The Nov. 8 general election is just around the corner, and voters have big decisions to make for Los Angeles and California. To help voters choose, the Times editorial page publishes endorsements based on candidate interviews and independent reporting.
Every registered voter will be mailed a ballot in early October, giving people lots of time to read up on the candidates, tune in to a forum, consider endorsements, including ours, and make a decision before the last day of voting.
STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES
Proposition 1: Yes
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, every state needs to have the right to abortion stated in its constitution. That includes California, though it is already one of the most progressive states in the nation on reproductive rights.
Proposition 26: No
Proposition 26 would allow sports betting in person at four privately owned horse-racing tracks and at tribal casinos that reach agreements with the state. The measure amounts to a toxic brew of industry interests designed not only to enrich the funders but also to push away their competitors. If California ever decides to embrace sports betting, it should be with a framework that is as evenhanded as possible, and not one that so blatantly picks winners and losers.
Proposition 27: No
Proposition 27 would allow sports betting online on sites run by California tribes or large companies that partner with them. That would essentially turn every cellphone, tablet and computer into a legal casino where bets could be placed with a few taps on an app, enabling easy access to an addictive form of gambling. The measure presents more risks than benefits, which makes it a bad bet.
Proposition 28: Yes
When school budgets tighten, programs like music, dance, theater and art are often the first to be cut. Proposition 28 will guarantee an ongoing source of funding to support arts and music education inall public and charter schools, from preschool to 12th grade.
Proposition 29: No
On the ballot for a third time, Proposition 29 is a tired retread that could hurt dialysis patients. The added cost of hiring unnecessary staff could force some centers to close or reduce hours.
Proposition 30: No
While it may be tempting to put the burden on the rich — again — for one of California’s top priorities, voters should say no. Proposition 30 has too many flaws. It’s bankrolled by one special interest and it doubles down on an unsustainable funding model.
Proposition 31: Yes
Proposition 31 would allow a ban on sales of most flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, to take effect. Flavors in tobacco products are uniquely harmful because they mask the unappealingly harsh taste of tobacco and can lure in new and often young users and get them hooked.
LOS ANGELES CITY
City Attorney: Hydee Feldstein Soto
Hydee Feldstein Soto would bring deep legal expertise and independence to the job.
Council District 5: Katy Young Yaroslavsky
Experienced at navigating her way through local government, Young Yaroslavsky will bring to the position not just an expertise on policy but an understanding of the complexity of homelessness and other problems the city faces.
Council District 11: Erin Darling
Erin Darling will be a thoughtful and strong steward of a district that stretches from Pacific Palisades to Playa Vista where residents worry about crime, traffic, brush fires and homelessness, among other problems.
Council District 15: Danielle Sandoval
Danielle Sandoval is a grass-roots politician who would bring a fresh perspective to the council and support policies that are practical, non-dogmatic and would make a difference in people’s lives
Proposition LH: Yes
Proposition LH would allow the development, construction or acquisition of up to 5,000 additional affordable housing units in each of the city’s 15 council districts. It is simply an authorization for publicly funded affordable housing, which is required under an archaic and racist provision in the California Constitution.
Proposition SP: No
The parks and recreational facilities parcel tax was slapped together at the last minute without community input. Voters should reject the measure and demand that city leaders come back with a transparent, fully formed proposal.
Proposition ULA: Yes
Los Angeles desperately needs more affordable housing. Measure ULA would provide the resources needed to make sure it gets built and preserved by imposing a tax on commercial and residential property sales valued at more than $5 million.
Check back for more Los Angeles City endorsements.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
Sheriff: Robert Luna
Former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna is an accomplished law enforcement professional of sound judgment, deep experience and respect for the law.
Board of Supervisors, District 3: Lindsey Horvath
West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath is a tireless advocate for her community, armed with creative solutions to complex problems. She is the best candidate to keep L.A. County moving forward to finally address crime, homelessness and inequality.
Check back for more endorsements in Los Angeles County races.
LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT
Check back for Los Angeles Community College District endorsements.
District 2: María Brenes
María Brenes has worked for years to bring urgency to improving educational outcomes in underperforming schools that had low expectations for their mostly Black and Latino students. Brenes would push harder for the type of reforms that will make Los Angeles schools deliver for these children.
