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This Date in UCSF History: Don’t Forget to Vote

Monday, October 24, 2022

[Originally published in Synapse on Oct. 30, 1986.]

It may not be a presidential election year, but next Tuesday’s midterm election includes several crucial statewide campaigns and initiatives.

We urge all UCSF students, staff and faculty to remember to vote. Bay Area polls earlier this month showed a majority of voters still are unfamiliar with many of the statewide propositions. Before you step into the voting booth, then, take a few minutes to learn something about the candidates and issues on this year’s ballot.

The California Voters’ Pamphlet describes the pros and cons of the 13 statewide bond acts, legislative amendments, and initiative statutes. It deserves your scrutiny.

California’s Senate race between incumbent Democrat Alan Cranston and challenger Republican Ed Zschau has been deemed one of the pivotal Senate campaigns of this election. 

The Senate currently includes 53 Republicans, 22 of whom are up for re-election, while 12 of the 47 Democratic Senators are facing election this year.

A switch of just four of those seats along with retention of Democratic control in the House of Representatives would mean that President Reagan would no longer enjoy the advantage of partisan Senate alignment.

Another important California election is the gubernatorial race between incumbent Republican George Deukmejian and challenger Democrat Tom Bradley, currently mayor of Los Angeles, whom Deukmejian defeated in 1982.

Still another controversial and pivotal statewide election issue is the retention of the California Supreme Court justices Rose Bird, Joseph Grodin and Cruz Reynoso. Their critics have mounted an expensive and vituperative recall campaign whose result will influence future judiciary independence.

Closer to home, several important statewide propositions on next Tuesday’s ballot could have major impact on UCSF and merit special consideration by all members of the campus community:

  • Proposition 56, a lesser-known bond issue, (see Synapse story this week), includes funding for construction of the new library whose space and resources are sorely needed.
  • Proposition 61, also known as the Gann Initiative, (see Synapse story, Oct. 16) would drastically reduce salaries of many UCSF professors and high-level administrators, probably resulting in a “brain drain” as industry and other universities woo faculty away with more competitive salaries.
  • Proposition 64 would require the reporting of AIDS and ARC (AIDS-related complex) and the condition of being a carrier of the HIV virus as infectious and communicable diseases subject to quarantine and isolation statutes. This initiative is opposed by groups such as the California Medical Association, the California Nurses’ Association and the Surgeon General as medically unsound and discriminatory.

Local polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. next Tuesday to facilitate voting before or after your work or school day.

Fulfill your right and responsibility of citizenship and vote, especially on these issues vital to UCSF’s continued role as a leader of the medical and scientific community.