Voting November 2020
Why do you care?
You probably don’t. This is mostly for me to reflect.
My current beliefs
- The top three traits I seek in a candidate are: integrity, leadership, and effectiveness.
- I am strongly convinced that the electoral college should be abolished and we should switch to a ranked voting system.
- The government should increase environmental regulations to prevent climate change and provide more incentives for alternative energy production.
- I am opposed to the USA withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, even if other countries are not held to the same standards.
- The federal government should raise the federal minimum wage to a living wage and adjust it every year for inflation. I am not convinced that the minimum wage should be adjusted by age group.
- I am convinced that the government should raise taxes on the rich. I would be interested in increasing taxes for all income brackets. However, I think taxing large corporations is where we stand to gain the most ground. Furthermore, I am interested in learning more about the pros and cons of taxing shareholder dividends.
- I support increasing taxes for the rich in order to reduce interest rates for student loans. I think more drastic measures are in order, but this would be a good start.
- I would like to see the federal government fund universal preschool.
- Local police departments should respond to non-violent calls with unarmed community responders.
- The USA should accept refugees from Syria. I think welcoming 10,000 is a good starting point, but we should be prepare for more. I am convinced that immigrants and refugees lead to grateful, productive, loyal, and good citizens.
- I am convinced the federal government should decrease military spending. A recent video (How America could lose its allies) by Vox introduces some doubt in this stance, but I still lean on the side of decreasing military spending.
- The federal government should increase spending on public transportation, and that spending should be focused towards environmentally friendly solutions.
- More citizens deserve the right to vote, including convicted criminals. I am less certain about felons convicted of murder and convicted criminals still serving their sentence.
- Photo ID should not be required to vote, and every citizen should be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18.
- Foreigners currently residing in the USA should have the right to vote after living in the country for some amount of time. I think 10 years is reasonable.
- I am in favor of the federal government increasing funding for Medicaid. But I would prefer if we switch to a single payer healthcare system.
- I am convinced that the federal government should require people to wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would be more in favor of limiting this requirement to indoors and crowded areas.
- I support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). But I am convinced a mandatory single payer system would be better.
- Illegal immigrants should be granted citizenship and have access to subsidized healthcare. Furthermore, they should be offered in-state tuition rates at public colleges within their residing state as long as they pay taxes.
- The US should not build a wall along the southern border, and we should adopt an open border policy.
- I am pro-choice. I am convinced that providing birth control, sex education, and more social services will help reduce the number of abortions.
- I support the funding of Planned Parenthood. They provide important services beyond abortions.
- To some degree, the federal government should require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases. I believe this is a federal concern because of interstate travel. Border cities should not need to be concerned about whether or not their neighbors are vaccinating their children. I am less certain about which diseases merit mandatory vaccination.
- I do not support minimum prison sentences for drug possession.
- The USA should not assassinate suspected terrorists in foreign countries.
- The President should not be able to authorize military force against Al-Qaeda without Congressional approval. I am convinced that the Patriot Act should be repealed.
- I am in favor of closing the gun show loophole for purchasing guns.
- I am opposed to teachers being allowed to carry guns at school. I predict that more teachers would carry guns at schools attended by many students of color. I fear for the students’ safety.
Notably, I do not have a firm stance on these policies.
- Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights?
- Do I support the use of nuclear energy?
- Should producers be required to label genetically engineered foods?
- Should health insurance providers be required to offer free birth control? With a mandatory single payer system, yes. With the current system, I’m not sure. I do not want to disrespect religious organizations, and I am not sure if it is the best decision for all private insurance providers.
- Should the federal government pay for tuition at four-year colleges and universities?
- Should victims of gun violence be allowed to sue firearms dealers and manufacturers?
- Should disposable products (such as plastic cups, plates, and cutlery) that contain less than 50% of biodegradable material be banned? This seems very extreme. If anything, I think there should be a phased approach. However, I am concerned about where this biodegradable material would be sourced. I am concerned by how much more energy would be required to source and produce these materials.
David Barrett published an email and one of his statements hooked my attention all week:
That’s right, I’m saying a vote for Trump, a vote for a third-party candidate, or simply not voting at all – they’re all the same, and they all mean:
“I care more about my favorite issue than democracy. I believe Trump winning is more important than democracy. I am comfortable standing aside and allowing democracy to be methodically dismantled, in plain sight."
If I vote for the Green party candidates, Democrats say I’m wasting my vote, and helping the Republican party. The Republicans are fine, “At least he didn’t vote Democrat.”
After this election, if the Democrats have both houses of Congress and the White House, then when do I vote for the Green party candidate? Next election? Nope. When do the Democrat (and Republican) voters see that we need to show that we are not happy with two parties? We need an alternative voting system. When will either party choose to prioritize this switch if I continue to cast my vote in their favor?
President and Vice President
Pacific Green: Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker.
Ibrahim A Taher.
US Representative, 3rd district
Alex C DiBlasi.
