REFORMING LA FOR THE PEOPLE-While I can't reasonably speak for all of those who advocate for Measure S, I can reasonably say the following: neighborhood/volunteer/community advocates have been stymied by a Downtown/Mayor/City Council/Planning elite for decades. This elite has thwarted attempts by neighborhood councils and grassroots groups to create affordable, sustainable, environmentally-favorable, and economically-beneficial living conditions in the City of Los Angeles.
Common sense, right? And this same elite is coming out against Measure S. Most of their allies are comprised of the same ilk that has benefited financially while causing the majority of Angelenos to suffer a decrease in quality of life or to flee the City altogether, often after years of fighting against this elite.
Despite the lies and distortions, most of this unholy alliance of builders and developers are the same people who flout the laws themselves or pay off Downtown to flout the laws. They benefit financially while they do this and -- as would be expected -- have overseen a worsening of the environment, economy and quality of life in LA as a result of their actions.
So the same folks who have fought for grassroots voices and for neighborhood councils are fighting for Measure S. Perhaps it's sad we have come to this, but has the City Council elite (those who oppose Measure S) bothered to police itself over the last few decades?
The answer is No. So this is what Measure S is FOR, as per Ballotpedia:
1) FOR TWO YEARS, WE WILL STOP MEGADEVELOPMENTS, ALLOW DEVELOPMENTS THAT DON'T NEED HUGE VARIANCES, AND UPDATE OUR GENERAL PLAN/COMMUNITY PLAN/ZONING LAWS. WE WILL HAVE THE CITY OBEY ITS OWN LAWS, AND THEY WILL BE UPDATED WITH LEGAL/COMMUNITY INPUT.
2) THERE WILL BE A PERMANENT PROHIBITION AGAINST "SPOT-ZONING", WHICH IS WHEN THE CITY VIOLATES THE LAWS FOR A GIVEN PROJECT, BUT THE ABILITY TO PERFORM LEGAL/COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED VARIANCES WILL BE MAINTAINED.
3) THE CITY GENERAL/COMMUNITY/AIRPORT DISTRICT PLANS WILL HAVE A LEGAL REQUIREMENT TO HAVE A PUBLIC REVIEW EVERY FIVE YEARS.
4) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORTS (EIR'S) WOULD HAVE TO BE PERFORMED BY CITY STAFF, AND NOT BY INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS PAID BY (AND BEHOLDEN TO) THE DEVELOPERS. IN OTHER WORDS, THESE EIR'S WOULD BE UNBIASED.
5) NO MORE THAN ONE-THIRD OF A REDUCTION OF ON-SITE PARKING REQUIREMENTS COULD OCCUR FOR A GIVEN DEVELOPMENT.
So now you have read the basics -- the essence of Measure S. It's a shame that we have to pursue Measure S at this time, but after decades of being lied to, of being "owned" by developers and their allies who want to make big bucks and harm the daylights out of the rest of us, we have no choice.
Measure S supporters are your neighbors, the affordable housing advocates, and the volunteers who want parks and a livable City where children and seniors and families can thrive and enjoy life. They want big projects to remain Downtown where they belong, and for there to be smaller projects in the suburban portion of the City, with accessible jobs as well.
It's what we're FOR. And those who oppose Measure S? What are THEY for?
Vote "YES" on Measure S on March 7, 2017.
A happier, reformed Los Angeles may be coming a lot sooner than you think!
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.) Photo: LA Times. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.