A Few November Propositions
By Jennifer Dawson
Proposition 49: After School Education and Safety Program Act of 2002
With over 1 million children living with a single working parent or with two parents who both work --- the afternoon hours between 3 and 6 p.m. have been targeted as "the danger zone" the time when children under the age of 15 are most likely use alcohol and tobacco, abuse drugs, have car accidents, and engage in criminal activity. Proposition 49, endorsed by parents, educators and law enforcement agencies will give children a safe, educational and recreational place to be after school. Studies show that after school programs increase school attendance, improve academic performance, boost standardized test scores and reduce juvenile delinquency as much as 50%.
Opponents, claiming that proposition 49 will jeopardize "other "unspecified programs "with potentially greater impact on children" are tripping over dollars to pick up nickels. This measure will save taxpayers $3 for every $1 invested by reducing crime, grade repetition and the need for remedial education. The measure is funded by future growth in state revenues and will not raise taxes or affect the current budget.
A YES on Proposition 49 will enhance the well being of our children, help working families, make communities safer AND save taxpayers money.
Proposition 50: Water Quality, Supply and Safe Drinking Water Projects. Coastal Wetlands Purchase and Protection.
Protecting our drinking water supply and coastline from pollution, recurring drought, population growth and inadequate security Proposition 50 will allocate existing state revenue to 1)remove dangerous, cancer causing pollutants from our drinking water 2) create new water supplies to keep up with population growth 3) keep raw sewage and pollution out of coastal waters and cleans up bays and beaches 4) protect rivers, lakes, streams and conserves coastal wetlands 5) protect our reservoirs, dams and pipelines from terrorist threats and intentional contamination.
With California's population estimated to be double in forty years we must take effective measures to ensure that our water supply and water quality are fortified by effective long term planning and conservation.
Proposition 46: Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund
Housing affordability for working families in California is at an all time low; last year over 20,000 women and children were turned away from domestic violence shelters because they were full, over 350,000 people are currently estimated to be homeless and the numbers are on the rise.
Proposition 46 will create a state trust of 2.1 billion dollars in low interest bonds over the next thirty years to support various housing programs from existing state funds. "Safe shelter is fundamental to decent life" and this measure will provide clean and affordable housing for senior citizens and low income families, double the emergency shelter beds, expand the capacity of shelters for battered women as well as provide loan assistance for military veterans, firefighters, teachers and police.
The costs of proposition 46 will be off set as the more vulnerable populations will be able to be productive, remain employed and gain self reliance.
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