Cartoon Tuesday: Where Are Those Measure S Supporters?

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It is no secret that Measure S, the so-called “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative,” is heavily funded by AIDS Heathcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein. AHF and Weinstein also bankrolled the recently-defeated Propositions 60 and 61 and was a significant funder of the anti-Measure M campaign.

According to a January 15 Curbed article, Weinstein and AHF contributed 99 percent of the recent pro-Measure S campaign contributions during the most recent reporting interval.

Clearly Weinstein is behind Measure S. But does anyone else endorse this measure, which amounts to a ban on most new housing, affordable or otherwise?

GIF by Shane Phillips
GIF by Shane Phillips

Shane Phillips exposes the limits of official Measure S support in the above GIF. Can the John Travolta meme find any real support for the housing ban initiative? Especially now that Leonardo DiCaprio’s supposed endorsement was revealed to be a lie.

The Measure S opposition column reveals a truly broad coalition. No on S is endorsed by labor and business, who often find themselves on opposite sides of issues. Affordable and homeless housing advocates oppose it, too. So do firefighters and police.

For those who don’t know, Measure S does two major things that threaten the future of Los Angeles as a sustainable city. It puts a two-year ban on any zoning changes or General Plan amendments. Given that the city of Los Angeles’ General Plan has not had a comprehensive update since just after World War II, a significant percentage of new housing requires amendments (from minor reductions in parking requirements to increased density near transit nodes) to get built. Measure S also requires that the city’s myriad neighborhood plans be updated, but given how contentious the update processes can be and how litigious supporters of Measure S can be when they don’t like the changes proposed to the community plans, it’s unclear how that component of the measure would play out in reality.

Given the severity of California’s housing shortage and our general need for more housing and jobs along our transit corridors to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase overall sustainability, Measure S could be devastating for the city.

Essentially, Measure S is being touted as a way to “preserve” Los Angeles. In other words, Measure S aims to halt any move away from the unsustainable, sprawling, auto-dependent Los Angeles of the past.

On March 7th voters will decide which direction they want to go.

Read earlier more serious SBLA Measure S articles by Brian Addison and Shane Phillips.

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