Opinion

Your Vote Matters—Even Here in California

Written by Philip Mauriello Jr., Managing Attorney of Arete Law A.P.C. and host of the California Underground Podcast

With less than a month to go until election day, there is a lot to know in the coming weeks regarding how to cast your vote. But first, I would like to address all those who constantly say, “This is California my vote doesn’t matter.” I am here to say you are completely wrong.

In terms of the presidential election? Certainly, your vote falls among the millions cast in a deep blue state that will go for Biden, but this is not about the presidential election. 

California always has numerous ballot propositions, local measures, and dozens of people running for local office. I have harped on this so much and will continue to do so until people believe me. The most important elections to you here in California are your local elections. 

Who sits on your city council or your county board of supervisors has far more direct impact on your daily life than the president. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that abundantly clear. Look to Placer County, who just voted to end COVID restrictions because they believed it was harming businesses too much. How did that happen in deep blue California? Because the citizens there voted those supervisors in. Here in San Diego County, our Board of Supervisors is a little more split, so we have a back and forth between Supervisors like Jim Desmond and Nathan Fletcher.

Look at how the City of San Diego, as one of the major metropolitan cities in California, has not descended into a third world hell hole. We are nowhere near as bad as Los Angeles or San Francisco. Is it because we had a Republican mayor at the helm rather than a radical leftist? Quite likely. Next month, we elect a new mayor, and I will be voting against the radical leftist Todd Gloria, who would make San Diego the next Los Angeles. 

Are you a parent frustrated that your children’s school won’t reopen? Then you need to start looking seriously at who you are voting for to run your local school board. The people you vote to run your children’s school can make an enormous difference in their lives. These may not be sexy or flashy races, but they make a huge difference. 

Tired of California passing ridiculous laws like SB 145? Time to start looking into who you cast your vote for in State Assembly and State Senate races. They write the laws and vote on sending them to the governor. Breaking down the Democrat super-majority should be the first step to regaining some sanity in Sacramento. 

Outside of elected officials, there are propositions that need to be pushed back on. Prop 15 and Prop 19 look to chip away at Prop 13 and raise property taxes across the state. Likewise, a vote in favor of Prop 22 helps to drive stake into the heart of the horrible AB 5, which has destroyed the freelance gig economy in California. These Propositions will certainly affect your everyday life. 

When I speak with people on this matter, they always ask the same question: “How do we change things here in California and stop the craziness?” I always say the same thing. Vote. Vote in your local elections. Vote in every special election. Vote in off year elections. Stay on top of what is coming up on the ballot. Sometimes devious politicians try to pass crazy propositions when they know the voter turnout is low and most people are not voting. 

So yes, your vote does matter. It matters a great deal, in fact. If you want to help transition California from deep blue, to purple, and eventually to red, it has to start with the local elections. We can only make an impact if we go out and vote and treat every election and everything on the ballot with the utmost importance.