An occasional series on Catholic teaching, issues, principles, historical circumstances, and other nuances to help you discern your vote on the upcoming propositions In the case of Prop 14, which the Bishops oppose, not only are there clear moral objections, but there are also significant scientific and financial questions surrounding the measure. Take this statement from MIT Technology Review: “[N]o field of biotechnology has promised more and delivered less in the way of treatments than embryonic stem cells. Only a handful of human studies has ever been carried out, without significant results. The cells, culled from IVF embryos, are capable of developing into any other tissue type in the body, and therefore promise an unlimited supply of replacement tissue.” Will Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ever Cure Anything? The California Catholic Conference is also opposing Proposition 20, which will roll back years of progress in criminal justice reform. In fact, the Orange County Register lays it out plainly: "Fundamentally, however, Prop. 20 itself is the wrong vehicle for raising and implementing the policy changes it promotes. At a time when Californians continue to be supportive of scaling back mass incarceration, Prop. 20 offers only the preferences of police and prison guard unions. Complex issues such as the matters at hand demand a more deliberative and thoughtful approach than Prop. 20 provides. Voters should vote “no” on Prop. 20." [Source] One of the issues on the November ballot allows public institutions to once again use affirmative action in their hiring decisions. Ended by an initiative in 1996, the recent attention to racial injustice moved the legislature to bring the issue back to voters. The USCCB, in a study guide for its pastoral letter on racism, Open Wide Our Hearts, says the following: In the November 2018 Pastoral Letter Against Racism, Open Wide Our Hearts, the Catholic bishops of the United States urge all Catholics to acknowledge “the scourge of racism” that still exists in our hearts, words, actions, and institutions. Racism can be individual, when persons fail to recognize certain groups as created in the image of God and equal in dignity, or it can be systemic, where practices or policies treat certain groups of people unjustly. One area of systemic racism is lack of access to equal employment opportunities for many persons of color.