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California Counts: What Issues Will Inspire You To Vote In 2016?

As part of our 2016 election coverage, KPBS is seeking feedback from the community. We asked San Diego County residents what topics will get them out to vote. Here are some of their answers:

California Counts is a collaboration of KPBS, KPCC, KQED and Capital Public Radio to report on the 2016 election. The coverage focuses on major issues and solicits diverse voices on what's important to the future of California.

Frank Paiano, Chula Vista

Democracy: This issue is important to me because there are many who are poisoning the roots of our representative democratic republic. They want to create an oligarchy. and they are succeeding.


Barbara Bolton, Encinitas

Women's rights, class rights: As a woman, who was paid substantially less than my male counterparts, even though I was in sales and consistently had higher sales than the majority of male salespeople. As a woman who was never considered for higher position because of gender. As a female whose opinion was largely ignored, I believe it is time to have a woman president and to bring women into the 21st century. Americans, particularly white men, think everything is equal. Let me say loudly, it isn't. Barack Obama, while blacks are still, by and large, are kept down as a class, has brought race to the forefront. At least Americans are thinking about race. Everyone should have a blank slate starting out, everyone should have similar opportunities. This is not even close to reality now. Let's really make fundamental change in the USA with real equality.

Sarah Bates, Fallbrook

Middle class jobs: Without raising wages and security for middle class jobs, the economy will falter. I invest in the economy, thus without growth my retirement income will fall. I will be looking for common sense solutions for the growth of the economy as it affects the middle class. I will vote for the candidate with the most workable plan.

Lorraine Kent, Rancho Santa Fe


Education: It can determine the future of our children. With the changes of "no child left behind," what are the proposed guarantees that our children are getting a valuable education? Who will make sure educational money is spent wisely and where is the oversight?

Gwendolyn Albert, Imperial Beach

Upholding the Fourth Amendment: This issue is important to anyone and everyone who might be randomly treated without due process in any real-time encounter with law enforcement.

Peggy Lewis, La Mesa

Education: The high cost of higher education is criminal — both for the charges by schools and the high interest rates of student loans by our own government. K-12 is far too regulated and apparently too simplistic to support a college level education. If private schools do it better, there is no reason that public schools can't do the same. The system is broken in many ways.

Gary Kunkle, Oceanside

Immigration: Immigration affects all aspects of a citizen's life. Economics, safety, employment and on and on. Too much of our tax money goes to pay for immigrants of all types (education, welfare, assistance, policing). The answer is always "just raise the taxes." I will vote for those who want to get immigration under control and protect our sovereign borders.

Margaret McLean, San Diego

Gun control: I'm tired of the senseless violence and deaths of innocents. We have made and repealed constitutional amendments before — why not this one? I don't see well-regulated militias. I see people scared of everything, wanting the control to protect themselves but humans are notoriously hot headed and guns make a bad day even worse.

John Loughlin, San Diego

Minimum wage increase: Increasing the minimum wage is necessary to reduce poverty and restore dignity to working people.

Kent Reedy, San Diego

Economic security: Everything else in a person's life depends on whether or not they have economic security. This relates to what kind of housing someone can have (if any at all), nutrition, overall health, and what choices are available to be made. I think it can be best summed up in Franklin Roosevelt's famous statement that "A necessitous man is not a free man." I would like to vote for someone who will do the most to improve the standard of living of ordinary people — someone who will increase real, meaningful opportunity for the majority, not for just a few. As of now, I don't see anyone else other than Bernie Sanders likely to do that.

Jennifer Sieber, San Diego

Economics: Low wages and high student debt makes my life stagnant and impossible to ever get ahead. I can't save for my child's college, I can't take a vacation, I can't buy a house, I can't even afford to rent a house. I'm in the cheapest apartment I can find in my neighborhood, which means I can't have a dog, I can't have a garden, I can't barbecue. I want more for my daughter than working a job you don't like, in a field you didn't study, to make less than you did 10 years ago with no end in sight. I will vote for the person with the greatest support for raising the low/middle class.

Frank Landis, San Diego

Climate change: I see it as the biggest threat to civilization out there, and I'm appalled by our inability to act meaningfully on it. It will destroy everything I've worked for, along with everything else. I'll be voting for candidates and issues that try to tackle it.

Justen Teguh, San Diego

Big money in politics: You can't trust politicians when they get the majority of their funding from a small group of people. In the end, politicians will do what those funding them want them to do for they know that if they do not, they will not receive that funding in their re-election campaign. I will be voting for politicians who support Bernie Sanders and getting big money out of politics.

Adriana Jaime, San Diego

Immigration: This is important to me because I'm an educator. I can't teach kids who are worried about coming home and not finding their parents. Kids shouldn't have to worry about that. Kids shouldn't miss school because their parents were deported.

To tell us why you are going to vote this year, click here.