|A Peace Newsletter feature reporting
on our successes and victories. Submissions are encouraged: firstname.lastname@example.org
Election Results You May Not Have Heard!
Not only was this a good year for voter
turnout and a strong message to Bush, Inc. to withdraw US forces from Iraq, but
this election also signaled a growth for direct democracy. With 205 propositions
on the ballot in 37 states, and 79 initiatives - the largest number since the
process began in 1902, the people demanded to be heard.
Low wage workers saw important gains, with all six states where it was on the
ballot approving raises in the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. Twenty-four
states now have laws that supersede the federal regulations.
Eminent domain was on more state ballots than any other issue, with people supporting
restrictions on the use of eminent domain for private purposes. Nine states
out of 11, New Hampshire, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, North Dakota,
Oregon, Nevada and South Carolina, voted to stop the government's taking of
property for private projects.
In addition to the well-publicized pro-choice victory in South Dakota, advocates
also safeguarded personal privacy rights by defeating laws in California and
Oregon that would have required parental notification for an abortion for a
In the area of social issues, education funding fared well in California, Arizona,
Nebraska and Rhode Island, with Nevada going furthest by mandating that education
funding be appropriated before all other expenditures. Wyoming created funds
for higher education scholarships. Affordable housing made gains with Rhode
Island approving $50 million in bonds and New Mexico providing additional funds
for low-cost housing.
Progress was also made in the expansion of universal suffrage. Voting rights
were extended to felons in Rhode Island, and in Maryland, Question #2 won approval
allowing for additional appeals to the Court of Special Appeals.
Leading the charge for the environment, as it often does, was California where
voters passed Proposition 87 allowing the state to tax oil extracts and use
the money for renewable fuel. Over $150 million was spent on the campaign, breaking
the record for the highest spending on a ballot proposition. Clean air also
received a boost with Arizona, Nevada, and Ohio approving smoking bans.
On the anti-war front, over 20 House members who opposed a June 2006 amendment
to close the US Army School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC) lost their seats. This
exceeds the 15 vote margin needed. SOA Watch expects a successful vote in the