Yes on Prop 1 / No on Prop 8

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Today California Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced proposition numbers or this November’s ballot measures.  Normally I am pretty apolitical, especially in cyberspace, but these two items I am pretty passionate about so I feel compelled to share my two cents.

Prop 1 – Bond Measure for California High Speed Rail

Drive past your local gas station and look at the prices or listen to the latest news headline about the aviation industry.  Need I say more?  We must change the way we transport ourselves in America for both our economic and environmental survival.  As a foreign exchange student in Germany I saw the beauty of public transportation.  I’d happily ditch my car in favor of a high speed train and light rail.  Maybe $4.50+ gas will finally make this happen.  Being a state nearly as populous as a European country and with an economy to match it just seems natural that we should have this project – and it should already be here.  Personally, I’d like to see it expanded to include a direct Sacramento to SF route.

I’ve been pretty much sold ever since I stumbled upon the California High Speed Rail Authority website, but I will admit I am no expert on the high speed rail bond.  However, I have been trying to inform myself by reading the California High Speed Rail Blog and their competitor Derail HSR.  While DerailHSR is a little prettier (CaHSR you need pictures and video clips), CaHSR is much more informative.  So far, the only downside to the project I can gather from Derail HSR is that its expensive and the state is in financial crisis (When aren’t we? Stopping HSR won’t fix that).  Also it looks like DerailHSR consists of NIMBYs who don’t want a train running near their SF Peninsula homes (they admit this on their site).  For me this makes swallowing their arguements a little tough.

Prop 8 – California Constitutional Marriage Amendment

In a state with the diverse cultural an ethnic beauty of California I am quite saddened to see that this proposition even made it to the ballot.  There are so many more important things to worry about.  If you can’t think of one, turn on the TV and watch the first news story you see.  It will be more important.  I’m still trying to figure out how two adults entering into a legal agreement where they promise to love and care for each other until death regardless of their gender can ruin society.  When gay marriages became legal on the 16th all I saw was love, love, and oh yeah…more love.  Our local clerk recorder had a two week waiting list for performing civil marriages.  After 8+ years when we get hitched, we’d like to keep our rights and responsibilities.  Separate but equal didn’t work for water fountains and schools.  It won’t for marriage either.  Should you vote YES you’re taking real rights from real people…I’m one of them.

Even if you don’t agree with my two cents, please do me one favor and make sure you do vote on November 4th.  I hate hearing initiatives and candidates I supported lost with only 22% of registered voters actually showing up.  It makes me wonder if the “people” really have spoken or if we’re living under the tyranny of a vocal minority.

Joe

Photo: I Voted by Idcross on Flickr

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