LA March 2017 Election - Prop Guide
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March 7, 2017 LA Consolidated Election - Proposition Guide
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A Note on Our Process: Both Shane and Cliff share similar metrics for determining positions on ballot measures. Our thought process is to aim to support measures that do the most public good and are in line with our beliefs in personal choice and equity. We also err on the side of increased flexibility in regulation: ballot measures are not usually the best venue for setting specific, granular rules. That's what the legislative process is designed to do. So, for example, Measure M is preferable to Measure N because Measure M sets only the general framework by which marijuana will be regulated, allowing the City Council to set the "nitty-gritty" of permitting, penalties, taxation, etc through its normal legislative process. This maximizes the opportunity for citizen input as part of that legislative process and also allows for an easier re-write of rules going forward, should that become necessary. Re-writing rules set out in a ballot measure is much more difficult and thus generally undesirable.
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Jurisdiction#TitleShort Summary
Shane & Cliff are Voting
Shane & Cliff's Collective ReasoningKey Supporters & Opponents
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LA CountyHLA County Plan to Prevent and Combat Homelessness1/4 cent sales tax for 10 years to fund mental health treatment, education, substance abuse treatment, and other services critical to preventing and combating homelessness across the county.YesOver the past few years, the City and County of LA have both adopted comprehensive homelessness reduction plans, and with November's election, the City of LA approved $1.2 billion in new funding to help house its homeless population of over 25,000. Measure H is the County's complement to the City commitment: Not only will it raise $350 million per year for 10 years to support homelessness reduction and support services, it will also fund many of the services that ensure the permanent supportive homes built by Measure HHH are as effective as possible.

The City and County have both transitioned from an "enforcement" model to a proven Housing First approach to homelessness, with the understanding that stable housing is the first step to health and recovery for our chronically homeless neighbors. Aside from being the right thing to do morally, Measure H and the Housing First approach also a smart move economically, as it is often more expensive to treat homelessness on the street—with frequent emergency room visits, law enforcement and justice system costs, and temporary housing solutions—than to build a new home and provide necessary services on-site. An extra quarter-cent sales tax for 10 years will pay dividends in the future with dramatically reduced chronic homelessness and millions saved on medical and public safety costs each year.
Key Supporters: NRDC, LA Mayor Garcetti, City of Long Beach, City of Pasadena, LA County Democratic Party, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) Key Opponents: LA County Republican Party
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LA CityMCannabis Regulation After Citizen Input, Taxation and EnforcementAllows the City Council to create laws related to regulating cannabis within the city. Requires public input hearings before laws can be passed. Sets out initial taxation scheme for these products.YesCA voters approved Prop 64 in November, legalizing marijuana statewide. It is now up to the cities and counties of the state to regulate the sale and use of the substance. Measure M is better than Measure N (below) because it is more flexible: it allows for the City Council to determine--with public input--the appropriate permitting, taxation, and regulatory scheme. It also allows us to alter the regulations going forward, as we learn from inevitable missteps. Also of note: one of the supporters of the measure has the last name Hadley-Hempstead, so it just feels right.Key Supporters: LA Police, LA Police Protective League, Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, Los Angeles Business Council, LA County Federation of Labor, LA Chamber of Commerce (Of Note: LA Federation of Labor and LA Chamber of Commerce almost NEVER agree on issues, so this is a big deal.) Key Opponents: None
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LA CityNCannabis Activity Permits, Regulation, and TaxationSets 135 initial permits for cannabis dispensaries in the city, which City Council can later increase. Gives priority to existing medical marijuana businesses (MMBs) for those permits. Sets minimum distance requirments for marijuana usage for schools and other sites.NoSimilar to Measure M (above), this measure sets out rules to regulate cannabis. However, Measure N is much more prescriptive, setting out very specific initial regulations. At this point, this is almost irrelevant, as the authors of Measure N are now asking everyone to back Measure M instead.Key Supporters: All official support retracted in favor of Measure M. Key Opponents: LA Police, LA Police Protective League, Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, Los Angeles Business Council, LA County Federation of Labor, NAACP Los Angeles
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LA CityPMaximum Term of Harbor Department LeasesIncreases the maximum term for franchise and lease agreements made with the Harbor Department (Port of Los Angeles) from 50 years to 66 years.YesA franchise is a fancy term for a lease granted to an entity (like a utility) to put their private property (like power lines) on your private property (or, in this case, everyone's public property) in exchange for fees. On the whole, taxpayers make money on longer-term public franchises, generating revenue for the city. Businesses are more willing to negotiate for longer terms because it decreases their risk and increases certainty/market stability. It's a win-win. Plus, this only allows for an increase in the maximum term for these agreements; it doesn't mandate that every agreement be this long.Key Supporters: Councilmember Joe Buscaino (D-15), LA Chamber of Commerce Key Opponents: None
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LA CitySBuilding Moratorium; Restrictions on General Plan Amendments; Required Review of General PlanImposes a 2-year moratorium on all building projects requiring an exemption from the General Plan and prohibits most geographic amendments to the General Plan. Requires the General Plan to be reviewed every 5 years, among other requirements.No (Emphatically)Measure S is an exceedingly deceptive ballot initiative. It promises affordable housing, less traffic, and reduced homelessness, and delivers exactly the opposite. If you need to know one thing about Measure S, it's that every organization committed to providing affordable housing, reducing homelessness, and protecting tenant's rights is opposed to it. Measure S imposes a two year ban on the use of zone changes and height district changes for new housing developments in Los Angeles, and permanently bans general plan amendments for such projects. The practical effect of this—due to the outdated nature of our general plan and community plans—is to immediately stop the construction of a huge amount of homes just as we're in the midst of a historic housing shortage and our population continues to grow.

