Tue Nov 4th, 2008 at 12:11:37 PM EST
Californians have a special privilege this election year. Note only do you have an opportunity to participate in the election of Senator Obama as President, but you have the opportunity to lead the nation with a massive step toward a more Energy Independent, environmentally responsible transport system.
From the CHSRA:
Now, most people on this site do no live in California, but there's no telling how far and wide email networks go, so here goes ...
But, California doesn't get a say in this election, its electoral college votes are locked up
If you have ever corresponded with a Californian on the Presidential election, it would not be surprising to read this one. But remember: its really only the local elections that the vote of you and people you know are going to ever be able to swing.
Today, Californians are voting in the Presidential election so they can tell people that you helped elect Obama.
And besides ... the HSR is close. It is, in fact, an uphill fight. And since Obama and Biden are supporters of HSR, Prop 1A gives Obama supporters in California a way to vote for Obama that is not a foregone conclusion. They have an opportunity to give Obama/Biden a first policy victory today, on election day.
Fighting for an Obama win on Prop 1A
The latest poll (previous diary) shows Prop 1A leading, but below the 50% threshold needed to pass ... 47 for, 42 against. And there is a tendency for undecideds to vote no on Propositions. So it is essential to get to undecideds and convince them of the important of supporting Prop 1A.
If you need further arguments for HSR, go to the California HSR blog, and links there to various HSR supporting site.
But the main ones:
- In tough economic times, it is important to be frugal. The HSR line will cost $45b to provide capacity that would cost $100b+ to provide with road and airport spending
- Tough economic times are the time for government to do important public works ... that last two recessions saw unemployment continue for two years after GDP started to rise, so the HSR works will get underway as California needs the public works spending to help pull employment out of the doldrums
- Two hours forty minutes LA to SF means that the HSR will capture a substantial part of the air travel market, and that will save a substantial amount of crude oil and CO2 emissions
Most important, though, passing Prop 1A will encourage policy makers all across the US, who understand the energy and environmental benefits of improved rail infrastructure, but are convinced that rail is seen as "backward" and "yesterday's technology". For rail, HSR is just the leading edge ... its the camel's nose in the tent.
That is, after all, why the anti-transit people are in California with a war-chest to spread lies about Prop 1A ... because they know that passing Prop 1A will make it politically easier to get wins on local rail for transit, rail infrastructure for freight, semi-High Speed Rail here in Ohio with the Ohio Rail Hub connecting into the Midwestern Rail Hub to our west and the Keystone and Empire Corridors in Pennsylvania and New York to our east ... and if Prop 1A goes down in defeat, all of those become incrementally harder to win.
So just like helping get out the vote for opposing Prop 8 and Prop 10, getting out the vote in support of Prop 1A is something progressive Californians can do to make it easier for progressive policy to win across the country.
Its an uphill fight ...
... its a tough fight, given that beating the "No" vote is not enough ... 50%+ is needed. So the 47 pro / 42 against poll tells us that its an uphill fight.
Of course, the fact that its an uphill fight is why GOTV is important.
But, how can I help GOTV from Europe?
If you are not in California, consider emailing the above YouTube clip to any Californians on your email address list, and asking them to pass it on.
Under the subject line, "Join Obama in supporting HSR, Yes on Prop 1A"
If only a substantial fraction of Prop 1A undecideds who support Obama also vote yes on Prop 1A, it can pass.