Secretary of State
Nathalie Paravicini. It is a difficult choice to vote for a naturopathic doctor, but the other candidates do not have satisfactory platforms. At least Paravicini is willing to promote STAR voting.
City of Portland offices
Sarah Iannarone. Ted Wheeler’s handling of the George Floyd protests was unacceptable. Not to mention, Iannarone supports the Green New Deal and has a progressive platform.
Commissioner, position 4
A “yes” vote supports authorizing the state legislature and local governments to (1) enact laws or ordinances limiting campaign contributions and expenditures; (2) require disclosure of contributions and expenditures; and (3) require that political advertisements identify the people or entities that paid for them.
A “yes” vote supports the measure to increase taxes on tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes) to fund the state’s Medical Assistance Program and other healthcare-related programs.
Yes. Nicotine, smoking, etc is not good for people’s health. It is a poor habit, and I think people should be discouraged from starting or continuing.
A “yes” vote supports authorizing the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to create a program to permit licensed service providers to administer psilocybin-producing mushroom and fungi products to individuals 21 years of age or older.
Yes. If someone wants to experiment with mushrooms for their health, then I think they should have the ability to try.
A “yes” vote supports making personal non-commercial possession of a controlled substance no more than a Class E violation (max fine of $100 fine) and establishing a drug addiction treatment and recovery program funded in part by the state’s marijuana tax revenue and state prison savings.
Yes. Drugs should be decriminalized. People should not be encouraged to start or continue using drugs, but they should not be considered criminals for using them.
Yes. I love to use Portland’s libraries. In general, libraries are a great social institution, and they should be supported before people begin to believe that they are not worth keeping.
A “yes” vote supports authorizing the county to issue $387 million in bonds to finance library renovations and imposing a property tax of $61 per $100,000 of assessed value to repay the bonds.
Yes. All children (not just those of the rich) should have access to an early education. Lacking this access perpetuates the wealth gap. Only Taxpayers Association of Oregon made an opposing argument in the Multnomah County Voters’ Pamphlet.
Problem #2: Starbucks won’t pay it, but family-owned coffee shops will.
Because #26-214 is a 3.8% tax on income, it won’t apply to corporations, instead hitting family owned small businesses (coffee shops) who don’t pay corporate taxes but pay personal income taxes on their business revenue since they own the business.
Who said Starbucks would pay for it? Why is the focus on coffee shops? While I would like to see corporations do more to support new parents and their children of the community in which they operate, I do see this measure as an improvement. Many employees of corporations such as Amazon, Autodesk, Google, New Relic, Nike, Oracle, et al., will bear this tax. I think this is taxing the right people for now. Even though these high earning employees are paying the tax, everyone stands to benefit from the greater equity this measure promises to deliver.
City of Portland measures
A “yes” vote supports enacting a tax at the rate of $80 per $100,000 of assessed property value for five years beginning in 2021 to fund recreational programs and park services.
Yes. The parks in my area appear fine to me. I would rather over-pay than under-pay.
A “yes” vote supports:
- Amending the city’s charter to establish a new police oversight board.
- Giving the board the power to subpoena witnesses and request police documents and evidence to investigate complaints made against the Portland Police Bureau.
- Allowing the board to impose disciplinary actions up to termination of law enforcement professionals.
- Authorizing the board to recommend policing policy to the Portland Police Bureau and Portland City Council.
Yes. Portland Police Bureau behaved poorly during the George Floyd protests. That cannot be allowed to repeat.
A “yes” vote supports amending the city’s charter to authorize the city council to spend monies from the Water Fund and increase rates to cover expenses for general public uses, such as neighborhood green areas and community gardens.
No. That fund is meant for water, not for parks. Why is the Water Bureau maintaining public green spaces in the first place? In my opinion, these should be Portland Parks & Recreation’s responsibility. I am opposed to increasing water rates for green space maintenance. The only benefit I see from this is that businesses and people might be discouraged from consuming water. But I don’t think it will be by much. The measure is mentions replacing $11,500 currently coming from the General Fund.
A “yes” vote supports authorizing the Metro Council to impose a payroll tax not to exceed 0.75% on employers with 26 or more employees, excluding local governments, beginning in 2022 to fund infrastructure improvements and transportation programs.
Yes. I see this as a step to reduce transit-related carbon emissions. Improvements to non-car-centric transit encourages people to find a sustainable commute. And, more transit commuters means less traffic, which leads to faster bus trips. As a walker, bus rider, car driver, and motorcycle rider, I am in favor.
A “yes” vote supports authorizing the district to issue $1.2 billion in bonds to fund school renovations, technology, and safety without increasing the existing property tax of $250 per $100,000 of assessed property value to repay the bonds.
Yes. These bonds would fund a lot of basics: repair/replace leaking roofs, seismically retrofit three schools, repair/replace high-priority mechanical systems (heating, cooling, and ventilation). Not to mention the things you expect an education system to provide: replace outdated textbooks. If I had children, then I would be in favor. I live in a community served by these schools, so I am in favor.
Single candidate office elections
I’ve excluded these, because I often do not participate in them.