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Get to know ballot measures

October 09, 2010

In a Congressional district where the campaigning has been comparatively non-existent, local voters have probably found themselves lulled into a fog. But before we know it, Nov. 2 will suddenly emerge from the mist, revealing itself to what hopefully won't be a disillusioned and apathetic public.

The League of Women Voters Glendale/Burbank has tried to drum up interest in myriad state ballot measures, perhaps sensing that the district lacks the incumbent-challenger tussling that's been all over the headlines in other areas. It's sad that that's what seems to be required to get voter attention these days, or that we have to use editorial space to acknowledge it, but here we are, just a few weeks from the election.

So here it is, our own attempt to persuade apathetic residents to, at the very least, take just one cumulative hour to review the ballot measures and candidate statements. In the absence of any in-your-face politicking that was so prominent for the June special election for Assembly, it may seem as if Nov. 2 is an election for "them," not "you."

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But consider that the absence of a state budget has riled the ability of local agencies to either effectively do their jobs or plan. Glendale Community College was forced to go with a "moving" budget that ranged between a $1.2-million deficit and balanced because no one knew what Sacramento was going to dole out. Never mind the limbo that our city halls were left in more than three months after they responsibly passed their own budgets for the new fiscal year starting July 1.

Proposition 25 would change the absurd two-thirds approval requirement in the Legislature needed for a new state budget to a simple majority — and withhold lawmakers' pay for each day they're tardy. Proposition 19, which would tax and regulate the legalized sale of marijuana, has been vilified by law enforcement agencies as opening Pandora's box on a whole new era of public safety issues. Our city would not be in a bubble.

These are just some of the examples of why, despite a lack of viscous campaigning that typically gets locals to the polls, we should not only participate, but take the time to inform ourselves in the few weeks we have left before Nov. 2. There's no excuse not to.

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