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Vote YES on Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District Special Tax Zone 1 Measure C

Vote YES on Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District Special Tax Zone 1 Measure C to fund the continued effort to mitigate the wildfire risk in the region. 
 
Measure C asks voters in Sonoma County to support Fire Protection District operations through the adoption of new parcel taxes. If the measure is adopted, Measure C would allow the Fire Protection District to create the new Special Tax Zone 1 and to levy the authorized parcel taxes on property within that zone. The tax levels will be dependent on the land type and use: $400 annually for an occupied residential parcel, $400 annually for a Commercial Recreational use parcel, and $50 annually for a vacant parcel. This updated funding structure is expected to provide $50,000 annually to the Fire Protection District for an 8-year period. The funds would be subject to an annual audit, and would be used specifically for wildfire-hazard-reduction services within the Special Tax Zone 1. This measure requires a two-thirds supermajority voter approval to pass.


Why voting YES on Measure C matters:

  • Large portions of the Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District have been designated by CalFire as being at High or Extremely High risk for wildfire. While the Fire Protection District has identified mitigation opportunities and established a Vegetation Management Program, the cost of consistently operating this service is high. Measure C would provide funding for vegetation-management equipment and maintenance, ultimately helping to mitigate the risk of wildfire across the district. 
  • In addition to vegetation management and equipment, Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District plans to use the raised tax funds to pay personnel costs and fund contracted services in the district. To ensure that the funds are appropriately allocated, the district will be held accountable through the submission of annual written reports that outline the amount of tax revenue that has been collected and spent, and the status of any project that has been authorized to be funded by the tax. Additionally, a special Advisory Committee of residents and property owners within the Special Tax Zone 1 will be created to advise the district on all annual projects and service priorities. Measure C will require that the district provide taxed citizens with oversight and public accountability, and that the raised funds will be concentrated on wildfire mitigation and management.  

 

Top Funders
The committee in support of Measure C has yet to file any contributions with the Sonoma County Elections Office. We are unable to provide monetary information until contributions are filed. 

Misinformation
There is no prominent misinformation about Measure C.
 

Vote YES on Cupertino Union School District Measure A

Vote YES on Cupertino Union School District Measure A to provide increased local funding support to public schools.
 
Measure A asks voters in Santa Clara County to support local school funding by replacing the existing parcel tax with an increased annual parcel tax rate. If the measure is adopted, parcel owners would see an increase of $148 annually as the rate is raised from the current $250/year to the newly approved $398/year. This local funding stream will provide $14 million annually for the next 8 years to the Cupertino Union School District, and would include independent community oversight, exemptions for senior citizens, and a guarantee that all collected funds would go directly to benefit local schools. These funds will not be used to cover administrative salaries, but will be focused on retaining high-quality teachers, providing competitive compensation rates for teachers and instructors, keeping schools open, ensuring fiscal solvency across the district and supporting the social and emotional wellness of students. A similar measure was included on the March 2020 primary ballot, but failed after gaining only 60% voter approval. This measure requires a two-thirds supermajority voter approval to pass.


Why voting YES on Measure A matters:

  • Cupertino Union School District currently serves 15,000 elementary and middle school students, which is down from nearly 19,000 in 2013. This steady decline in enrollment has created significant financial challenges for the district. State funding, which is allocated on a per-pupil basis, has decreased while the fixed cost of operating and maintaining school buildings has not changed. Without a change to the school funding mix, it is expected that the district will have to move forward with consolidating school buildings for low enrollment, freezing teacher salaries, and staff layoffs. Measure A will provide the district with a reliable fixed stream of annual income, allowing school leaders to strategically budget and maintain all existing school locations in the district.  
  • With these funds, Cupertino Union School District is planning for ambitious improvements to social and emotional learning, core academic programs, library collections, and classroom technology. To ensure that these dollars are properly allocated, the district has committed to appointing an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee and undergoing mandatory annual audits. None of the raised funds will be spent on district administrator salaries, but there will be an effort to make teacher and instructor salaries more competitive and to build annual increases into the compensation system. Measure A will require that the district provide taxed citizens with oversight and public accountability, and that the raised funds will be concentrated on improvements to classroom learning and student success. 
  • The decreases in student enrollment is partially tied to families moving out of the district over the last decade. Approving this local investment in public education could have larger community benefits, like improving and stabilizing property values over time and attracting young families to move to the area and enroll their children in the public-education system. Measure A will provide a long-term investment in local schools that will revitalize public education, and it could also have positive implications for the local economy and the housing market. 

