Leading up to the March 7 Los Angeles municipal election, people[PLACES]spaces will be running a series of posts about Measure S (also known by the dubious and offensive name “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative”), and why its passage would be dangerous and destructive. We’ve been on the record in opposition to Measure S for quite some time. So rather than repeat our own words in new combinations, this series will focus on bringing you the voices of others, from a variety of viewpoints, to highlight the broad range of Angelenos who have lined up in opposition to Measure S.
With the election just two weeks away, endorsements are rolling out. We’re keeping a running list of the endorsements that we find, and this post will be updated as more endorsements come it. Let us know if there are any that we’re missing, and we’ll be sure to add them. (UPDATE 2/27: endorsements from LURN and Bike the Vote L.A. added)
L.A. Times: Measure S isn’t a solution to L.A.’s housing woes, it’s a childish middle finger to City Hall. Vote no
That isn’t a paraphrase of the Los Angeles Times endorsement, that’s the actual headline. And as the endorsement goes on to explain, rather than helping L.A. communities have more say in the planning process, Measure S would actually block badly needed projects that in communities eager for more affordable housing and redevelopment. And it would block every proposed opportunity so far for the permanent supportive housing to address homelessness that Los Angeles voters overwhelming demanded when we approved Measure HHH by over 77%. As the L.A. Times says, “Don’t be swayed by the misleading promises of Measure S. Don’t hold hostage badly needed housing with this overly broad ballot measure.”
L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson in the Los Angeles Sentinel: Hollywood Doesn’t Have the Right to Shut Down South Los Angeles
Councilmember Harris-Dawson highlights the inherent inequality in the impacts that Measure S would have. While Hollywood has thrived over the past few decades, South L.A. is only beginning to enjoy the benefits of expanding transit and opportunities for improved development. “In a housing crisis like the one Los Angeles has, failing to build will make new housing even less affordable, even faster. The best way to improve our neighborhoods and keep them affordable for the children who grew up in them is to build smart. And Measure S takes away the tools that will let us do that, whether it’s at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, the former Bethune Library, or new market-rate housing. Or simply making it possible for people to live and work along the new Expo Line.”
We applaud Councilmember Harris-Dawson for his vocal stand against Measure S, and encourage his fellow city leaders to follow his example.
Kornberg, the President and CEO of Bet Tzedek, an advocacy organization that provides legal services to low income individuals, highlights the case of the Vintage Westwood Horizons, where the new owner, Watermark, has served eviction notices to senior residents, all over the age of 80. Measure S proponents have tried to capitalize on this situation, but as Kornberg points out, Measure S would do nothing to solve this problem: “Don’t believe the rash of press releases, videos and emails attempting to link the two causes–Measure S wouldn’t stop Watermark from evicting seniors. On the contrary: it would result in many more evictions just like it. Property owners of all sorts will be even more incentivized to take advantage of low vacancies and limited development options, and will push tenants out of low-income units in order to maximize profits. We see it already today. We’ll see more of it in a city where Measure S is law.”
"We believe that Measure S will result in less affordable housing options and further exacerbate existing wealth, income, and racial issues in our city. For these reasons we recommend you vote no on Measure S." (emphasis theirs)
"As a group that cares about the overall livability, accessibility, and equity of our city, we see smart and sustainable development as something to be welcomed and harnessed to ensure that it benefits and protects existing residents and sustainably accommodates newcomers. Like another recent anti-growth ballot measure in Santa Monica that we opposed, we believe Measure S – with its draconian restrictions – will only make housing prices, traffic congestion, and social inequity worse. Bike The Vote L.A. urges a “NO” vote on Measure S."
Thomas Musca in Metropolis Magazine: Misled Millenials: How Fake News Could Set Los Angeles Down a Dangerous Path
There’s just about nothing I hate more in journalism than blanket pronouncements about the shortcomings and strange proclivities of millenials, and their lazy “kids-these-days” generalizations. But if you look past this click-bait headline, the author makes a valid point: it will be up to young voters to stop the dangerous Measure S in its tracks. When Los Angeles County voters approved permanent funding for expanded public transit infrastructure this past November it was the estimated 85% of 18-to-29-year old voters that put the measure over the top. And it’s worth noting that Measure S backers were opposed to the transit expansion on the November ballot. With the dismally low turnout typical of local elections, small shifts in participation can make all the difference, and hopefully young voters will heed that call.
“The measure would ban future housing and building initiatives in the city of Los Angeles at a time when the city is facing a growing affordability crisis. LGBT people, from youth to seniors, experience disproportionate poverty and without affordable housing, many are left homeless; voting NO on Measure S will block this ban.”
“For years, residents of South Los Angeles have been promised a reinvestment into their community. Now that the Expo Line is complete, the Crenshaw Line is fully underway and major projects which must have local and minority participation are about to begin at LAX, anti-growth and anti-development proponents are pushing a No Construction initiative called Measure S… The Los Angeles Sentinel encourages everyone to Vote NO on Measure S.”
I don’t often agree with organizations that include “Chamber of Commerce” in their names (in my experience they are usually just thinly veiled mouthpieces for conservative propaganda), but in this case I’m pleasantly surprised. In this editorial, the chief executive of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and executive secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council make the business argument against Measure S. But they also highlight how the measure would stifle opportunities to build the low income and supportive housing promised in Measure HHH, and how backers plan to fight transit expansion and transit-oriented developments. “Backers of Measure S have signaled repeatedly that they will fight to prevent updates in our community plans. They are especially opposed to transit-oriented development that has the potential to make it possible for people to live in Los Angeles without an automobile. This “silent moratorium” has the potential to stall the creation of housing, jobs and tax revenue to pay for city services for more than a decade.”
“In its current form, Measure S is bad for L.A. Vote no on Measure S.”
Remember to VOTE on or before March 7 (your vote-by-mail ballot may already be in your hands). In addition to Measure S, the mayor, citywide offices, half of LA’s city council districts, and school board and community college board members are all on ballot, along with a few more measures dealing with marijuana regulation and taxation, and homeless support services. Educate yourself and exercise your voting rights!