Civic Engagement - Ballot Initiatives

 ballot initiatives


The Reform Movement strives for a world in which all people experience wholeness, justice, and compassion. Many of the structural policies that shape our world are established or changed through our representative democracy; the people who enact policies are elected by the voting population. But in some instances, citizens are ourselves able to enact policies – when those policies show up in the form of ballot initiatives

We can bring about a more just, whole, and compassionate world through passing or opposing the policies represented by these ballot initiatives – and in 2018, in several states, the Reform Movement is doing just that. Whether it’s an affordable housing measure (in CA), a sweeping criminal justice reform (in OH), the opportunity to restore voting rights to over a million individuals in one state alone (in FL), or to ensure transgendered individuals’ rights are upheld (in MA), our values are on the ballot in several states.


 Resources for the shabbat preceding the election


Reform Movement-Supported Ballot Initiatives

For fact sheets on each of the ballot initiatives the Reform Movement is supporting, see below.

  • California - RAC-CA’s first priority is a supporting a ballot measure that would provide $4 billion a year for affordable housing. Some Reform Congregations in the state are also working to oppose a ballot measure that would partially rollback criminal justice ballot measures Prop 47 and Prop 57 which we previously helped pass. 

  • Ohio - This November, Reform OH is supporting Issue 1, the Neighborhood Safety Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment. This ballot initiative will reinvest money currently spent incarcerating low level, nonviolent drug offenders into community mental health, drug treatment and prevention programs. 

  • Florida - Florida is one of only four states with a lifetime ban on voting, but we can change that this fall by passing the Voting Restoration Amendment (Amendment 4), which would make history by restoring voter eligibility to 1.4 million Floridians who currently cannot vote because they have a felony conviction.

  • Massachusetts - This November, Massachusetts voters will have the opportunity to vote to uphold transgender rights in the state (Yes on Question 3). In 2016, a bipartisan majority of the Massachusetts General Court (state legislature) passeda law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public accommodations. There is now a veto referendum on the ballot. A “yes on 3” vote upholds protections for transgender people in Massachusetts. Register for Jewish Community canvass days on October 7 and November 4! 

  • Washington - The Reform Movement is seeking to leverage the full power of the Washington Reform Jewish community to pass Initiative 1639, which would raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon to 21, enhance existing background check laws, establish waiting periods during assault weapon purchases, and put in place other commonsense gun violence prevention measures. 

General Resources


Communications and Publicity Resources



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