For the past few months, the Jewish Center for Justice community has not only been engaged in a Get Out The Vote campaign across the country, but we actively supported a number of ballot measures in California and the state of Washington. Joining coalitions who hold shared values, JCJ campaigned for the passage of Proposition 10 in California, to give rent control authority to local municipalities; I1639 in the state of Washington to increase the purchasing age from 18 to 21 among other safety precautions; and Measure W in Los Angeles County to tackle pollution and allow access to safe and clean water. Here’s what happened:

Proposition 10 (California)

The voters of California rejected the initiative to restore rent control authority to local municipalities.  The passage of such a measure would have been an important corrective to California’s very real housing crisis born out of skyrocketing rents, stagnant wages, and increased demand.  Although this important proposition failed, JCJ remains committed to working with elected officials and community leaders to find real solutions to address our state’s affordability crisis. Read JCJ’s statement on the rejection of Prop 10.

Initiative 1639 (Washington state)

I-1639 initiative passed in the state of Washington on November 6.  In the aftermath of recent mass shootings and a surge in the gun violence prevention movement, this initiative included necessary steps to ensure safer schools and safer communities.  I-1639 addresses the primary causes of mass shootings by:

  • Raising the legal age to buy semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21
  • Creating an enhanced background check process, training requirements, and 10-day waiting period for gun purchases
  • Enacting a new law requiring gun owners to safely store their firearms

These actions are important because semi-automatic rifles have been used in many of the worst shootings in recent history. Studies show that a disproportionate number of firearm homicides are committed by those aged 18 to 21, and background checks and enforced storage laws actually help ensure that guns stay out of the hands of children and those with a criminal history or mental health issues.  By putting these common sense measures into place, I-1639 will decrease the risk associated with gun violence, and increase the safety and security of communities.

Measure W (Los Angeles County)

Measure W passed in Los Angeles and will serve as a pathway for our future by modernizing a 100-year-old water system. Measure W will protect public health and the environment, as well as maximize a cleaner, locally controlled water supply. This measure will also prevent toxic water from polluting our oceans, capture billions of gallons of water to ease our dependence on other sources, and allow for the construction of more green spaces to combat the “urban heat island effect” — a phenomenon which causes overly-paved parts of the county to become unbearably hot during the summer months — which puts lives at risk.