Election Guide: 8 Ballot Measures For Racial Justice

Vote with people of color this election to protect renters, boost police oversight, and lessen the harms of the prison system. SURJ Bay Area’s editors have highlighted statewide and local ballot measures that will most affect communities of color.

For example, two propositions on the California ballot are related to the death penalty. As the NCADP put it: “The burdens and failures of the United States justice system fall most heavily and unfairly on communities of color. There must be a fundamental change in the system. The lynchpin for that change is ending capital punishment."

By voting on the following measures, you can do your part to stand up for racial justice.




Proposition 62 - Ending The Death Penalty

Prop 62 repeals the death penalty and replaces it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. It retroactively applies to prisoners already on death row at the time it takes effect. Learn more here.


Proposition 66 - Speeding Up The Death Penalty

Prop 66 will accelerate the death penalty for death row inmates by adding a time limit for review, limiting petitions, and other procedural changes. Learn more about Props 62 & 66 at Ballot FYI.


Proposition 57 - Parole For Non-Violent Offenders

Prop 57 will make more non-violent offenders eligible for early release, which they can earn through good behavior. It will also stop prosecutors from choosing whether to try minors as adults. Instead, that decision will be up to a judge. Learn more atBallot FYI.



Proposition G - Police Oversight

Prop G will give a small upgrade to San Francisco’s police oversight. The Office of Citizen Complaints will be renamed the Department of Police Accountability. The department will get to audit how SFPD has handled misconduct accusations. And its budget will be set by the mayor instead of the Police Commission. Read more here.


Proposition C - Funding Affordable Housing

In 1992, an ordinance was approved to issue $350 million in bonds to upgrade buildings at-risk in the event of an earthquake. Prop C would make it so the remaining bonds ($261 million) would be used to upgrade such buildings and convert them into permanent affordable housing. Read more here.


Proposition U - Make Affordable Housing

Prop U will raise the income cap for affordable housing. This Realtor-funding measure claims to make the City more affordable to middle-income residents. Note that the San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters refers to Prop U as the “elimination” of affordable housing, though; it raises the maximum from 55% to 110% of the area’s median income (a six-figure cap).



Measure LL - Police Oversight

Measure LL will create a new accountability board to address police misconduct in Oakland. The board will have the power to investigate complaints, access police reports and files, impose discipline on officers, and fire the police chief for cause. It will be made up of civilians and will be independent from the police. Read more here.


Measure JJ - Renters’ Rights

Measure JJ will protect Oakland renters from illegal rent increases and unjustified evictions by requiring to petition with the Rent Board for increases greater than inflation, among other initiatives, as opposed to leaving tenants responsible for protesting such increases. It also expands “Just Cause” eviction protections. Read more here.


Compiled by Mary Noble and Alyssa Oursler. Blog posts are written by individuals within SURJ and are not representative of the entire organization.