Election Day comes on Tuesday and there are a number of good reasons for Barstow residents to vote.
The Desert Dispatch did not endorse any candidates this year, but we encourage our readers to select those who support limiting the power of our government — be it local, state or federal — whenever possible.
We have put forward endorsements for the various state propositions, and we'll reprint them next week in a handy guide for voters. The endorsements, much like our recommendation above, are based on our goal of reducing the scope and power of the government in our own lives.
Indeed, even if you don't have strong feelings for any of the candidates on Tuesday, we would like to encourage all eligible voters to at least vote on the ballot initiatives. Some of them would have a much more significant impact on our communities than the people we elect.
You may have noticed the lack of engagement by candidates for the Assembly and the State Senate here in Barstow. In part, this is because the real voting base for their districts is 200 miles away from Barstow. We're a small, isolated community on the edge of the district. It's not that they don't care about us, it's just that there's very little relationship between Barstow and the rest of their district to the north.
This situation makes Propositions 20 to 27 relevant to Barstow residents. District boundaries have isolated Barstow from the rest of the High Desert in terms of political representation. In 2008 Californians approved a proposition to create a citizens commission to determine district boundaries. Prop. 20 would extend the commission's authority to congressional districts, while Prop. 27 would eliminate what voters already approved and return it back the government's hands.
While there's no guarantee the citizens group will work to our benefit, we believe there's a better chance that district lines will be drawn in a more logical fashion, hopefully putting Barstow back within the boundaries of the other desert communities and not jammed up with Bakersfield and Visalia. It would have been interesting to see if Assemblyman Steve Knight would have supported the pork of the DesertXpress train project had he also been responsible for representing Barstow.
So your vote matters beyond just the City Council and school board races. Those ballot initiatives do have an impact on our communities. Please come out and vote.