California Election – Los Angeles County Measure by Measure
by Stephen T. Holzer
November 1, 2012
We’ve already discussed the pros and cons of the California Propositions appearing on the ballot next week, with a look at what major groups were for, or against each initiative.
This time, we’re going to take a look at some of the Measures up for vote in Los Angeles County and the San Fernando Valley – though there are many others that pertain to individual cities in Southern California. (If you’d like a look at all of the ballot measures, click here.)
Los Angeles County Election Ballot Measures
The first three, Measures A, B & J, will affect all Los Angelenos, while the last two, Measures HH & MM, affect only those in and around the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Fernando Valley.
Measure A: Appointment of County Assessor – County of Los Angeles
Should the Los Angeles County Assessor’s position be appointed, or elected? Currently, it’s an elected job, but this measure seeks to change the California Constitution and the Los Angeles County Charter to make the position an appointed one. This is a non-binding vote, meaning it’s a temperature check to see what the public thinks.
Opposition to Measure A:
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the Republican Party of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Times all advise voting NO on Measure A.
Opponents say that even though elected assessors may be susceptible to giving tax breaks to campaign donors, appointed assessors will be influenced by their appointers – boards of supervisors with an interest in keeping tax monies rolling in at a maximum rate.
Support of Measure A:
The Long Beach Telegram suggests a YES vote as the better choice, citing John Noguez’s alleged abuse of power while in his position as County Assessor as a prime reason why.
Measure B: Los Angeles Porn Actors Required to Wear Condoms Act
Now here’s a hot topic. Should we make adult film actors wear condoms while shooting porn? This Safer Sex Initiative also requires the Los Angeles Department of Public Health to conduct inspections and enforce the Act – it’s the enforcement that’s at issue here, as a city ordinance already requires the porn stars to wear condoms.
Opposition to Measure B:
The adult film industry, the Republican Party of Los Angeles, and two Los Angeles newspapers all oppose the Safer Sex Act, citing another tax on the people as well as more runaway productions. The San Fernando Valley is an informally acknowledged capitol of adult entertainment, and has been since the 1970s.
Support of Measure B:
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Los Angeles County Medical Association say Measure B will help reduce the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases with no cost to taxpayers.
Measure J: Los Angeles County Sales Tax for Transportation
This measure will continue the ½ cent sales tax increase (2008 voter-approved Measure R) scheduled to end in 2039, to extend another 30 years, to 2069. Measure R (and now J) is meant to finance new transportation projects and hasten those already in planning. To pass, Measure J needs a 2/3 supermajority vote.
Opposition to Measure J:
Two city supervisors and some local groups like the Bus Riders Union and the Beverly Hills Board of Education who form the Measure J opposition say it promotes gentrification – certain groups asked the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to upgrade the Crenshaw Boulevard Line, and to rebuild affordable housing destroyed when the Gold Line was built in East L.A. But the agency has “stonewalled” these requests. Some are calling Measure J a “blank check” to MTA.
Support of Measure J:
MTA says approval of Measure J will cost LA taxpayers approximately $25/year/individual, on average – but will generate $90 billion in revenue between 2039 and 2069. The Los Angeles Times and other major news groups support the measure, citing new jobs, less traffic and better accessibility to LA’s more popular areas.
The San Fernando Valley – Measures HH & MM
Measures HH and MM are similar. They are parcel taxes to help fund the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, or MRCA.
The MRCA acquires, maintains and improves open spaces, parks and wildlife corridors. The public agency improves fire prevention, protects water quality and facilitates security, among other things, at these places. MCRA has been funded by a 20 year old property assessment that will expire soon.
Measure HH helps MCRA to provide these services from the East Santa Monica Mountains into the Hollywood Hills by imposing a $24 per year tax for 10 years. The funds can only be spent in the Santa Monica Mountains east of the 405 freeway.
Measure MM imposes a $19 per year tax for 10 years to provide the above services in Encino, Tarzana and Woodland Hills.
Opposition to Measures HH & MM:
There doesn’t appear to be an organized opposition to the measures, though there are a few lone voices naysaying HH & MM.
Support of Measures HH & MM:
Both HH supporters and MM supporters have the backing of the Los Angeles Democratic Party, the Los Angeles Daily News, California State Assembly Member Bob Blumenfield, Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Koretz, and various homeowners’ associations affected in the San Fernando Valley.
Stephen T. Holzer is an Environmental and Business Litigation Attorney at our Firm, as well as the Chair of our Environmental Practice Group. Contact him via email: email@example.com.