Los Angeles voters will be deciding on the fate of Measure S on March 7th, but many people are still unclear on what it seeks to do, or what it would actually achieve.
The rhetoric on each side is pretty extreme. According to the Yes campaign, Measure S will “save our neighborhoods” and create a city in which rents are affordable, evictions are stopped, and homelessness is ended. The No campaign describes the initiative in apocalyptic terms, describing it as a “housing ban” that would make the housing crisis even worse.
– If you’re concerned about how the construction of affordable housing is affected by Measure S, we recommend getting a hold of the smart, dedicated people at the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, who represent most of the affordable housing developers in LA and are voting No on Measure S.
– If reducing homelessness is one of your top priorities, lend an ear to some of the folks that have served our homeless neighbors for decades, including the United Way, Covenant House of California, Skid Row Housing Trust, Inner City Law Center, the Downtown Women’s Center, or the Los Angeles Mission, who are voting No on Measure S.
– If evictions, gentrification, and tenant’s rights are your issue, have a chat with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Alliance for Community Transit, Coalition for Economic Survival, SAJE, East LA Community Corporation, Southeast Asian Community Alliance, TRUST South LA, or Community Health Councils, who are all voting No.
– If you’re unsure about how Measure S will impact the environment, you might want to defer to the League of Conservation Voters, National Resources Defense Council, or Climate Resolve, who all recommend that you vote No.
– If living wage, stable jobs are your thing, your best bet is probably unions like the AFL-CIO, SEIU, IBEW, or UNITE HERE, whose members are voting No and want you to do the same.
– If you’re worried about how Measure S will affect the economy, the Chamber of Commerce usually knows their stuff, and if funding for essential government services is important to you, you might want to follow the lead of the LA Police Protective League and the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City—all of them are voting No.
– If you’re a die-hard partisan, you could always just do what your political party tells you: Mayor Garcetti, along with both the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Los Angeles County are recommending a No vote on Measure S.
– And if you’re into the dispassionate, academic style, there are a couple dozen UCLA and USC professors, with expertise ranging from Urban Planning to African-American studies to Public Health, who would all like to see you vote No in March.
Meanwhile, Measure S was written and is fully financially backed by just one individual: Michael Weinstein, the controversial CEO of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who began this fight as a way to stop a residential tower from being built across the street from his 21st-floor office in Hollywood. A man with a history of wrong-headed crusades and with no record of experience or expertise in issues of city planning, homelessness, or affordable housing. But he’s got a great slogan (“Save Our Neighborhoods!”), so that’s something.
You can explore the full No on Measure S coalition here, and we invite you to compare it against the Yes on S endorsements, here. When you’re finished browsing each, please fill out your vote-by-mail ballot and send it in, or commit to showing up at the polls to vote No on Measure S.