San Diego Coastkeeper 2012 Voter Guide

A number of important issues for San Diegans sit on November’s ballot. Many ballot measures are lengthy, full of jargon and confusing to read. We’ve broken down two different propositions that are important to San Diego Coastkeeper’s mission, and in turn important to our supporters.

Below, you’ll find a list of these ballot measures, and how we suggest you vote on them. Thinking about your choice for candidates? We can’t endorse candidates, but we did create our Platform of Priorities to help you identify the issues on which you should evaluate any leader in our region.

Proposition 31-NO

Prop 31 establishes California’s two-year state budget. It will increase funding to local governments, while decreasing state sales tax revenues of $200 million annually. It also authorizes local governments to alter the application of laws that govern state-funded programs

Coastkeeper suggests that you vote no on this proposition.

This proposition gives California counties the power to alter state regulations related to spending, unless the state legislature vetoes these changes. Local governments could potentially override state laws and regulations that protect both the public and the environment.

Proposition 37-YES

Prop 37 requires that food sold with genetically modified animal or plant materials be labeled as such. In addition, it prohibits marketing this kind of food, or any processed food, as “natural.”

Coastkeeper suggests that you vote yes on this proposition.

Knowing what goes into the food you eat is important for many reasons. A yes vote gives you important information about genetically modified ingredients, which could include farmed fish. Over 40 countries already require labels for genetically modified foods; it’s time our state does.

Proposition 39-YES

Prop 39 requires multistate businesses to pay income taxes based on their percentage of sales in California. It then dedicates this revenue to clean/efficient energy projects for the next five years.

Coastkeeper suggests that you vote yes on this proposition.

This initiative creates green jobs. It’s that simple. It dedicates approximately $550 million annually for the next five years to projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in our state. It will be a boom for environmentalists, and it will make sure our state continues to be a leader in clean energy.

Candidates: Coastkeeper’s Platform of Priorities for Leadership in San Diego County

When voting for our next mayor and other leaders, it’s important you choose a candidate in line with our Platform of Priorities for Leadership in San Diego County. The Platform of Priorities contains the issues in San Diego County that matter to people who love our water.

San Diego Coastkeeper asks the next mayor and other leaders to adhere to this water platform:

Water Supply

  • Maximize indirect potable reuse as a secure, reliable water source for San Diego. Hyper-treating our wastewater is an effective and efficient way to increase local water supplies while reducing the cost to meet Clean Water Act standards at the Point Loma sewage treatment facility.
  • Adopt policies to maximize conservation. The City should encourage water conservation through the following programs: adopting a tiered water pricing system, installing real-time water meters to allow residents to track water usage, offering incentives for residents to upgrade toilets and washers to low-water usage, and offering incentives for residents to install low-water landscaping.


  • Move away from the Clean Water Act waiver for the Point Loma sewage treatment plant. The next mayor needs to demonstrate leadership to bring the Point Loma facility up to minimum sewage treatment standards mandated by the Clean Water Act decades ago. San Diego is the only city left in California continuing to seek waivers from water quality standards.
  • Allocate enough resources to properly maintain the City’s sewage collection system. The City of San Diego has drastically reduced the volume and frequency of sewage spills by maintaining and upgrading its sewage collection system after San Diego Coastkeeper filed suit. The City must continue to invest in its sewage infrastructure to maintain progress the City has made in reducing sewage spills.

Marine Debris

  • Adopt a single-use plastic bag ban. Marine debris is not only an eyesore for visitors and residents using San Diego’s beaches, but it also harms wildlife. The next mayor should take aggressive steps to reduce plastic usage in the City, as plastic significantly contributes to our local marine debris problem. The next mayor should adopt a single-use plastic bag ban in the City of San Diego.

Community Involvement and Partnerships

  • Increase transparency related to environmental issues. Recently, the mayor’s office and City staff have proposed programs and policies that cut the public out of the City’s decision-making process. The next mayor must reverse this trend, encouraging public participation in all decision-making, especially decisions about the environment. The next mayor should also adopt policies that increase transparency, such as making the City’s stormwater pollution hotline complaints and resolution publicly available (keeping reporting individuals anonymous).
  • Work collaboratively with local environmental groups to ensure that our local natural resources are protected. Local community groups, like San Diego Coastkeeper, have expertise and volunteer resources that can help the City of San Diego achieve its water quality goals faster and cheaper than it could on its own. The next mayor should embrace local groups as valuable partners.