McGeorge School of Law

California Initiative Review Features Detailed Analysis of Nov. 6 Ballot

October 27, 2012

Jason Richards and Teal Ericson spoke on Proposition 34

Jason Richards and Teal Ericson spoke on Proposition 34, which would repeal the death penalty.

Californians face a November election ballot jam-packed with 11 initiatives — many with critical consequences for the state. McGeorge students have produced a high-quality non-partisan edition of the California Initiative Review to help them make informed decisions.

The students presented this fall's edition of the review on Oct. 23 at an on-campus forum [Video of the Oct. 23, 2012 forum (YouTube)].

CIR Volume 11, Issue 2 was produced under the direction of Professor Mary-Beth Moylan and student editors Andrew Boriskin, Tristan Brown and Sirenia Jimenez. The student authors and editors are all students who have been enrolled in Professor Moylan’s California Initiative Seminar. In addition to their work summarizing ballot qualified initiatives for the California Initiative Review and presenting the Propositions at the Public Forum, they have spent a semester learning about the initiative process in California.

Andrew Londerholm and Nicholas Poper spoke on Proposition 30, "The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012," which Governor Jerry Brown has a lot riding on. Patrick Brady and Allison Mooney talked about Proposition 31, "The Government Performance and Accountability Act." Nic Jordan and Alisa Reinhardt wrote the article about Proposition 32, "Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction," which is being watched closely by unions across the country. The presentation about Proposition 32 was given by Catherine Bonanno.

Erica Scott examined Proposition 33, "2012 Automobile Insurance Discount Act," presenting an article written by Kelly Boler and Elliot Pershes. Jason Richards and Teal Ericson handled the Proposition 34 hot topic, "The Death Penalty." Melissa Hastie and Jamie Kuryllo spoke on Proposition 35, "Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act." R. J. Cooper reported on another criminal law initiative, Proposition 36, "Three Strikes Law 'Repeat Felony' Offenders Penalties," co-written with Erica Scott.

Jessica Phan and Vincent Wiraatmadja presented on Proposition 37, "The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act." Alisha Heilman and Rebecca Hause spoke on Proposition 38, "Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs." Nancy Gass and Shara Neff talked about Proposition 39, "The California Clean Energy Jobs Act." Hannah Belknap and Kyle Levy discussed Proposition 40, a "Redistricting State Senate Districts Referendum."

In addition, there were student reports on: "A Regional Breakdown of the Initiative Process in the United States" (Catherine Bonnano); "Ballot Order for November 2012 Initiatives" (Robyn L. Miller); "A National Look at Death Penalty Repeal" (Grace Cotulla); "From Prop 13 to Prop 30: Populism and the California Fiscal Crisis" (Zachary Hutsell); and "The Piecemeal Democracy: The History and Evolution of California's Initiative Process" (Nishant Dave).

Several of the students had participated in a preview of the California Initiative Review November 2012 on Oct. 13 to a large community gathering at the Orangevale Grange in a forum sponsored by the AAUW Citrus Heights American River Branch.

"We were impressed not only with the students' knowledge of complex issues, but their flexibility and professionalism in dealing with the enthusiastic audience," Mary Toutonghi, chair of the group's public policy committee, said later.