Schools, Weed, And Crime. Here’s Why Californians Should Register To Vote Beyond The Presidency

Today, Oct. 24, marks the last day you can register to vote for the upcoming Nov. 8 election in California. If you’re too lazy to fill out an application by hand, you can register to vote here. And while the state is already in the win column for Hillary Clinton (California hasn’t voted Republican since 1988 and that won’t change in 2016), that doesn’t mean that your vote doesn’t count. Quite the contrary. There’s a lot at stake on the ballot that directly impacts you. Here are some propositions that makes your vote more meaningful than you think.

Legal Weed

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Credit: “Black Sheep”/Giphy

In California (and in the rest of the country, technically), possession of marijuana for recreational use is illegal. If passed, Proposition 64 would make  California the fifth state behind Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Beyond legitimizing something that everyone already does anyway, the passing of Proposition 64 would be a big blow to the federal “war on drugs,” which has disproportionately wreaked havoc on communities of color.

Bilingual Education

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Credit: Voto Latino/Giphy

In 1998, California passed Proposition 227 and got rid of bilingual education. As the Los Angeles Times notes, part of the reason why that proposition passed was anti-immigrant sentiment. 18 years after that vote, Californians have the option of bringing bilingual education back. This is a good thing. Bilingual education has proven to be an effective way of getting kids who don’t speak English to pick up the language. There’s also a lot of research that suggests that bilingual people are likely smarter than those who only speak one language. Who wouldn’t want smarter kids?

Less Crowded Jails

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Proposition 57 might be the most consequential measure on the ballot. If passed, Prop 57 would do two things: 1) it would make it easier for those in prison for a non-violent crime to get parole, and 2) it would leave it up to judges to decide whether a minor gets tried for an adult. The first would make it easier for those who were convicted of a nonviolent offense to be paroled and go through rehabilitation instead of sitting in an overcrowded jail. The second, perhaps more importantly, is that it would prevent overzealous prosecutors from trying to make an example out of kids and try them as adults. Proposition 57 could have serious impact on the Latino community given that we are disproportionately jailed more than our white counterparts.

PLEASE PLEASE VOTE!

 

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Credit: “Lemonade”/Giphy

Your vote really does count. Plus, Beyonce is asking you to go do it, and you want to listen to Queen Bey on this.

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