 

Top Funders
The committee in support of Measure A, Citizens for Great Cupertino District Schools, has raised more than $56,000 for the ballot initiative through both individual and organizational donors. Donations include $10,000 from Vallco Property Owner, LLC, $5,000 from SEIU Local 521 Issues PAC, and $3,000 from McKim Design Group. Measure A has also received the endorsement of several local progressive elected officials, including Assemblymembers Evan Low, Alex Lee, and Josh Becker. 


Misinformation
There is no prominent misinformation about Measure A.
 

Vote YES on Appaloosa Road Community Services District Measure D

Vote YES on Appaloosa Road Community Services District Measure D to equitably implement the road-maintenance parcel tax. 


Measure D asks voters in Calaveras County to apply a special tax increase that was previously approved to the 20 parcels of land on Pinto and Morgan Roads, which were originally exempted from the tax. In May 2019, voters approved a measure that increased an existing parcel tax from $75 annually to $175 annually for taxable parcels of land in the Appaloosa Zone. This updated tax was intended to fund road improvements, and applying it to the additional 20 parcels will add $2,000 to the road-maintenance fund annually, increasing the district’s appropriation limit to the revenue generated by this measure. A parcel tax is flat in that it is applied equally to all designated parcels, regardless of their size, use, or value. This measure requires a two-thirds supermajority voter approval to pass.


Why voting YES on Measure D matters:

  • After the May 2019 vote, twenty parcels were inadvertently exempted from the tax in a clerical error. As a result, the owners of those parcels are still paying the $75 annual tax that was increased by a significant vote margin of 82% in 2019. Measure D will bring all parcel owners to the intended tax rate of $175 annually, establishing equity in the distribution of maintenance costs and allowing the Community Services District to adequately budget for and execute repairs.

 

Top Funders
The committee in support of Measure D has yet to file any contributions with the Calaveras County Elections Office. We are unable to provide monetary information until contributions are filed. 


Misinformation
There is no prominent misinformation about Measure D.
 

Vote YES on West Point Fire Protection District Measure C

Vote YES on West Point Fire Protection District Measure C to provide the financial support needed to maintain full services for residents. 


Measure B asks voters in Calaveras County to approve the establishment of a special annual property tax to support the continued operation of the West Point Fire Protection District. The proposed tax would be an additional $180 per year for the owners of 1,952 currently taxed district parcels. This measure would raise an additional $350,000 annually, and increase the district’s appropriation’s limits consistent with this additional revenue. This additional funding would allow the West Point Fire Protection District to maintain current 24-hour/day staffing levels. In August 2020, a similar measure was placed on an all-mail special-election ballot, and fell a few points short of the required two-thirds majority voter approval to pass. 


Why voting YES on Measure C matters:

  • The West Point Fire Protection District has not seen an increase in funding through tax revenue since 2007, but it has maintained 24-hour per day, year-round services for residents. As a result, the district currently operates at a deficit and has struggled to maintain equipment, cover fuel costs, and provide competitive wages. Measure A will provide the funding needed to maintain current staffing levels and eliminate the risk of cuts to service hours.
  • After the failure of the August 2020 ballot measure, the district anticipated making painful cuts to their services. However, during a difficult fire season, they were able to earn revenue by acting as a strike team that rented their engine and crew to the state. This provided West Point with the funds needed to continue their operations, but it also demonstrates their precarious position without adequate and reliable tax funding. Measure C will stabilize the fire district’s revenue stream, allow for consistent budgeting, and provide a solid foundation for staffing and equipment decisions.
  • Without an infusion of more tax revenue, it is likely that the district will be forced to cut their services or consolidate with another nearby service provider. These types of changes will increase response times, and create a gap in services that could result in catastrophic property damage or unattended medical crises. Measure C will provide the funds necessary to maintain full, prompt, and consistent services across the district. 

 

Top Funders
The committee in support of Measure C has yet to file any contributions with the Calaveras County Elections Office. We are unable to provide monetary information until contributions are filed. 


Misinformation
There is no prominent misinformation about Measure C.
 

Vote YES on Copperopolis Fire Protection Measure B

Vote YES on Copperopolis Fire Protection District Measure B to reauthorize current funding for long-term staffing and strategic growth. 


Measure B asks voters in Calaveras County to reauthorize the extension of the Copperopolis Fire Protection District’s appropriations limit through 2025. The appropriations limit was instituted in 1997 and has been reauthorized by voters every four years. The tax collects $75 for paramedic services and $75 for fire protection annually from all residents, and those funds are spent to support the operation of these public services. The appropriation limit for the next four years will be $550,000. If the measure does not pass, the tax will still be collected from residents, but it would require a vote by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors for appropriation to the Fire Protection District. This measure requires a simple 50% majority voter approval to pass.


