California Forum

The Conversation

In last Sunday’s Conversation, Bill Whalen wrote that Californians voted for some progressive measures in the general election, but the state pretty much was following Texas, New York, Oregon and Alaska in approving issues from prison policies changes, a tax on sodas and legalization of marijuana. Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has been re-elected, Whalen wrote, he is “free to dream and dare as he sees fit. … The ball is in Brown’s court to think outside the box and put something on the (2016) ballot that turns the nation’s attention to California.”

We asked readers: What bold or transformative issues should California initiate for the next election?

From Facebook

Ricardo Ruiz – What about going forward with a hydrogen fuels program?

Roger Jewell – I thought Californians would appreciate the high-speed railway proposal. I don’t think (Gov. Jerry Brown has) tried hard enough to bring home the point about how valuable that system would be for California.

Amanda Caine – Legalize marijuana and tax it. Let’s follow in the footsteps of Colorado, Washington and Oregon.

Levi James – I’m in total agreement. It’s a shocker that four states and D.C. have beaten us to the legalization of cannabis. And, yeah, Oregon has had a death-with-dignity law on the books for over a decade. Seems like California really is losing its socially progressive edge.

Kathy Allen – Get the high-speed rail going! More than any other of the proposed projects, this will create a boon to our economy and will tie north and south together. Second thing we need is a way to fix our educational system. Let’s think outside the box and not just keep doing what we’ve been doing all along. The teachers union is powerful, but it doesn’t seem to be accountable or take responsibility for the problems we are having. If the teachers union is going to be that powerful, then make them accountable. … Finally, let’s lower the prices of universities in California. Maybe even make it free. The best way to ensure a solid future is to make sure our children are educated.

Dean Slater – We need to move rapidly on high-speed rail. It can provide easy transportation from San Diego and Los Angeles to San Francisco. It must be done.

Molly White Ibietatorremendia – Instead of the high-speed rail project, we need to use that money for the funding of desalination plants along the coast. With California’s ag production and drought, making use of the ocean water makes more sense than a rail project.

Amanda VS – Food policy issues, GMO labeling, high-speed rail, focus on critical thinking in schools instead of testing.

Diane Ripley – Want a bold issue? Want a bold solution? How about creating an economic development team fueled and steered by private individuals. Let’s start placing nonelected professional women at the front. I know exactly what CA needs and it’s less politics. We need to put passionate people with a real stake in California’s future at the lead. As a self-employed woman without a pension, I desperately want to see California grow, if for nothing else than to see my grandchildren stay here with opportunity. I have a real stake in this state’s future.