LA WATCHDOG - While Californians are awaiting the outcome of the vote to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, others are already focusing on the November 8, 2022 ballot.
In 14 months, we will go to the polls to elect the Governor, the Mayor, and many other federal, state, county, and city officials. But the real battleground will be the ballot initiatives, especially those that seek to curb the corrupting influence of well financed and politically powerful lobbies / enterprises who do not have our best interests in mind.
There are two very interesting statewide initiatives that have been filed with the Attorney General and are awaiting title and summary: “Local Land Use” and “Education Freedom Act.” If these initiatives make it to the ballot, it will be the start of World War III because the teachers unions (along with the educational and political establishment) and the real estate industry will do everything in their power to defeat these measures that will limit their power, influence, and revenues.
The Local Land Use initiative is a reaction to the recent passages of SB 9 and SB 10 by the Legislature. They are an attack on single family residences and older affordable neighborhoods. This will result in massive profits for real estate developers and their Wall Street investors. Importantly, these bills do not require the development of any affordable housing, even when developments displace residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
A recent full page advertisement in the New York Times outlined the problem. “SB 9 would allow up to 4-6 individual housing units on a single-family lot with no local control, and SB 10 would allow 10-unit apartment buildings on single-family lots with no recourse to the adjacent neighbors – driving the demand for redevelopment. These bills won’t help the affordable housing crisis. They will make it worse, destabilizing neighborhoods and home values for everyone.”
The goal of this initiative is very simple: “ensure that all decisions regarding local land use controls, including zoning regulations, are made by the affected communities.” In other words, local control, not statewide mandates where one size does not fit all.
For more information re. the Local Land Use initiative, visit Californians for Community Planning Initiative.
The Education Freedom Act allows students (TK through 12) and their families to select their school, whether it be an accredited public, private, charter, religious, or vocational school, and to direct the State’s per pupil spending of $14,000 to that school in the 2022-23 school year.
Underlying this initiative is the frustration of Californians with the failing public education school system, where the language and math skills of disadvantaged students are substantially below their grade levels. This is certainly the case with the Los Angeles Unified School District.
By “empowering” students and their families, they will have the opportunity to achieve a better education and escape the underperforming schools, giving them the opportunity to improve their life prospects and escape the vicious cycle of a poor education and poverty.
This will also break the monopoly of local public school systems and force these bloated bureaucracies to improve their academic offerings or suffer the loss of students and the related funding. Of course, this will not be well received by the teachers unions who will fear the loss of jobs and the related dues revenue, resulting in the massive spending to defeat this empowering ballot measure.
Both of these measures need the necessary signatures to qualify for the ballot. They deserve our support because they are in the best interest of our local neighborhoods and our children’s education.
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.)