Why voting YES on Measure B matters:

  • Without a reauthorization of the current funding, public services in the district would be dramatically cut, and response times could increase substantially. Measure B will ensure that staffing, training, and equipment can be a budget priority, and that the current service levels and response times can be maintained. With the appropriations limit, the Fire Protection District maintains a maximum 9-minute response time for most medical and fire calls. Additionally, the community has an aging population, and an overwhelming 84% of their emergency calls are for medical support. 
  • Opposing this measure would not stop the collection of the annual $150 tax per resident. The failure of this measure would require the collected funds to instead be reviewed and appropriated by the Board of Supervisors. Sending these funds through a bureaucratic political process could result in temporarily delayed services for residents. Approving Measure B through the electoral process will ensure that there is no disruption to existing services for residents. 
  • The Copperopolis Fire Protection District currently staffs a 24-hour team of paramedics, firefighters, and EMTs who are trained in rescue, advanced life-support intervention, and lifesaving strategies. Approving Measure B will ensure that the district can maintain the existing team while simultaneously exploring long-term strategies for growth, training, and staff recruitment. 

 

Top Funders
The committee in support of Measure B has yet to file any contributions with the Calaveras County Elections Office. We are unable to provide monetary information until contributions are filed. 


Misinformation
There is no prominent misinformation about Measure B.
 

Vote YES on San Andreas Fire Protection District Measure A

Vote YES on San Andreas Fire Protection District Measure A to support the continued funding of staffing and equipment for the Fire District. 

Measure A asks voters in Calaveras County to add a special annual tax to sustain the staffing and training of the San Andreas Fire District, and to maintain and update equipment necessary to their work of protecting lives, homes, and businesses. The tax would be scaled based on property type: $165 for improved properties, $66 for individual apartment units and manufactured homes in mobile home parks, and $41.24 for unimproved properties. This special annual tax would have no expiration, and is expected to generate roughly $250,000 in revenue annually. This measure requires a two-thirds supermajority voter approval to pass. In August 2020, a similar measure received 62.9% of the vote, failing to reach the two-thirds threshold. The measure has been updated for the May 2021 ballot, and now includes lowered costs for property owners, and some exemptions for low-income seniors. 


Why voting YES on Measure A matters:

  • The fire district often earns revenue by acting as a strike team that rents their engine and crew to the state during wildfire season. During a difficult fire season, this can provide the fire district with hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. However, in a year with few wildfires, the fire district can fall into a significant deficit. Measure A will stabilize the fire district’s revenue stream, allow for consistent budgeting, and provide a solid foundation for staffing and equipment decisions.
  • The fire district has difficulty covering all staffing expenses through existing tax revenue. Currently, the fire district operates with the minimum 4-person salaried crew, which is what is required for safe local responses and to qualify for paid strike-team assignments. Measure A will provide the fire district with the funding needed to support increased staffing and consistently provide stipends to volunteer firefighters who work 24-hour shifts at the station. 
  • The fire district funding limits have made it challenging for the fire district to provide competitive salaries to younger firefighters. Measure A will provide the fire district with the financial stability necessary to recruit new staff members and enable responsive services to an aging community that may have an increased need for emergency support in the coming years. 

 
Top Funders
The committee created in support of Measure A is headed by Dana Nichols, who sits on the San Andreas Fire District Board of Directors. The committee has yet to file any contributions with the Calaveras County Elections Office. We are unable to provide monetary information until contributions are filed. 


Misinformation
There is no prominent misinformation about Measure A.
 

Vote YES on San Rafael City Elementary School District Measure H

Vote YES on San Rafael City Elementary School District Measure H to provide continued funding for classroom and academic program improvements. 
 
Measure H asks voters in Marin County to support an increase in local school funding by renewing an existing parcel tax and adding an additional rate. If the measure is adopted, parcel owners would continue to pay the established annual rate of $287 per parcel, and an additional parcel tax of $36 annually would be added, for a total of $323 per parcel annually. This local funding stream would provide $5 million annually to San Rafael elementary schools for the 8 years it is in place, and would include senior citizen exemptions, annual adjustments, and independent oversight. These funds would be used to invest in academic programs, improve STEAM education, retain quality faculty, and maintain small class sizes. Parcel taxation has supported the San Rafael districts for over 30 years, and has been reauthorized and increased by a citizen vote four times over that period. This measure requires a two-thirds supermajority voter approval to pass.


