Ballot Measure Pros & Cons

Ballot Measure Pros & Cons

As part of its mission to provide non-partisan political information, Leagues provide live presentations of the ballot measures.  Sometimes these presentations will be recorded and posted on the web. 

Virtual Candidate Forum graphic  COVID-19 has provided unique challenges to the format that has been refined during the 
 100 years of the existence of the League of Women Voters, so this election cycle we are doing 
 the Ballot Measure Pros & Cons Online as Zoom Webinars (and later as Webinar Recordings).


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Yes, we in the League are totally nonpartisan regarding political parties and candidates.

But, we do take positions on issues. Once we have taken a studied position on an issue, we take action and advocate for or against particular policies, laws, or constitutional amendments.

Go HERE to see our recommendations on the current state Propositions.


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Summary: Local Ballot Measures of Interest to Sunnyvale & Cupertino on the November 3rd 2020 Ballot

Measures are issues brought before voters at a level less than statewide. It could be multi-county, a single county, a school district, a water district, or any of a number of other districts that are affected by the issue presented.

There are four Measures that may appear on your ballot if you live in Cupertino or Sunnyvale. 




Description & Link to More Information




Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD)

 Parcel Tax Renewal

Renewal of special Parcel Tax assessment

Authorizes extension of an existing $98-per-parcel assessment that has been approved and extended unchanged several times since original approval in 2004. The tax is assessed against each parcel of taxable land in the FUHSD District. The extension is for 8 years, from July 1, 2022 through June 30 2030. 

The funds are used to support Cupertino, Fremont, Homestead, Lynbrook and Monta Vista High Schools’ classroom programs and to continue to attract and retain teachers and staff.  


Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board

Sales Tax Addition

Approve a New 1/8 of 1% Retail Sales Tax for Operating and Capital Purposes of the Caltrain Rail Service

Authorizes an additional 1/8 cent (00.125%) retail sales tax in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco Counties for a period of 30 years.

The revenue collected will go towards operations funding throughout the corridor from San Francisco to Gilroy, ongoing maintenance needs, and to build new infrastructure intended to greatly expand the capacity and efficiency of Caltrain services.


Santa Clara Valley Water District

 Parcel Tax Renewal


Renewal of Santa Clara Valley Water District's existing parcel tax rate

Renews indefinitely an existing $0.006-per-square-foot parcel tax, currently set to expire in 2028, to provide flood protection, reduce waterway contaminants, and protect drinking water supplies.



Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority

 Parcel Tax Renewal

Renewal of Measure Q Parcel Tax

Authorizes an indefinite extension of an existing $24-per-parcel assessment that was originally approved as Measure Q in 2014, which is set to expire in 2029.

 This $24 provides 2/3 of the funding for the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, which conserves and protects open spaces, natural areas, and working farms and ranches in and around unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County, and the cities of Campbell, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, San Jose, and Santa Clara.

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Summary: California's 12 State Propositions on the November 3rd 2020 Ballot

A statewide ballot proposition in California is a form of direct democracy. It goes straight to the people to make the decision on a statute (law, including issuing of bonds) and changes to the state constitution. There are three forms:

  1. Initiative – starts as a petition regarding a law and/or a change to the state constitution, requiring a minimum number of valid signatures by registered voters.
  2. Mandatory Referendum - bills that have been passed by the state legislature that must be approved by the voters before they can go into effect. These may be state constitutional amendments, bond measures, or amendments to previously approved voter initiatives.
  3. Optional Referendum – also known as a ‘Veto Referendum’. The process is similar to an Initiative, but the purpose is to allow the voters of the state to decide whether an already-passed law should be upheld or repealed. 

This November's 12  state propositions are numbered from 14 to 25.

Prop.  #




Description with Link to the Full Proposal






The California Stem Cell Research, Treatments, and Cures Bond Act of 2020

Authorizes the sale of up to $5.5 Billion in bonds to continue the funding of grants through the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine that support stem cell research to mitigate and/or cure chronic disease and injury.





 The California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020.

