Looking Locally at the Election


Kamala Harris, California’s newly elected senator.

Written by Luke Herzog, Journalist

Hey, who needs national politics anyway? Let’s look local.

Firstly, California has a newly elected senator — Kamala Harris. She’s the first Indian American and second female African American senator, setting a much-needed precedent for diversity on the Hill. She’s fought for criminal justice reform for a large portion of her life, in addition to having fought for marriage equality and denounced homophobia. And following her election on the 8th, she promised California’s significant immigrant population that she would oppose Trump’s immigration proposals and rhetoric.

Jimmy Panetta, son of the eminent Leon Panetta, also saw victory on election day, winning Monterey County’s Congressional District with about 70% of the vote. Panetta defeated PG’s own Casey Lucius after two hard-fought campaigns. According to Niels Lesniewski of Roll Call, “He said he hopes to serve on the Agriculture or Armed Services committees” as well as encourage a path towards comprehensive immigration reform.

California (along with Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine) also legalized recreational marijuana. Supporters argue that this decision will benefit the state economy, raising millions through taxation. Meanwhile, Measure Z passed as well, banning fracking in Monterey County. This will further safeguard the environment of this area, though some say is will adversely affect the local oil extraction industry.

Notably, California Proposition 62 lost by a slim majority (54% to 46%), which would have repealed the death penalty in the state of California. The Monterey Herald released an editorial in favor of the failed proposition, saying capital punishment “hasn’t worked, and the only success — if such a word can be used with capital punishment — is a legal industry generated among various groups that have fought it tooth and nail, rendering the sentence essentially toothless.”

So remember the election was not just Trump/Hillary. The fact that we reside in a state that will almost certainly vote blue for president does not mean one should not show up for several major ballot decisions.