidate if they were ready to vote for them, which doesn't mean that they wouldn't vote for a candidate they didn't endorse at this party. Justin Cummings was strongly supported because he had made a positive impression on several people who had spoken with him, and because there was agreement that if measure M does not pass, he would be an important voice on the city Council for renter's rights. There was similar support, though not quite as strong, for Drew Glover. A few people also had positive experiences with Donna Meyers and chose to support her. Greg Larson was noted to be very experienced, and would add an important professionalism to the Council. However, a few attendees had integrity concerns (that didn't mean they wouldn't vote for him, but weren't ready to endorse). Richelle is an incumbent with a voting record that was not strongly supported by a number of attendees. However, it was noted that at election forums she was very integrous/candid about her positions. Four other candidates (Philip Crawford, Paige Concannon, Dave Lane, Ashley Scontriano) received no endorsements.

Santa Cruz port district No endorsement due to limited time and insight, we skipped this item
Prop 1 & 2 YES (Unanimous)  
Prop 3 70% YES, 6% NO, 24% undecided this bond measure builds a number of valuable water projects, but also some controversial ones. Most environmental organizations endorsed it, but several, notably the Sierra Club, recommend a NO vote.
Prop 4 even split between yes, no, and undecided this bond measure funds construction (not care) at children's hospitals. While everyone supported the cause, there was disagreement about whether or not bond measures were the appropriate way to fund hospitals.
Prop 5, 6, 7, 8 NO (Unanimous) prop five is a tax break for people buying more expensive houses, prop six would cut gas taxes, limiting road repairs funding, and prop seven does nothing and is based on a bogus misinterpretation of research about daylight savings time
Prop 10 25% yes, 25% no, 50% undecided There was a contentious but respectful discussion about this proposition that seeks to repeal Costa Hawkins. Here is a summary from Rohan:

There was broad (unanimous?) consensus that counties and municipalities should have more freedom with respect to rent control than Costa Hawkins allows. Even those who believe that rent control is largely useless as a macro economic tool agreed. Our discussion mostly hinged around the specific effects if Proposition 10 passed. 

General Observations

Proposition 10 would have been much better if it had a start delay, for example 2 years from passing, to allow communities to adjust their rent control laws, institute new ones, or scrap unnecessary provisions to prepare for the start date.

 Complicated Just Cause Eviction terms would not be needed if vacancy control was allowed (currently forbidden by Costa-Hawkins).

 There was concern that the uncertainty of rent control can prevent builders from starting new housing.

 Costa-Hawkins is arbitrary in that there is nothing about apartments build after Feb 1995 that makes them fundamentally different from older apartments. As the housing stock gets older, the specific date is more and more of an anachronism. One less arbitrary way to provide more certainty to builders would be to say instead that rent control is limited for the first 10 years after construction of a building.

 A few people noted that rent control is not effective over the long term at making housing affordable at the macro level. Rents tend to diverge because there is always a black market. Rent control can be effective at temporarily preventing steep, sudden increases for some individuals.

 Prop 13 as related to Prop 10 and rent control generally

Proposition 13 provides price control to property owners by capping the rate of property tax increases. At the time it was on the ballot, Prop 13 was largely justified as a way to keep seniors and other long-term home and small farm owners from losing their property, but Prop 13 caps property tax on all property. In our discussion, there was broad agreement that Prop 13 protection should not apply to second and further homes nor to large commercial property.

 One suggestion was that perhaps rent control and property tax assessments should be linked. A property owner by default would benefit from Prop 13 caps on property taxes and would be subject to rent control restrictions (presumably vacancy control if Prop 10 passed). Alternatively, a property owner who voluntarily reassessed their property would be allowed to rent at whatever rate they wished.


One person was supportive of Prop 10 but was now on the fence because it could amplify the reach of Measure M.

 Costa Hawkins was an ordinary law passed by the legislature. Ideally it should be repealed by the legislature.   However the legislature is unlikely to have the political will to repeal it against strong lobbying. This is precisely why the ballot initiative was developed.

I don't personally think there is a right choice here. Whether 10 passes or not, there will still be a problem. In my mind though, if 10 passes it will force communities to start working on those issues sooner and give them more flexibility to do so.I believe another attendee will be sending more summary information about this item which I will post when available to help balance this report.

Prop 11 NO (Unanimous) there was agreement that the initiative process was not an appropriate place for this type of advocacy
prop 12 YES (unanimous except for one attendee)  
measure G YES (unanimous)  
measure H YES (unanimous)  
measure M 71% NO, 29% undecided measure M is of course the most contentious item on the ballot locally. There was a lot of debate, and complete agreement that we need renter protections in Santa Cruz. As the city Council endorsements reflect, most attendees did not feel like measure M was a good solution. The sentiment was that it was important to have a candidate like Justin Cummings and/or Drew Glover on the Council to help ensure that the Council do something to implement renter's rights if measure M fails. I think the undecided category reflects the feeling that we have a crisis in our community, and even though measure M likely would have some negative effects, the extreme rent increases that have been occurring in our county have had such a negative impact that we need to do something now.

Another summary from Rohan:

There was near unanimous consensus that housing costs are a huge problem in Santa Cruz, and that rent control is one useful tool (but by no means the only tool) to help control housing costs. At the same time, there was a similar consensus that Measure M was deeply flawed, divisive, punitive, and unlikely to be effective. Most people planned to vote no.

To paraphrase one person still on the fence: If I knew that [progressives] Cummings and Glover would be on the City Council and Proposition 10 passed, I would absolutely vote no on Measure M

* - The decision to support these candidates was unanimous and based on a review of organizations that endorsed them, specific knowledge about the candidates from attendees, and party affiliation.

Another valuable resource for propositions to see endorsements is https://www.californiachoices.org/ballot-endorsements-2018-11

Thanks to John whose website was useful at the party for reference information.