With the tight presidential race consuming media attention, results for many hard-fought local and statewide races remained unknown on Tuesday night. While California conclusively voted for Biden, the state experienced its own political polarization for some statewide propositions. Using the titles from our previously published Voter Guide—developed by the upper-division Latino Politics class (LTNS 660) in the Latina/Latino Studies Department at the SF State’s College of Ethnic Studies for the voter guide published—here are the results, as of Nov. 4, for the most closely watched races.
While the propositions reinforced the importance big money could play in politics, important proposition outcomes upheld the rights of incarcerated individuals. Here are the results as of press time.
Locally, many incumbents for the Board of Supervisors were reelected and will now be expected to carry out changes on a number of local propositions that passed.
Prop 14: Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative
Prop 14 proposes to authorize $5.5 billion in state bonds for stem cell and other medical research, including training, research facility construction, and administrative costs.
Prop 15: Require More Property Tax from Big Business
Prop 15 would have increased funding for education by placing a tax on commercial and industrial properties. Essentially, big businesses and corporations would have to pay their dues for state services.
Prop 16: Bring back Affirmative Action in California
In 1996, California’s voters passed an initiative to do away with “affirmative action” in public education and employment. Prop 16 would have allowed public colleges, universities and agencies to once again create affirmative action programs to increase diversity and help groups that have been discriminated against in the past. While Bay Area counties and Los Angeles county voted in favor of Prop 16, the rest of the state overwhelmingly voted against it.
Prop 17: Expand Voting Rights to Felons on Parole
Prop 17 provides individuals released on parole after serving their prison term with the right to vote. Nearly 60% of Californians voted yes to enfranchise individuals on parole.
Prop 18: Youth Voting
Prop 18 proposed granting some 17 year olds the ability to vote in California’s primary and special elections. Specifically, it required that the 17 year old turn 18 before the general election. Though only a minor modification to expanding voting, Californians came out in clear opposition to this proposition.
Prop 19: Inheritance Rules
Prop 19 will change the rules for “tax assessment” transfers in California so that certain homeowners will be able to buy a new home without having to pay higher taxes. Directly affected will be homeowners who are over 55, disabled, or affected by a natural disaster by allowing them to keep their lower property taxes when moving to a new home anywhere in California.
Prop 20: Reject Changes to Law Enforcement Policies
Prop. 20 put forth suggested changes that would have added certain theft-related charges to the list of violent felonies, adding time to individuals currently serving sentences for those crimes. It also would have expanded the ability to collect DNA from individuals serving time for certain misdemeanors. Californians once again showed a unified front in protecting the rights of incarcerated individuals by rejecting this proposition.
Prop 21: Local Rent Control
Prop. 21 would have empowered municipalities to enforce rent control policies in buildings over 15 years old. Despite support from ardent rent control activists across the state, particularly in San Francisco, voters came out in clear opposition to this proposition. The votes for this proposition in San Francisco more closely resembled a 50/50 split between renters and homeowners.
Prop 22: Limit Labor Rights for App Drivers
Uber and Lyft poured millions of dollars into Yes on 22 advertising that would reclassify its employees as independent contractors, prohibiting them from accessing certain privileges afforded to only those with employee status. Uber and Lyft’s money dump into this proposition led to a clear victory for rideshare apps, and a loss for the many drivers/organizers leading the fight for No on 22. However, local results in San Francisco show almost exactly the flipped outcome of the state as a whole, suggesting that most San Franciscans remained in favor of keeping Uber/Lyft drivers classified employees.
Prop 23: Regulation of Dialysis Centers
Prop 23 called for more regulation of kidney dialysis centers and would require that a doctor be present during all treatment hours, and was soundly defeated. Dialysis giant DaVita pumped more than $66 million into defeating Prop 23, using the same strategy that it did in 2018 when it defeated Prop 8.
Prop 24: Change California’s Privacy Law
Despite popular confusion surrounding Prop 24 and how it diverges from the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, Calfiornians seem especially leery of their privacy online. Strong support was shown for creating an independent agency in charge of providing oversight on issues of consumer privacy.
Prop 25: Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments
Though California came out in strong support of individuals currently incarcerated, the proposition that aimed to do away with cash bail did not perform similarly. Had it passed, Prop. 25 would have replaced cash bail with a system of flight risk assessments.
San Francisco Local Propositions
In a landmark victory for better representation, Proposition C passed, allowing non-citizens to serve on city boards, commissions, and advisory bodies that have so much influence in San Francisco City Hall.
Prop D: Greater Oversight at the Sheriff’s Dept
Prop D. will create a new Sheriff’s Oversight Board to make policy recommendations regarding the department to the Board of Supervisors. A Sheriff’s Department Office of the Inspector General will also be created to investigate any complaint regarding the Department and its affiliates, as well as any deaths that occur while in custody of the Department. Following a year of intense scrutiny, San Francisco seemed especially eager to pass these new oversight measures.
Prop E: Police Staffing
Prop E will change the city charter to remove mandatory police staffing levels. Currently the city’s charter requires that the San Francisco Police Department maintain at least 1,971 full duty sworn police officers.
Prop G: Youth Voting
In a similar vein to California’s Prop 18, San Francisco’s Prop G suggested lowering voting age to 16 for local elections. It was the most closely contested local proposition. Of the 331,886 total votes, 163,852 individuals voted in favor of lowering the voting age. But this was ultimately not enough to clinch victory.
Prop I: Increase Taxes on Property Sales of $10 Million or More
Prop I will double the city’s “transfer tax” for big property sales of $10 million or more. Currently, transfer taxes range from 0.5 percent for properties up to $25,000 to 3 percent for properties of $25 million or more, with lower rates for properties sold to the City or to affordable housing nonprofits.
State Senate: Jackie Fielder v. Scott Wiener
Jackie announced her candidacy only last November when it became known that no one would be going up against the incumbent Scott Wiener. Throughout her campaign, Fielder called attention to Senator Wiener’s former funding from police unions and current funding from big real estate. Though she ran on small dollar donations, Fielder amassed support from across the country, enabling her to raise nearly $800,000. But this ultimately proved insufficient to reach unseat the sitting Senator.