Why voting YES on Measure H matters:

  • San Rafael elementary schools, which have an overall annual budget of around $62 million, rely on a mix of state and local funding to support their annual expenses. Over the last several years, the elementary district has seen a drop in enrollment, which has resulted in fluctuation in state funding that is typically allocated on a per-pupil system. A local parcel tax funding stream is fixed and provides steady and reliable funding to the education system. Measure G will renew and expand this critical local funding stream, and provide a consistent infusion of funds for the next 8 years that allows for district leaders to plan for strategic growth and develop academic programs.
  • With these funds, San Rafael Schools are planning for ambitious improvements to STEAM education and teacher retention. To ensure that these dollars are properly allocated, the district has committed to independent citizen oversight and mandatory annual audits. In addition, none of the raised funds will be spent on administrative salaries. Measure H will require that the elementary district provide taxed citizens with oversight and public accountability, and that the raised funds will be concentrated on improvements to classroom learning and student success. 
  • While state and federal funds have been funneled to school districts around the country to support the transition to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, district leaders have had to carefully spend those dollars only on designated e-learning expenses. As schools begin a phased reopening, those federal and state funds will be pulled back, but many of the precautions and pandemic safe-learning initiatives will continue in the coming school year. Measure H will ensure that the district maintains the funding necessary to adapt to the continued changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to reopen schools with safety modifications in place for students and staff.

 

Top Funders
The committee in support of Measure H, Yes on Measures G and H for San Rafael Schools has raised more than $85,000 for these ballot initiatives. The majority of donors are education organizations, school-level parent committees, and local companies. Donations include a $15,000 donation from BHM Construction, Inc, a $10,000 donation from the CFT COPE teacher’s union committee, and $7,500 from Urban Futures, Inc.  


Misinformation
There is no prominent misinformation about Measure H.
 

Marin County Measure G

Vote YES on San Rafael City High School District Measure G to provide continued funding for classroom and academic program improvements. 
 
Measure G asks voters in Marin County to support an increase in local school funding by renewing an existing parcel tax and adding an additional rate. If the measure is adopted, parcel owners would continue to pay the established annual rate of $196 per parcel, and an additional parcel tax of $36 annually would be added, for a total of $232 per parcel annually. This local funding stream would provide $5.4 million annually to San Rafael high schools for the 8 years it is in place, and would include senior citizen exemptions, annual adjustments, and independent oversight. These funds would be used to invest in academic programs, provide college and career education, retain quality faculty, and maintain small class sizes. Parcel taxation has supported the San Rafael districts for over 30 years, and has been reauthorized and increased by a citizen vote four times over that period. This measure requires a two-thirds supermajority voter approval to pass.


Why voting YES on Measure G matters:

  • San Rafael high schools, which have an overall annual budget of around $41 million, rely on a mix of state and local funding to support their annual expenses. While state funding can fluctuate year to year as district enrollment changes, a local parcel tax funding stream is fixed and provides steady and reliable funding to the education system. Measure G will renew and expand this critical local funding stream, and provide a consistent infusion of funds for the next 8 years that allows for district leaders to plan for strategic growth and develop academic programs.
  • With these funds, San Rafael Schools are planning for ambitious improvements to STEAM education, teacher retention, core academic programs, and college-to-career pipelines. To ensure that these dollars are properly allocated, the district has committed to independent citizen oversight and mandatory annual audits. In addition, none of the raised funds will be spent on administrative salaries. Measure G will require that the high school district provide taxed citizens with oversight and public accountability, and that the raised funds will be concentrated on improvements to classroom learning and student success. 
  • While state and federal funds have been funneled to school districts around the country to support the transition to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, district leaders have had to carefully spend those dollars only on designated e-learning expenses. As schools begin a phased reopening, those federal and state funds will be pulled back, but many of the precautions and pandemic safe-learning initiatives will continue in the coming school year. Measure G will ensure that the district maintains the funding necessary to adapt to the continued changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to reopen schools with safety modifications in place for students and staff.

 

Top Funders
The committee in support of Measure G, Yes on Measures G and H for San Rafael Schools has raised more than $85,000 for these ballot initiatives. The majority of donors are education organizations, school-level parent committees, and local companies. Donations include a $15,000 donation from BHM Construction, Inc, a $10,000 donation from the CFT COPE teacher’s union committee, and $7,500 from Urban Futures, Inc.  


Misinformation
There is no prominent misinformation about Measure G.
 

Prohibit denial or abridgment of rights on account of an individual's race or ethnicity

The third question is as follows:

“Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended by adding a new section providing that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of an individual’s race or ethnicity?”

VOTE YES.

If passed, this amendment would prohibit restricting or denying an individual’s equal rights because of race or ethnicity and enshrine equal rights under the law for all Pennsylvanians.