Thursday, May 28, 2020

San Diego CA RCV Ballot Measures Take Key Step Forward

San Diego, California, Residents may get a chance, this November, to Vote on Ballot Measures that would Shift City Elections to: Ranked-Choice voting (RCV); provide Public Funding for Local Candidates; Change Contracting Laws in Favor of Union Labor; and would Provide the City Auditor the Ability to Hire Independent Legal Counsel in Controversial Situations.

During a Five-hour Public Hearing, the City Council’s Rules Committee Voted 3-2 Wednesday to Allow further Evaluation of those Measures so the Full Council can decide this Summer whether they should Appear on the November General Election Ballot.

The Four Ballot Measures Approved Wednesday will Return to the Committee for a Second Debate June 10th. If the Committee Approves them a Second Time, the Full Council would have until Aug. 7th to Place them on the November General Election Ballot.

RCV sometimes called “instant runoff” elections, would allow city Voters to Rank from 1 to 4 Candidates instead of just Casting a Single Vote. Voters would still only Choose One Candidate in the Primary, but the Top, Up to Four Vote-Getters, would Advance to November instead of just the Top Two. In November, Voters would Rank, Up-To, All Four Candidates from 1 to 4, with 1 being their Top Choice.

Supporters say RCV would Reduce Political Polarization and Negative Campaigning. Opponents say it would create Confusion.

The Ballot Measure that would Provide Public Funding for City Elections aims to Reduce the Impact of Campaign Contributions on Local Elections. Supporters say such a System would: Encourage more Qualified Candidates to Run for City Office; Reduce the Influence of Corporate Interests and Labor Unions.

The Ballot Measure that would Change City Contracting Policy in favor of Labor Unions focuses on “project labor agreements,” which are Pro-Union Deals that a previously Approved City Ballot Measure sought to Limit. Supporters of the New Ballot Measure say it would Preserve Millions of Dollars in State Funding for Local Public Works Projects by Loosening Restrictions on when the City can use Project Labor Agreements.

Opponents, including the Local Chapter of the Associated General Contractors, say the City’s Existing System is working Well because it Allows Union Contractors and Non-Union Contractors to Conduct Work for the City.

A Dispute over Project Labor Agreements has Stalled Construction of San Diego’s Proposed Water Recycling System, where Water is Pumped through Microfiltration Membrane Filtration Modules (Tubes) at the Advanced Water Purification Facility in University City at the City of San Diego’s North City Water Reclamation Plant, the First Step to Making the Water Comparable as Pure Distilled Water in Quality.

The Ballot Measure that would Allow the City Auditor to Hire Outside Legal Counsel aims to Eliminate a Conflict of Interest for City Attorney, Mara Elliott, who Provides Legal Advice to the Auditor and the City Employees that the Auditor Investigates.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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