If you have an absentee ballot and have not yet mailed it in, PUT IT IN THE MAIL BY FRIDAY TO HAVE YOUR VOTE COUNT. If you miss the mailman on Friday, then you can just fill it out and drop it off at any polling place in your county. It does not need to be dropped off at your local polling place.
Got that? Great! Now on to the endorsements!
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERVISOR
If politics were a meritocracy, Sheila Kuehl would win this seat in a landslide. Her opponent doesn't come close to the depth of expertise or experience she would bring to the role of County Supervisor. After serving fourteen years in the California Senate and Assembly, she's already dealt effectively with the vast challenges an LA County Supervisor will have to face every day: overburdened healthcare and juvenile justice systems, navigating state, federal and local budgets, and dealing with ongoing issues involving social services, housing, child care, civil rights, employment, public safety and environmental protection.
After serving our area for years in the CA State Assembly and State Senate, Ted Lieu has proven himself both the best progressive choice to represent us in Congress and the one who truly understands the unique needs of our community. Whether it's in regards to LAX (modernization, not expansion), effective public transportation, protecting renters or our special coastal environment, Ted Lieu will be an effective partner for us in Congress. It's why President Barack Obama went out of his way to visit Ted in his Venice campaign office on his last trip to Los Angeles and why local leaders from Mayor Eric Garcetti to Councilman Mike Bonin have enthusiastically thrown their support behind him.
CA STATE SENATE DISTRICT 26
When it comes to the CA State Senate, district voters are blessed with an embarrassment of riches. There are two great, qualified candidates running for this seat - Activist Sandra Fluke and Santa Monica-Malibu School Board Member Ben Allen.
I've chosen to endorse Sandra Fluke.
I want be crystal clear about why. I never vote identity politics alone, but with all things being equal - and I think that's the case with Sandra Fluke and Ben Allen in this race - then I believe voting for the qualified woman, person of color and/or LGBTQ candidate is the best choice. Look, white males make up only a third of our population, yet hold two-thirds of elected office in this country. This won't change unless we support and elect qualified women, people of color and LGBTQ candidates running for local, state and national office. They are out there and they run every election cycle. We have a great one running for California state senate right now.
When she first announced her intentions to run, some questioned Fluke's qualifications, saying being attacked by Rush Limbaugh and the resulting "celebrity" was not enough. What differentiates Fluke is not that she was attacked by Rush Limbaugh. What differentiates her is what she she did once she was attacked by Limbaugh. She didn't give in and she didn't give up. She didn't hide. She kept the conversation going. She kept it on point. She expanded her activism and with it the conversation about women's reproductive rights, their health and their equal role in society. And she did it with equanimity, intelligence, grace and most importantly, effectiveness. She was tested in a way very few electeds are ever tested. Since then, she's done the deep work she's needed to do to understand the district's needs.
In my book, that earns her a seat at the table, and serious regard as a candidate for State Senate.
CA ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 62
Of the two candidates running for this open Assembly seat, Autumn is the only one who's shown any interest in really digging down into the thorny issues that affect Venice and other Westside communities in the district - overdevelopment, homelessness, traffic, public transportation and coastal access.
She earned the endorsement of many local leaders including the one she'll have to work mostly closely with, Councilman Mike Bonin. "Autumn's leadership in the community, helping small businesses grow and mentoring young people gives her the experience she needs to standup for our neighborhoods in Sacramento," said Bonin. "I look forward to working with Autumn to improve access to affordable housing, prioritize protecting our environment and to put neighborhoods first."
OTHER LOCAL RACES
COUNTY ASSESSOR: JEFFREY PRANG
COUNTY SHERIFF: JIM McDONNELL
WATER BASIN DISTRICT DIRECTOR: SCOTT HOUSTON
GOVERNOR: JERRY BROWN
LT. GOVERNOR: GAVIN NEWSOM
SECRETARY OF STATE: ALEX PADILLA
CONTROLLER: BETTY T. YEE
TREASURER: JOHN CHAING
ATTORNEY GENERAL: KAMALA HARRIS
INSURANCE COMMISSIONER: DAVE JONES
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: TOM TORLAKSON
STATE BALLOT MEASURES
PROP 1 (CALIFORNIA'S $7.12 BILLION WATER BOND)
The Sierra Club, which is taking a "no endorsement" position, actually makes the best arguments I've seen against Prop 1 - namely that it throws a $2.7 billion bone to Central Valley Republicans by mandating three very expensive, antiquated and environmentally damaging dam projects.
PROP 2 (GOV. BROWN'S RAINY DAY FUND)
PROP 45 (INITIATIVE TO REGULATE INSURANCE RATES)
PROP 46 (HIGHER PENALTIES/DRUG TESTING FOR DOCTORS)
PROP 47 (SMARTER SENTENCING FOR NONVIOLENT CRIMES)
PROP 48 (REFERENDUM ON INDIAN GAMING CASINO)