Also called the ‘Split Roll’ Commercial Property Assessment Initiative. Requires that large industrial/commercial real estate be assessed to market value for taxes at least every three years, with resulting net revenue used to fund school districts, community colleges, charter schools, and county offices of education.

Real estate NOT included for reassessment includes all residential (including rental), agricultural, and defined small commercial/industrial.


Mandatory Referendum


Government Choices

Reversing (Ending) the Ban on Affirmative Action.

 Allow diversity as a factor in public employment, public education, and contracting decisions. This proposed constitutional amendment would reverse Proposition 209.

Background: California is one of only eight states that do not allow any form of consideration of race or other characteristics in hiring, accepting students, or awarding state contracts, due to Proposition 209 of 1996.


Mandatory Referendum


Voting Rights

 Restoration of voting rights upon completion of a prison term.

 Confirmation (or repeal) of a change to the state constitution.

The change would allow U.S. citizens 18 or over, who are residents of California, and have been released from jail or prison, either on parole or for completion of their term, to have their voting rights restored.


Mandatory Referendum


Voting Age

If you’re 18 by the November election, you can vote in the Primary

 Any U.S. Citizen who will be 18 years of age at the time of the next general election may vote in any primary or special election that occurs before that general election, even though they may only be 17 at the time of the primary.


Mandatory Referendum



 The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire of Natural Disasters Act

 Modifies tax rules in the state constitution regarding when, where and how much assessed property value for tax purposes can be transferred by people over 55, or severely disabled, or who have lost their homes in a wildfire or natural disaster.

Heirs of properties that do not use them as their primary residence will pay increased property taxes, and that revenue will be used for a California Fire Response Fund, which is deemed to be General Fund Revenues.




Penal Code

 Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2020.

 Reverses several laws and propositions passed since a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling required California to reduce prison overcrowding.

 The proposed changes include: increasing the severity of sentences for certain crimes, tightening some parole eligibility criteria, re-classifying some misdemeanors as felonies, and requiring DNA collection for certain specified misdemeanors.





Rent Control

Rental Affordability Act

 Modify the Costa-Hawkins Act to change how California cities and counties implement rent control policies on residential properties.






 Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act.

In 2019, Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5) defined rules to define contractors vs. employees, and required that rideshare and delivery driver app companies provide employee benefits for those who met ‘employee’ rules.

Prop 22 will change AB-5 so all transportation and delivery drivers will be exempt from the employee classification – which means the app companies will treat them as hourly-wage contractors with minimal to no benefits, no matter how many hours they work. 






 Protect the Lives of Dialysis Patients Act

Among other things, would require that all kidney dialysis clinics:

  • Have a physician onsite during all treatment hours
  • Get consent from the state health dept. before closing or reducing services
  • Offer the same level of care to all patients regardless of who's paying




 Privacy Rights

 The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020.

Amends and extends the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 to, among other things,

  • Create a new state agency called the California Privacy Protection Agency to enforce the Act
  • Change criteria for which businesses need to comply
  • Increase penalties on companies that fail to follow regulations
  • Allow consumers more easily to opt in and out of sharing their data




Bail System

 Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum.

This is a referendum on SB 10, a law that was signed in August 2018 and immediately contested. SB 10 set up a major change to the way pre-trial release of any person would be determined in California.  Cash bail was eliminated. The detention decision was based on an assessment of risk to public safety, regardless of a defendant’s financial resources.

This referendum decides the fate of SB 10:

  • YES vote would uphold SB 10 and replace cash bail with risk assessments for detained suspects awaiting trials.
  • NO vote would repeal SB 10, keeping in place the use of the cash bail (bail bond) system.

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More Research on the Measures & Propositions

 Are you interested in doing more research into the measures/propositions

  • The California League has teamed up with MapLight to produce the Voters Edge site.  Along with candidate information, there is detailed information about each state proposition and local Measures, including:                   Logo of the Voter's Edge website
    • who supports and opposes
    • where the money for and against is coming from
    • published arguments for and against
    • background and possible impacts
    • and much more . . .