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On November 8, California voters will be asked to approve or reject a host of state and local ballot measures with deep relevance for health and equity. There are 17 statewide propositions and many more in the cities and counties of the Bay Area and Los Angeles region, where Prevention Institute has offices.  

We will first explore a few vital initiatives in detail, and then briefly discuss several other ballot measures. 

Priority Recommendations

Yes on Prop 63: Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban 

Prop 63 would make California the first in the nation to implement point-of-sale background checks for ammunition purchases, implementing the same level of scrutiny as gun purchases. It would also require gun owners to get rid of their large-capacity magazines, and report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement. Too often, the debate over gun safety has focused on the rights of gun owners, not the rights of people to feel safe in their communities. Prop 63 provides Californians a unique opportunity to bypass the stranglehold that the National Rifle Association has on legislators. On average, 89 people die in the U.S. every day from gun violence, from preschoolers, gun owners, bystanders in mass shootings, and people with mental health struggles who take their own lives. A successful gun control initiative in the nation’s largest state could lead not only to voter initiatives in other states, but to greater confidence and courage among policymakers to take up gun safety legislation. 

Yes on Prop 56: Tobacco Tax Increase 

Prop 56 will reduce smoking, prevent suffering, and save lives and money. Smoking is the world’s leading cause of preventable death. Youth, low-income communities, and communities of color are disproportionately targeted by tobacco industry advertising, and are vastly more likely to become addicted to cigarettes as well. Raising the cost of cigarettes has effectively reduced smoking and discouraged people – especially teens – from starting. Research shows that for every 10% increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes, teen smoking drops by up to 7%. Tobacco-control efforts since 1964 have saved eight million people from dying prematurely. Prop 56 would bring in over $1 billion annually, 80% of which would go towards healthcare programs that would benefit Medi-Cal recipients, most of whom are low-income people of color.

Yes on Prop 64: The California Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Due to entrenched inequities in the ways drug laws are enforced in the US, we strongly support the decriminalization of marijuana possession. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, between 2001 and 2010, there were over eight million marijuana arrests in the United States, 88% of which were for possession. The report also finds that, on average, a Black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates. Marijuana criminalization has unjustly targeted communities of color, expended billions of dollars on prosecuting and jailing nonviolent drug users, and exacerbated our country’s mass incarceration crisis. Legalizing marijuana for recreational use has its downsides, complexities, and potential health issues, but we strongly believe that it is an issue better served by a public health approach, not a criminal justice one. We also urge that new resources generated by taxing marijuana be invested in community-based prevention efforts that will improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. As marijuana legalization gains momentum across the country, we need to draw on what we know to develop a system and set of norms and opportunities that promote healthier, safer, and more equitable communities -- for youth and for all. And the voices of community members, who know best what their communities need, must play a key role in deciding how revenues are invested to improve opportunity and support wellbeing. 

Soda and Sugary Beverage Taxes: Yes on Oakland’s Measure HH, San Francisco’s Measure V, and Albany’s Measure 01

Research suggests that a national penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would prevent 100,000 cases of heart disease, 8,000 strokes, and 26,000 deaths in the first decade it was enacted. It would also save $17 billion in health-care related expenses while raising $13 billion in revenue, money that could be spent on improving health and wellbeing across the country—precisely what Oakland, Albany, and San Francisco have in mind.

Yes on Los Angeles’s Measure A: Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Measure

Measure A replaces expiring local funding through a 1.5-cent parcel tax that would raise $94 million annually for cities and local communities to protect, enhance, and maintain neighborhood parks, open space, beaches, rivers, and streams. Parks, playgrounds, and other recreation facilities provide critical opportunities for engaging in physical activity, gathering with neighbors, and relieving stress. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to promote physical and mental health and safety, and reverse long-standing park deficits in communities that have historically been left behind in the allocation of these kinds of resources.

Yes on Los Angeles County’s Measure M: The Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan 

Measure M proposes a half-cent sales tax to improve transportation and mobility options for Los Angeles County residents. Measure M advances a comprehensive plan to improve walking and bicycling conditions directly benefiting the health of people of all ages and abilities by making it easier and safer to get around and be active.

We’re not finished yet! Below you will find our positions on nearly every state ballot measure, including numerous initiatives from Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Albany.

Statewide Measures

Yes on Prop 52: Voter Approval to Divert Hospital Fee Revenue Dedicated to Medi-Cal 

No on Prop 53: Voter Approval Requirement for Revenue Bonds above $2 Billion

Yes on Prop 55: Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase

Yes on Prop 56: Tobacco Tax Increase 

Yes on Prop 57: Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements

Yes on Prop 58: Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education

Yes on Prop 59: Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question 

No on Prop 60: Condoms in Pornographic Films 

Yes on Prop 61: Drug Price Standards

Yes on Prop 62: Repeal of the Death Penalty

Yes on Prop 63: Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban

Yes on Prop 64: The California Marijuana Legalization Initiative

No on Prop 65: Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation Fund

No on Prop 66: Death Penalty Procedures

Yes on Prop 67: Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum

County of Los Angeles

Yes on Los Angeles’s Measure A: Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Measure

Yes on Los Angeles County’s Measure M: The Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan 

City of Los Angeles

Yes on HHH: Homelessness Reduction and Prevention, Housing, and Facilities Bond Yes on JJJ: Affordable Housing and Labor Standards for General Plan Amendments and Zoning Changes

Bay Area Transportation Measures

Yes on C1: A.C. Transit Parcel Tax Extension 

Yes on RR: BART Infrastructure Bond 


Yes on G1: School Parcel Tax 

Yes on HH: Soda and Sugary Beverages Tax 

Yes on JJ:  Just Cause Eviction and Rent Law Amendment 

Yes on LL:  Police Commission and Review Agency

San Francisco

Yes on A: Unified School District Bond Issue 

Yes on J: Homeless Services and Transportation Funds Amendment 

Yes on K:  Sales Tax Increase

Yes on N: Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections 

No on Q: Prohibiting Tents on Public Sidewalks

No on U: Income Qualifications for Affordable Housing

Yes on V: Soda and Sugary Beverages Tax

Yes on W: Real Estate Transfer Tax


Yes on AA: Berkeley Rent Board Ordinance

No on DD: Rental Unit Business License Tax (Misleading “affordable-housing initiative” bankrolled by landlords and real estate investors)

Yes on E1: Berkeley Public Schools Educational Excellence Act of 2016

Yes on T1: Berkeley Infrastructure Bond for Parks, Sidewalks, Streets, Drains

Yes on U1: Rental Unit Business License Tax (City-sponsored initiative to fund affordable housing)

Yes on X-1: Public Financing of Elections for Mayor and City Council

Yes on Z1: Low Income Housing Authorization


Yes on O1: Soda and Sugary Beverages Tax 

We hope everyone takes the time to research and weigh in on these critical measures. This November, we have the power to improve health, save lives, and build a more equitable future. Thank you for taking the time to vote!

Prevention Institute building

Statewide Measures

Yes on Prop 52

No on Prop 53

Yes on Prop 55 

Yes on Prop 56 

Yes on Prop 57 

Yes on Prop 58 

Yes on Prop 59

No on Prop 60

Yes on Prop 61

Yes on Prop 62 

Yes on Prop 63 

Yes on Prop 64

No on Prop 65 

No on Prop 66 

Yes on Prop 67 

Contact Info:

Phone: 510-444-7738

Email: prevent@preventioninstitute.org

Prevention Institute
221 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607

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