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An Analysis of California Proposition Results 2022

By Bella Mendoza

At the beginning of November, millions of people flocked to polling sites to vote for not only legislative officials, but also various propositions. It was no surprise that Prop 1 passed with flying colors, as California is a very progressive state, leading to the passage of an amendment that guarantees reproductive freedom. However, despite this passing fairly easily there were other measures that did not pass, such as Proposition 30, Proposition 26, and Proposition 27.

Prop 30

Proposition 30 was a proposal to impose a 1.75% tax on individuals who make over $2 million a year to raise money to help California buy zero-emission vehicles, build electric charging stations, and increase the hiring of firefighters to reduce the spread of inevitable wildfires. However, this measure did not pass for a number of reasons, but the biggest one was that Governor Gavin Newsom was openly opposed to it. On September 12, 2022, an ad aired featuring Gavin Newsom discussing the potential damages this measure could cause, calling it “a Trojan horse.” Being a trusted messenger, he swayed many voters to vote against the proposition.. Prior to this ad, polling from the Public Policy Institute of CA found that 55% of voters would support Prop 30; however, by late October, that number fell to only 41%.

Although Newsom is seen as a progressive Governor and is a strong advocate for climate justice and sustainable practice, he is also a business owner that understands the complexities of taxes and fiscal responsibility. This became one of the major reasons Newsom did not hesitate to publicly oppose Prop 30. Being a well liked governor that everyone seems to trust, Newsom had a huge role in the failure of Prop 30.

Prop 26 & 26

Proposition 26 and 27 both involved online gambling and Native American tribes. If passed, Prop 26 would legalize sports betting at Tribal casinos and the state's four horse tracks, and Prop 27 would legalize both casino sports betting and online betting.

Over the course of the election period, Native American Tribes and gambling companies raised over $600 million dollars to pass these measures. Unfortunately, these dollars went to waste as these measures failed to pass. The whole purpose of these gambling companies with Native American tribes was to not only legalize sports gambling, but also help Native Americans obtain a better school system and help progress tribal economy, and help bring an end to homlessness in California. However, the question arises; would the funding for these measures have been better spent elsewhere?

Native Americans have the highest poverty rate among all minority groups in the United States. Across the nation, one in three Native Americans are living in poverty with a median income of $23,000 a year. Along with this, roughly 29% to 36% of all Native Americans drop out of school between 7th and 12th grade. This creates a huge disparity between Indigenous populations and others in the United States, creating more inequalities in these neighborhoods.

For these measures, individual tribes contributed greatly to their funding, in hopes of legalizing gambling. The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria donated roughly $32 million, the Pechanga Band of Indians over $25 million, and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation contributed $22 million. In total, Indigenous tribes contributed roughly $79 millions dollars to get these measures passed.

If these efforts and money were put back into the tribes and invested in advancing education programs, it would have better serve their communities and help diminish disparities Native Americans face on a daily basis. Indigenous populations are constantly left out of conversations and, frankly, forgotten about. It is important to prioritize their education needs and ensure that every child gets an adequate education, eventually leading them out of poverty. Although this measure could have potentially brought in more income to tribes, the fundraising money could have been spent elsewhere helping this population, instead of being wasted on fundraising for a measure that failed to pass.


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