This will mean that landlords have even greater leverage over renters, freeing them to raise rents even faster. By stopping development on parking lots and industrial sites—where general plan and zone changes are most frequently used—it will also push more investors to purchase existing housing, evict its tenants, and either rebuild at higher density or upgrade the existing units to appeal to higher-earners (or turn them into condos). The initiative is also entirely contrary to the goals outlined by LA voters this November: If Measure S is approved, it will nullify the affordable housing and living-wage jobs benefits of Measures JJJ, and make building permanent supportive housing for the homeless, funded by Measure HHH, much more difficult and expensive.

Measure S is the "Make Los Angeles Great Again" of ballot initiatives, and it's steeped in the same backward-looking nostalgia that views our city's best days as being behind it. Or as Christopher Hawthorne of the LA Times put it: Measure S is "an expression of mourning for an L.A. that is already dead, a city of single-family subdivisions, highway construction, discriminatory zoning and free parking that worked (to the degree that it ever did) only as long as the region continued to sprawl voraciously at the edges." Vote No, and tell everyone you know to do the same. It was moved from the November ballot to the March election specifically to appeal to an older, wealthier demographic, with far smaller turnout, because it knew it couldn't compete with Measure JJJ on its merits. Don't allow that cynical ploy to pay off; every renter and future generation will pay the consequences if it passes.
Key Supporters: AIDS Healthcare Foundation (funding the entire Yes campaign), former Mayor Richard Riordan, LA Tenants Union, various homeowners associations. Full list: http://www.voteyesons.org/endorsements Key Opponents: United Way, Mayor Garcetti, Los Angeles Times, Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, ACLU of Southern California, labor unions (police, firefighters, AFL-CIO, SEIU, etc.), Chamber of Commerce, Coalition for Economic Survival, SAJE, TRUST South LA, East LA Community Corporation, Skid Row Housing Trust, Inner City Law Center, Los Angeles Mission, Downtown Women's Center, County Democratic and Republican party, California Green party, Stonewall Democratic Club, National Resources Defense Council and League of Conservation Voters, USC and UCLA professors. Full list: http://www.goestoofar.com/coalition
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This document represents our own personal views and does not represent the opinion of any organization, corporation, or other entity.
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