It wouldn’t be California if we didn’t have at least one Special Election each year, right? Although the final date and ballot items are still being decided, we can count on having a Statewide Special Election this June.  

Governor Jerry Brown stepped into office this January facing the daunting task of balancing the state’s budget with a $25 billion budget deficit.  On Friday, January 28th, he released a balanced budget that slashes state spending by $12.5 billion, including some “major restructuring” of government operations.  
He has proposed some good ideas, like closing the Division of Juvenile Justice youth prisons – which our partner organization Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, has been advocating for years through their Books Not Bars program.  He also spared cuts to K-12 education for the first time in years!  Still, critical programs like Medi-Cal, CalWORKS, and higher education (UCs and CSUs) face big spending cuts.  
In order to minimize cuts to important services, Governor Brown has proposed a Special Election in June.  “Since it will take some time to fully implement these changes, I propose to ask the voters for a five-year extension of several current taxes so that we can restructure in an orderly manner,” the Governor explained.
As always, Oakland Rising will be working on the statewide ballot measures with our partner “California Calls” (formerly California Alliance). We will continue working to “change the story” about government and its role advancing shared prosperity in the state.  We want to see protection of services for low-income, immigrant and communities of color, as well as the reform of the broken budget process and curbing corporate power abuse.
By Jessamyn Sabagg, Field Director