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Wake Up and Vote 

L.A. Weekly endorsements for next Tuesday’s primary

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Page 5 of 5

Brown easily outshines his opponent, Los Angeles City Attorney Rockard Delgadillo. Despite small-scale achievements involving neighborhood prosecutors and student truancy, Delgadillo simply has not demonstrated bold leadership. A bland political presence, Delgadillo has mastered generating bad press over his dealings with slumlords, billboard companies and contracting.

So vote for Jerry Brown, the guy who’s been around the block. Vote for political experience and real-world experience, and a candidate who’s promising to push the political envelope.

 

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STATE BALLOT MEASURES

 


PROPOSITION 81 — YES

This $600 million bond measure would build and renovate public libraries. We’re for it.

 


PROPOSITION 82 — YES

A good deal of controversy, some legitimate, some vastly overblown, is swirling around the campaign that actor-director Rob Reiner has waged for Proposition 82, the ballot measure he authored that establishes free, universal preschool for the state’s 4-year-olds. When the measure is weighed on its merits, however, it is one of the most important and innovative propositions we’ve seen in many years.

From RAND Corp. liberals to the University of Chicago’s right-wing Nobel laureate James Heckman, economists and educators believe that the most effective way to ensure not just students’ learning readiness but their success in school is a high-quality preschool. Currently, 62 percent of California’s 4-year-olds are enrolled in preschools, but no more than one in five are enrolled in rigorous programs.

Prop. 82 would change all that. It would raise taxes by 1.7 percent on the wealthiest 0.6 percent of state residents — individuals making more than $400,000 a year or couples making more than $800,000 — to fund preschools in which one credentialed teacher (with at least a B.A.) and one credentialed teacher’s aide would teach classes of no more than 20 students. The measure includes $700 million for scholarships to enable current preschool teachers to get their college degrees and for colleges to develop and expand their preschool-teacher programs, $2 billion to construct new preschools, and funding to improve education in existing facilities. Parents could choose among public and private preschools for their children; schools qualify for funding only if they meet the criteria established by the state’s elected superintendent of public instruction, who would develop the criteria and oversee the program. 

Critics argue that the measure hurts the rich; also, that it provides them with a subsidy. Both can’t be true; in fact, neither is. Offering preschool to the children of all Californians, even the rich, is the best way to ensure that everyone has an investment in it. Others argue that tax increases should be left to the Legislature, but since it takes a two-thirds vote for the Legislature to raise taxes, and since Republican legislators have a genetic defect that keeps them from ever taxing the rich, initiatives remain the only way to do it. We strongly urge a Yes vote on Prop. 82.

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