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Government Affairs Update
Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 @ 06:33 PM

I know it seems impossible, but we do have a very important election coming to us locally on March 7th. In Los Angeles, all Councilmembers in so-called “odd-numbered” seats are up for election (Seats 1, 3, 5, 7 -vacant, 9, 11, 13, and 15). If you live in one of those districts, your mailbox must be full of campaign promotions.

 

District 7, wholly within the San Fernando Valley, is vacant due to the Councilmember, Felipe Fuentes, resigning in mid-term to take a high-paying lobbying gig in Sacramento, leaving his constituents with no representation for over a year. Luckily, there are three qualified candidates who, most likely, will not abandon the constituents of the 7th district for a grander position: Monica Rodriquez, a former candidate for the seat, who most recently served on the prestigious Board of Public Works; Karo Torossian, Deputy to 2nd District Councilmember Paul Krekorian for Land Use and the Environment; and, Monica Ratliff, member of the LA School Board and schoolteacher.

Voters in District 7 are fortunate to have such great choices to fill this vacant seat.


Incumbents make up the rest of the odd-numbered seats up for election. CD 1 – Gil Cedillo, CD 3 – Bob Blumenfield, CD 5 – Paul Koretz, CD 9 – Curren Price, CD 11 – Mike Bonin, CD 13 – Mitch O’Farrell, and CD 15 – Joe Buscaino. BHGLAAR support for candidates in these races is pending.


West Hollywood and Beverly Hills make up the other cities with Council elections. BH/GLAAR LCRC Trustees voted to support incumbents John Duran and John Heilman in West Hollywood, while the interviews with Beverly Hills candidates will take place on February 9th.


The most important item on the ballot for all of you Los Angeles residents is MEASURE S, formerly known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative (“NII”). This whacky proposal brought forward by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (due to a partial view obstruction of their high rise office by new construction around The Palladium in Hollywood). The Founder and President of AHF is Michael Weinstein who has successfully run campaigns to require condoms in adult films, and sued the County on drug costs. What this land use initiative has to do with healthcare has yet to be

revealed.


Measure S would immediately put a 2-year moratorium on building. Can you imagine that? No construction in Los Angeles for two years while the economy is strong. Unbelievable! After those two years are over, no zone changes will be allowed. If you see a surface parking lot now, it will remain that way in perpetuity. Terrible for an ever-improving city like Los Angeles. This would stymie the housing industry by not increasing the supply when the demand is so high. No new supply will exacerbate the homeless problem and lower the quality of life for all Angelinos and everyone who visits the city.


BH/GLAAR has taken a firm NO position on Measure S and have contributed toward its defeat. You should do the same!


Finally, BH/GLAAR is supporting a county-wide measure initiated by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, MEASURE H. This is a ¼ cent sales tax to fund homeless services. Last year, we were able to pass HHH, that created funding to BUILD housing for homeless. Measure H will provide the funding for the services needed to create the programs that will actually help the homeless reenter society, such as mental health, medical, education, legal, rehabilitation, and other services related to serving the homeless.


Sales tax is paid by anyone purchasing in Los Angeles County. For REALTORS® and homeowners, this is NOT a tax on property, it is a small tax on everyone.


The increasing homelessness in Los Angeles affects not just those who find themselves homeless, it affects investment in communities, public safety, and the desirability of Los Angeles. Join with BHGLAAR and support Measure H.




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