Vaping, ride-share taxes, minimum wage, and housing among 45 local measures on California ballots Nov. 5

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, Oct. 16, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Vaping, ride-share taxes, minimum wage, and housing among 45 local measures on California ballots Nov. 5
  2. Efforts to recall Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) fall short of ballot qualification
  3. SCOTUS to hear three cases Wednesday

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Vaping, ride-share taxes, minimum wage, and housing among 45 local measures on California ballots Nov. 5

I always enjoy reading our reports on local ballot measures because they offer insight into how people are engaging with the government closest to home. Today we’re bringing you a summary of the local ballot measures California voters will see this November. 

Voters in 13 California counties will decide on 45 local ballot measures. In the last three odd-numbered election years in the state, an average of 64 local measures appeared on November ballots: 62 in 2017, 60 in 2015, and 70 in 2013.

Local measuresHere’s a breakdown of the various topics on local ballots:

  • 14 parcel (real estate) tax measures

  • nine sales tax measures

  • four local hotel tax measures

  • four measures that would make city clerks, city treasurers, or both, appointed instead of elected

  • two marijuana tax measures

  • two local spending limit increases

  • two measures concerning development and land use

  • two local business taxes, including a tax on ride-share companies in San Francisco

  • two measures in San Francisco concerning housing costs (bonds and zoning/development regulations)

  • one campaign finance limits and disclosure requirements measure in San Francisco

  • one vaping authorization and regulation measure in San Francisco

  • one charter amendment in San Francisco concerning the city’s disability and aging services commission

  • one measure to increase the minimum wage for hospitality workers in Rancho Palos Verdes

See something we missed? If you know of a local measure on the Nov. 5 ballot in California not included in the above list, please email us at

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Efforts to recall Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) fall short of ballot qualification

Two recall campaigns did not collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election that, if successful, would have removed Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) from office. Supporters of each recall effort had until Oct. 14 to turn in 280,050 signatures.

  • The first recall petition, which was supported by the Oregon Republican Party, criticized Brown because she supported legislation during the 2019 legislative session related to a cap-and-trade program and a bill that grants driver’s licenses to immigrants residing in the country without legal permission.

  • The second recall petition, which was headed by Oregon First! PAC and the Flush Down Kate Brown group, criticized Brown over raising taxes, the state’s Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) program, Oregon’s sanctuary state status, and for the same driver’s license bill as the other recall petition.

These recall efforts were two of the six gubernatorial recalls Ballotpedia has tracked in 2019. Four others are currently underway in Alaska, California, Colorado, and New Jersey. From 2003 to 2018, Ballotpedia tracked 17 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two made the ballot and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled in 2003; Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) won the election to replace him. In 2012, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was retained in a recall election. North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) was the only other governor removed from office through a recall election. That happened in 1921.

Oregon became a Democratic trifecta in 2013. Democrats control the state House 38-22 and the state Senate 18-12. Brown was appointed governor in 2015, and she won a special election in 2016 with 50.7% of the vote. Brown was re-elected in 2018 with 50.1% of the vote. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.

SCOTUS to hear three cases Wednesday

As we’ve mentioned in previous editions, the Supreme Court is back in session and in its second week of hearing oral arguments. Today, Oct. 16, the court will hear arguments in three cases:

Need to stay on top of the whirlwind world of the federal judiciary of the United States? You can read about this term’s cases and more by subscribing to our monthly newsletter, Bold Justice. 

And in case you’re wondering: Why Bold JusticeThe story behind the name is a fun, quick read.


About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at