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By Dennis Huang, Asian Business Association Executive Director

In a few days California will have the opportunity to vote on major issues and candidates that can shape the future of our state.  Elections in California are so commonplace that many citizens take this right for granted.

As Asian Pacific Americans many of us have come to American from countries that don’t enjoy the right to vote.  We know firsthand what it is like to live in societies where the public does not have much say.

Fundamentally this is what Proposition 16 is all about:  Giving the public the right to vote on how their money is spent.

Prop 16 – The Taxpayer Right to Vote Act – would require a vote of the people before local government can spend or borrow taxpayer dollars to go into the electricity business.

It is not surprising that business groups and various Chambers of Commerce throughout the State, including the Asian Business Association, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and the California Chamber of Commerce, are united in support of Prop 16., the Chinese American Democratic Club in San Francisco also supports Prop 16.

Businesses like a certain amount of predictability; they don’t like the fact that they could be surprised by unwanted or unwarranted expenses. The Taxpayers Right to Vote is critical to keeping California from reckless spending that can happen when government controls businesses.

Asian Pacific Americans cherish business ownership and have a healthy skepticism of government running business.  Carl Chan the Chair of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, states “Prop 16 will protect businesses and give people the ability to choose whether they want government in the electric business. Government is good at collecting revenue but not good at running a business.”

Asian Pacific American voters must vote yes on Prop 16 – in these challenging times government should not be looking to get into new businesses with public funds.

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