Voting Roundup: Pot Growing In Santa Cruz, UC Funding, Ted Cruz, and Mandatory Voting


Never a dull week goes by it seems with several critical local, state, and national issues coming to the fore.

Looking locally, the Santa Cruz County Supervisors are set to vote this week on whether to ban the growing of commercial cannabis within unincorporated parts of the county. Over the last several months Supervisors have been grappling with how to set up an optimal policy towards marijuana cultivation. Many county residents have felt adverse effects of the marijuana industry, with “guerilla” pot grows setting up in remote parts of the county and then proceeding to clear out land, syphon water, apply pesticides to the environment, and generally draw unsavory groups to the area.

Marijuana advocates, however, are shocked at the proposal. They argue that a ban would severely limit supply for their patients, many of whom depend on a diverse array of strains. Many dispensary owners are pushing instead for the county to allow them to grow limited plots of cannabis.

Should the County ban commercial marijuana grows altogether? Vote and comment here.

Should Santa Cruz County Ban Commercial Marijuana Growing?

Santa Cruz County Supervisors are set to vote on whether to ban the growing of commercial cannabis within unincorporated parts of the county.


Looking state-wide, last week Governor Jerry Brown and University of California President Janet Napolitano announced that they were making progress towards a compromise funding proposal for UC, but had not yet settled on anything.

Back in November, Napolitano touched off a public furor as well as a showdown with the governor when she announced a UC funding plan that would increase student tuition by 5% each year until 2019. This would bring fees to $15,650 by 2019. The governor quickly voiced his opposition to the proposal, saying that the public should not be forced to foot the bill for rising university costs and threatened to withhold some state funding if the proposal was approved.

Students across the state have protested the looming tuition increase. Santa Cruz recently experienced one such protest when a group of six students blocked traffic on Highway 17.

Should the University of California raise student tuition? Vote and comment here.

Should The University of California Raise Tuition?

On November 20th, the University of California Board of Regents approved UC President Janet Napolitano’s plan for increasing tuition costs.


The last week’s national news brought us the announcement from Texas freshman senator Ted Cruz that he will run for President in 2016. The senator, known for his uncompromising  conservative positions, announced his bid for the presidency at Liberty University. In his address he asked the audience to imagine an America without President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, without the IRS, and with severely curtailed abortion rights.

With this announcement, Cruz becomes the first major Republican figure to declare his intentions to run for president. In a field that is expected to also feature former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, it is believed that Cruz hopes to position himself as the most conservative of the pack and appeal to more hardline in the party.

Given this announcement, what are your thoughts on a possible Cruz presidency? Would you support Ted Cruz for president? Vote and comment here.

Would you support Ted Cruz for President?

Ted Cruz has declared his bid for the presidency.


And lastly, our current president made some waves last week when he suggested that mandatory voting might be a beneficial policy for the country to adopt.

At a speech in Cleveland, President Obama spoke in support of mandatory voting, noting that other countries have instituted such a policy and that it would do the most in terms of countering the influence of money in politics.

Given the abysmal turnout in last year’s election, we at Civinomics floated a couple proposals to boost voter turnout. Now that the President has brought the issue back up, what do you think? Should everyone be required to vote in elections? Go ahead and, well, vote here.

Make Voting Compulsory in the United States

In this year’s midterm elections, just 36.3 percent of the electorate turned out to vote.

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