A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022;  415-846-7758 (cell)

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — Propositions 15, 16, and 17 on the June ballot are of critical importance to communities of color, The Greenlining Institute said today, urging voters to say yes to Prop. 15,  and no to Props. 16 and 17:


yes-15Yes on 15 (Public Financing of Elections) – This initiative creates a “test run” public financing system for Secretary of State candidates. “Communities of color are always at a disadvantage when big money dominates politics,” said Greenlining Institute executive director Orson Aguilar. “Public financing would reduce the dominance of lobbyists and special interests and increase the power of ordinary citizens.”
no-16No on 16 (Imposing Two-Thirds Voter Requirement for Local Public Electricity) By requiring a two-thirds vote, Prop. 16 will cripple the ability of communities to set up a public alternative to huge utility companies. “Our democracy wasn’t meant to be purchased with $35 million from one company,” Aguilar said.
no-17No on Prop. 17 (Auto Insurance Discounts and Penalties) This measure changes current law to permit insurance companies to offer discounts to drivers who have continuously maintained auto insurance coverage but change their insurance company, while allowing companies to raise rates for drivers who have had a lapse in coverage. “This is another classic special-interest proposition, written and financed by one company,” Aguilar said. “Overwhelmingly, the people who will be hurt by Prop. 17 are those who have the least, including drivers who lost jobs due to the recession or military service and gave up using a car for a period of time or couldn’t afford insurance. Prop. 17 is bad news for our communities.”