Today as people in Los Angeles wake up, they have once again affirmed that locally, we care about our neighbors, we care about our future, and we are willing to invest in the things we care about. Yesterday, Angelenos voted No on Measure S, a measure which would have frozen construction of most new developments for two years and further worsened L.A.’s housing shortage. In Los Angeles County, Measure H, which will begin to provide more comprehensive resources that will be aimed at fiercely fighting homelessness, is holding on to victory in initial poll results. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), as a proud member of Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles (ACT-LA), worked to oppose Measure S with a broad group of organizations and individuals and also supported Measure H.
With the defeat of Measure S, Angelenos embraced a vision of Los Angeles as an innovative city where active transportation is welcomed. Beyond that, Los Angeles embraced a vision where all of our residents are welcome and deserve to have access to services and affordable housing options. With this result, Angelenos chose a Los Angeles that addresses our severe housing shortage in a sensible and sustainable way by allowing increased housing density and encouraging transit-oriented development, leading to a more affordable and more bike friendly city, less displacement of low-income people and people of color, and more support for people who have been impacted by the many barriers to affordable living in this city and who are currently homeless.
Tamika Butler, Executive Director of LACBC and a nationally recognized leader for her work in advancing equity in transportation, reacted to the defeat of Measure S and passage of Measure H by stating, “While the rejection of Measure S doesn’t mean our work is done, it does mean that, in conjunction with Measure M’s passage in November, Angelenos are embracing a future where active transportation is essential in shaping our growth. Beyond that, this was a rejection of the ‘us vs. them’ exclusionary rhetoric we’ve seen employed at the national level and in some executive suites here in Los Angeles. That rhetoric is deeply damaging to people of color, low-income people, and other vulnerable populations. Rather than keeping people out, defeating Measure S and likely approving Measure H is a rallying moment in Los Angeles, announcing that we will support our neighbors, fight homelessness, and build towards a more sustainable and inclusive region. But the defeat of Measure S still largely results in the status quo of how planning is done in this city and disproportionately has negative impacts on low-income people and people of color. This measure defeat is not enough, more must be done, and the fight continues.”
Measure S would have prevented the city from approving projects that would increase the number of housing units in large swaths of the city, a vital component in making neighborhoods more bike and pedestrian friendly. It would have resulted in less housing, increased displacement, gentrification, sprawl, and an increase in individuals who have no housing options. Instead, we stood up as a city and a region to infuse resources in the fight against homelessness and pushed back against individuals trying to keep their corner office views at the expense of everyone else’s quality of life.
With this positive result, LACBC vows to continue working to make Los Angeles a better place to live and bike with an important year ahead. LACBC thanks every organization and every individual who worked to deliver these results and every person that voted in this election. Together we will continue to work for an equitable Los Angeles.