Catholic Charities Ballot Measure Endorsements
November 3, 2020 General Election
STATE OF CALIFORNIA BALLOT MEASURES
NO on PROP. 20: Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative
Catholic Charities opposes Proposition 20 which would repeal the historic criminal justice reforms enacted by Propositions 47 and 57. These laws have created a more equitable and restorative criminal justice system to prepare people in prison to return to the community. The positive effect has been to decrease prison populations while keeping crime rates at a record-low. Proposition 20 would repeal this progress by enacting a more punitive rather than restorative justice system in California. It would increase penalties for certain theft-related crimes; change the existing nonviolent offender release consideration process; divert resources away from social and community-based programs that help to reduce crime; and require DNA collection from adults convicted of certain misdemeanors. Catholic Charities recommends voting NO on Prop. 20.
YES on PROP. 25: Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum
Studies have definitively demonstrated that the money bail system unfairly impacts those who are economically disavantaged particularly people of color and immigrants. They often wait months in jail before trial while those with means pay to be released. Proposition 25 supports prior legislation enacted in 2018 (SB 10) which replaces money bail with a fairer, safer, and less costly process, releasing people awaiting trial automatically (depending on the offense) or based on a risk assessment. Catholic Charities recommends voting YES on Prop. 25 to uphold replacing cash bail with specified risk assessments to create a more just and equitable system.
CITY & COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
YES on PROP. A: Health and Homelessness, Parks, and Streets Bond (2/3)
This bond measure provides $487.5 million to address the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by: acquiring or improving real property for permanent supportive housing, shelters, and behavioral health facilities; increasing neighborhood safety and quality; funding parks and open spaces and recreation facilities; increasing access for people with disabilities; and resurfacing the city’s streets. Prop. A will generate jobs and support residents who are homeless and vulnerable while maintaining essential infrastructure. The projects identified in Prop. A generally benefit low-income communities, communities of color, people without homes, and people who have disabilities. Prop A does not raise taxes since the city retires old bonds before a new bond is issued. Catholic Charities recommends voting YES on Prop. A
YES on PROP. F: Business Tax Overhaul (Charter Amendment)
This phased-in gross receipts tax will repeal the payroll tax and spread taxes more fairly between small businesses and larger enterprises. It will generate additional general fund revenue annually and unlock millions of dollars in urgently needed funds for homelessness and childcare from previous measures that the City cannot spend due to legal challenges. Homelessness disproportionately impacts people of color in San Francisco: Black people make up 37% of the city’s unhoused population, yet account for less than 6% of the total population. Prop F will provide relief to people experiencing homelessness and also help protect smaller businesses as well as industries most impacted by the economic recession, including hospitality and retail, which employ disproportionate numbers of workers of color. Catholic Charities recommends voting YES on Prop. F
YES on PROP. J: Parcel Tax for San Francisco Unified School District (Ordinance) (50%+1)
Prop J would sunset and replace the parcel tax known as Prop G, approved by voters in June 2018, that is currently being challenged in court. Prop J will create a new parcel tax to unlock the Prop G funds dedicated to San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) teacher wages. The Prop G tax would raise $48 million a year to fund teacher salary increases; higher staffing levels at underserved schools; technology to support educators, students, and families; and public charter schools. SFUSD serves 54,000 children annually from racially diverse, primarily socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. The district employs a staff of over 9,500 educators and administrators. This additional funding will help resource public school teachers and educational infrastructure in San Francisco. Catholic Charities recommends voting YES on Prop. J
YES on PROP. K: Affordable Housing Authorization
Prop K will authorize the City to own, develop, construct, rehabilitate, or acquire up to 10,000 residential units of low rent housing projects within the City for affordable rental housing. The lack of permanent housing for thousands of families and individuals in San Francisco compounds other numerous challenges including medical, social, psychological, and vocational. Adding 10,000 sorely needed low-rent residential units to the stock of affordable housing within the city will help vulnerable families restore stability and hope. Catholic Charities recommends voting YES on Prop. K