The California Nurses Association (CAN) /National Nurses United has announced support for several initiatives on the California November ballot, including Proposition 63, to strengthen gun safety, and Proposition 62, the latest bid to repeal the death penalty in California. CNA, the major nurses’ organization in California, is also stepping up efforts to pass Prop. 61, the initiative to rein in the pharmaceutical industry’s predatory pricing practices.
Nurses endorsed Prop. 61 in April and have begun joining a bus tour across the state launched by the Yes on 61 campaign.
Prop. 63, initiated by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, is intended to reduce gun violence by strengthening state restrictions on the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and the requirement for background checks for individuals to purchase ammunition.
“Reducing the plague of gun violence is, first and foremost, a health and safety issue. Nurses commend Lt. Gov. Newsom for pressing this issue to increase protection for Californians,” said CNA Co-President Malinda Markowitz.
Prop. 62 would repeal California’s death penalty replacing it with life imprisonment without parole as the maximum penalty for what are now death penalty convictions
CNA has supported prior efforts to end the use of the death penalty in California, including Prop. 34, which narrowly failed in 2012. Worldwide 140 countries have now abolished the death penalty entirely.
Concurrently, CNA will oppose Prop. 66, which is intended to hasten death penalty executions in California.
Meanwhile, CNA members are increasing their support for passage of Prop. 61 to protect California patients and families by directing the state to negotiate with drug companies to pay no more for prescription drugs than is paid for those same medications by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, producing huge savings for Californians as the VA pays up to 40 percent below what other public agencies pay.
Last week, CNA members joined the Los Angeles kickoff of a Yes on 61 campaign bus tour across California. The Yes on 61 bus, which has also made stops in Orange County and Bakersfield, is headed for stops in the coming days in Fresno, San Francisco, and other locations.
In a recent commentary in the San Diego Union Tribune, Markowitz and San Diego RN Dahlia Tayag wrote, “As nurses, we see families who can’t afford the medications they or their children need, or they have to give up other basic necessities. It’s heartbreaking and it’s unconscionable. Californians can take some control back by voting yes on Proposition 61.”
On other ballot measures, CNA also endorsed:
Yes on Prop. 58 – encourages bilingual education in California schools, reversing some of the more onerous restrictions imposed by the anti-immigrant Prop. 227 in 1998.
Yes on Prop. 57 – initiated by Gov. Brown, increases parole opportunities for felons convicted of nonviolent behavior to help reduce prison over crowding.
Yes on Prop. 59 – referendum to put California on record in favor of overturning the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which opened the floodgates for unchecked corporate spending in elections.
All CNA endorsements on state and local ballot measures and candidates may be viewed at http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/legislation/entry/ca-endorsements