Listen to the horde of TV ads and commercials exhorting citizens to vote yes on Prop 6 and No on Proposition 10, and we can hear the depths to which some will dip to lie and attempt to confuse potential voters. Rather than to simply provide straightforward information that shows supporters’ best views of both issues, insidiousness and rampant prevarications have now become the norm.

It is trumpeted loudly that Prop 6 is solely about repealing an unfair new tax on Californians that is illegal and for partisan purposes only. Instead, the 12-cent gasoline tax that was enacted last April, 2018, passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Brown, is to raise money specifically to repair streets, bridges, highways, basic infrastructure, etc. Repair and maintenance of modern life styles costs money, and that purpose must compete with other public needs. Opponents of Prop 6 say a 12-cent gas tax is a small price to pay for such huge dividends for the entire state.

Backers of Prop 6 have recently promoted a new ad that looks like an official announcement from California state government. It blasts: Election Ballot “Correction:” Proposition 6 is now re-named ‘The Gas-Tax Repeal Initiative.” It is not. The official on-ballot name is “To Eliminate Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding.” A vote for Prop 6 is a vote to kill such funding, not to restore it. The new add has already prompted some potential voters to question their area newspapers on why the media has not announced the “retraction of Prop 6’s title to get rid of the gas tax”?

A few years ago in the state, opponents of gay marriage backed a ballot proposition they tried to call the Marriage Civil Rights Initiative (a.k.a, California Marriage Protection Act, 2008) A vote for the proposition was actually against gay marriage, not for civil rights. Such voter confusion quite often works, so those who pay attention use the tactic often. And there is no real law against such prevarications and chicanery. They are generally just labeled political free speech.

Vote No on Prop 6.

In terms of Prop 10, more and more we are being given images of seniors, veterans and regular folk touting the idea that a vote for Prop 10 will lead to more homelessness, will heavily burden homeowners and will generally be non-patriotic. Anti-Prop 10 backers say passing the proposition will be a disaster for the state and will not do anything positive regarding homelessness. These are the views of the big money backers against Prop 10. I say, ask the renters and homeless what they think.

Over 65 per cent of the African American population in California, according to the most recent statistics, live in rental housing. Without rent controls, most of those renters will have no way to stop rapidly increasing housing costs. Ask most of the African American and Latino population of Inglewood. Where’s their benefit from the new football stadium? Higher rents.

Prop 10’s official ballot name is ‘Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property.’  Prop 10 is a repeal of the current California law called Costas-Hawkins, which severely limits any new rent control ordinances in California for housing units built after 1995. Prop 10 allows California cities to vote on whether they want rent control as an option in their municipalities, the proposition does not dictate rent controls and does not automatically harm home owners. The proposition does benefit renters.

I’ve been a renter, and I may have to become one again. Vote Yes on Prop 10.

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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