District 6: Kelly Gonez
Incumbent board member Kelly Gonez has been a solid representative and more pragmatic than ideological, taking balanced positions that place the needs of underserved students first.
Check back for Los Angeles County Superior Court endorsements.
Lieutenant Governor: Eleni Kounalakis
Eleni Kounalakis has grown into the job well, quickly establishing herself as a knowledgeable state leader and a policymaker, sponsoring and supporting important legislation and voting in the interests of students and the environment on the boards she sits on.
Secretary of State: Shirley Weber
Shirley Weber is running for the first time after serving as secretary of state for the last two years as a political appointee. She has proved to be a reliable and fair chief elections officer.
Controller: Lanhee Chen
Lanhee Chen’s focus is on the controller’s power to audit government spending. He pledges to scrutinize the biggest categories of spending and rate programs based on their effectiveness. This is an urgently needed service in a state that has a record of poor performance despite its soaring $300-billion budget.
Treasurer: Fiona Ma
Fiona Ma is regarded as a hardworking, innovative elected official who takes seriously the office’s responsibilities and opportunities, although troubling missteps have put a cloud over her first term.
Attorney General: Rob Bonta
Bonta has done a solid job in his year-and-a-half tenure, helping California advance its interests in some of the top issues of our time, including gun proliferation, abortion rights, housing and climate change.
Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara
Ricardo Lara will almost certainly win a second term in this overwhelmingly blue state. But we hope that the large field of challengers he faced for reelection will remind Lara that he needs to do a better job serving the public.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond
Thurmond may have a weak record, but his opponent’s agenda is worse. We hope that Thurmond uses a second term to develop into the superintendent of public instruction who makes an educational difference.
Check back for more statewide office endorsements.
Senate District 20: Caroline Menjivar
Caroline Menjivar has an impressive track record that combines on-the-ground experience serving her community with academic training in public policy.
Senate District 28: Lola Smallwood-Cuevas
Lola Smallwood-Cuevas has an impressive track record that blends big-picture thinking about economic trends with on-the-ground advocacy to improve the lives of working people.
Assembly District 39: Juan Carrillo
Palmdale City Councilman Juan Carrillo has valuable experience that has prepared him to help tackle two of California’s most pressing issues: housing and education.
Assembly District 51: Rick Chavez Zbur
Rick Chavez Zbur is an attorney with a long background in environmental law, LGBTQ civil rights advocacy and California Democratic Party politics, and he’s well-versed in how to effectively move legislation in Sacramento.
Assembly District 61: Tina McKinnor
Tina McKinnor won an Assembly seat in a special election in June and is now running for her first full term. During her short time in office, Tina McKinnor has proved to be a solid progressive vote, supporting ambitious climate legislation and gun-control bills.
Assembly District 69: Josh Lowenthal
Josh Lowenthal has a broad vision for confronting this district’s many challenges, from climate change, air pollution and the economy to housing and homelessness.
Check back for more endorsements in state Legislative races.
U.S. Senate: Alex Padilla
Alex Padilla is a level-headed and thoughtful lawmaker with a demonstrated commitment to improving life for the working class and immigrants, and who champions democratic ideals and institutions.
Congressional District 27: Christy Smith
Christy Smith is a levelheaded centrist who wants to strengthen voting rights, make college and trade schools more affordable and carry legislation to put a social worker in every school that serves low-income children.
Congressional District 37: Sydney Kamlager
Sydney Kamlager has solid policy skills and a sense of political finesse. Her experience passing legislation, parsing the state budget and navigating Sacramento’s political labyrinth has prepared her for the rigors of Washington, D.C.
Congressional District 41: Will Rollins
Will Rollins, a former federal prosecutor, has the ideal blend of policy know-how and pragmatism for an area with complex needs.
Congressional District 42: Robert Garcia
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is a thoughtful and accomplished leader who blends hard-charging progressive values with an inspiring expression of optimism.
Congressional District 45: Jay Chen
Jay Chen is a longtime community leader who is thoughtful, collaborative and mission-driven. He wants to protect reproductive rights and fight for the region’s fair share of federal funding.
Check back for more endorsements in the races for House seats.