Measure S Campaign Accused of ‘Dirty Tricks’

March 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Leaders of the campaign behind a development-control measure on the March ballot said Monday they will not stop sending out mailers that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department called unlawful for mimicking the appearance of an eviction notice sent by the department.

Sheriff’s officials sent the campaign a cease-and-desist letter last week, demanding that it stop using the department’s name and image in the mailer. It also called the mailer unlawful under the California Business and Professions Code.

The campaign responded: “While we respect the work and the mission of the Sheriff’s Department, we are disappointed that they and the Los Angeles County Counsel have inserted themselves into a political campaign in an apparent attempt to influence the outcome.”

Measure S on the March 7 ballot would halt all General Plan amendments — or special permission to developers known as “spot zoning” — for two years while the city updates its General Plan and community plans that guide neighborhood development.

Mailers mimicking the appearance of an eviction notice were sent out to residents on behalf of the Measure S campaign. (LASD)

Mailers mimicking the appearance of an eviction notice were sent out to residents on behalf of the Measure S campaign. (LASD)

Supporters of Measure S argue the city’s procedure of frequently granting spot zoning requests while elected officials routinely take campaign donations from developers creates a cozy relationship and leaves the impression that City Hall can be bought.

Opponents of Measure S — including Gov. Jerry Brown, Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Jose Huizar — say it would limit the city’s ability to build affordable housing and hurt the local economy.

The eviction-notice mailer is intended to send the message that people could end up being evicted due to the rising cost of housing Measure S purports to help solve.

But in a letter to the sheriff’s department, Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival wrote that its leaders “have been getting phones calls from tenants who say they became frightened and unnerved upon opening their mail boxes and thinking they had just received an eviction notice.

“Then, they became angry when they realized that this was a dirty campaign ploy to scare them into voting for Measure S.”

LASD officials said state law prohibits a nongovernmental entity from using a trade, brand name, seal, emblem or insignia in a manner that can be construed as governmental approval.

But the Yes on S campaign dismissed the idea that the mailer could be mistaken as being from the LASD.

“The Sheriff’s Department’s purported concerns about the Coalition to Preserve LA’s `Yes on S’ campaign mailer regarding evictions are quite overblown. There is no risk of the public being misled that the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is affiliated with or authorized the campaign mailer,” according to the organization.

Earlier this month, Garcetti criticized the campaign for using his image and a quote in an email blast, calling it a “dirty trick” that made it look like he supports the campaign when he is actually opposed.

EGP Ballot Recommendations for March 7 Primary Election

February 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

City of Los Angeles
Measure S Is Not the Solution – Vote No
Measure S – The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative – asks Los Angeles voters to approve a two-year moratorium on developments that don’t conform to the city’s current, but outdated General Plan, but the intended and unintended consequences will do more harm than good and the measure deserves a no vote.

Any development requiring an amendment for height or zoning changes would be blocked.

At first glance, Measure S appears to be good government reform, stopping city officials too willing to approve zoning variances for construction projects in return for campaign donations. But developers aren’t the only special interest group with deep pockets and political muscle.

Angry about plans to construct two 28-story buildingss next to the headquarters of the AIDS Health Foundation that would block their view, President Michael Weinstein pushed forward Measure S and the group is the campaign’s largest donor.

Weinstein says uncontrolled development is a serious health and quality of life issue.
He may be partially right, but the reality is Measure S is also the latest form of NIMBY thinking: Not In My Backyard.

We understand the anger many people feel about developments changing the character of their neighborhoods and building projects out of sync with what communities want, but Measure S is not the solution; it’s overkill.

Yes, the city has done a miserable job of updating its now nearly 20-year-old General Plan to meet the city’s current needs. The 35 community plans that dictate where housing, commerce and industrial projects will be built, have languished for years.

Yet, while well intentioned, Measure S would not only stop bad development, it would also stop the building of much needed affordable and market-rate housing, homeless shelters and other projects.

Passage would be a hit to the economy, costing as many as 12,000 jobs and $1.9 billion in economic output, according to a study by Beacon Economics. Between 2,100 and 2,800 housing units would be lost annually, the study estimates.

The city, which is already facing a multi-million dollar deficit, would lose about $70 million in revenue from building permits, licenses and other fees, according to the Financial Impact Report issued by former City Administrator Miguel Santana.

Feeling the pressure from Measure S, the city council has now approved major changes to how it will handle future development. Under a proposal brought by Councilman Jose Huizar, the city will now update its community plans every six years at a cost of $10 million annually. Developers will also now have to use a city-approved company to complete their environmental impact reports.

Measure S has many things in it to like, but the problems it will cause outweight the benefits, there we urge a no vote.

Yes on Measure M, No on Measure N
Measure M is a sensible step to ensuring the city can responsibly regulate enforcement and taxation on the commercial production, cultivation and sale of marijuana, now that California voters have approved its legalization.

Passage would replace Proposition D, which currently regulates and licenses medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles, but is now outdated due to legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Measure M calls for the city to gather input from the community at public hearings on its implementation of the city’s licensing, taxing and enforcement regulations.

We believe that if you must have the licensing for the dispensaries growth and sale of marijuana, it should be controlled by a government agency and not by the industry as proposed by Measure N – which is no longer even supported by that industry. Vote yes on Measure M and no on Measure N.

Los Angeles County
We Need to Invest in Services for the Homeless – Vote Yes on Measure H
Placed on the ballot by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, Measure H will authorize the County to impose a quarter-cent sales and use tax increase to pay for much needed services to the homeless population in Los Angeles County.

Funding includes services for mental health, substance abuse treatment, health care, education, job training, housing subsidies, outreach and other supportive services for homeless adults, families, battered women, seniors, veterans, children and battered youth among others.

It also includes an important allocation for “bridge funding” to help people on the brink of homelessness –many of them seniors struggling to survive on fixed incomes – stay in their homes.

Measure H is a companion measure to City of Los Angeles Measure HHH, a $1.2 billion bond measure to build thousands of permanent and transitional housing for the homeless over the next decade.

Taken together, the two measures represent a comprehensive, multi-layer approach to the complex issues that lead to homelessness.

We urge a yes vote on Measure H.

Community College Board Seat 4
Our endorsement goes to Community College Trustee Ernest H. Moreno.
Moreno has earned our endorsement for his years of dedication to the district after bringing East Los Angeles Community College back from a college mired in debt and in an old falling apart campus to the largest community college, well-maintained and progressively run and for having similar results while at Mission College.

Moreno has proven to be an excellent and judicious voice for the community he serves as a member of the board of trustees.

Ernie Moreno the best candidate for Seat No. 4.

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