This fall there will be several propositions on the ballot, as well as candidates. Let's start by covering Proposition 47, and why you should vote yes.
The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014 is a voter initiative for the November 2014 California ballot. If it passes, Proposition 47 would change the sentencing for some low-level non-violent crimes (like drug possession, writing bad checks and petty theft) from felonies to misdemeanors, both retroactively and going forward.
This means those non-violent offenders would stop crowding our prisons, so that felons who rape and murder would be more likely to serve their full sentences. It will free up hundreds of millions of dollars spent on prison building and operations, and redirect that money to schools for truancy prevention, crime victims' services, and mental health and drug treatment programs. This funding will help prevent the causes of petty crime, and will reduce recidivism to break the cycle of crime. Also it means that people who commit low-level crime won't have a felony conviction on their record: which can create problems with getting a stable job and housing later on, creating pressure to re-offend. More about Proposition 47.
This plan was put together with San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and retired San Diego Police Chief Bill Landsdowne, and has the backing of some members of law enforcement, crime survivors, community leaders, and elected officials around California, including myself.