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Measure J: Turning Defeat Into Victory
Losing Measure J by less than 0.56% (66.11% of the 66.67% required) even as it won 66% of the vote was a painful and, frankly, appalling reminder that anti-tax activist Howard Jarvis and his Proposition 13 – the measure that created the 2/3 vote requirement for local tax measures in 1978 – still hovers over California. But Measure J's defeat is provoking an effort to release us from Jarvis’ yoke by doing what has already been done for school bonds – reducing the local voter threshold to 55%.
The City of LA and its Transportation Mayor
LA Mayor Villaraigosa stepped into the national spotlight with his advocacy in Washington DC for transit system funding and innovative financing, and he’s now top contender to replace Ray LaHood as transportation secretary. Theatlanticcities.com argues a mayor would be best since the job requires an understanding of how to leverage transportation in service of economic opportunity and livable communities.
LA Mayor Creates TOD Corridors Cabinet
Mayor Villaraigosa has created a Transit-Oriented Development Corridors Cabinet to ensure collaboration, coordination and communication across all city departments to make LA more transit-oriented. Move LA will be hosting a public meeting of the cabinet at our annual “transportation conversation” at Union Station on February 1 with Mayor Villaraigosa, LA mayoral candidates and state leadership.
Two Milestones for LA County transit: Metro ridership was up by double digits in October over the previous year, with record ridership on the Orange, Silver, Blue and newly opened Expo Line. Meantime utility relocation began on the Westside Subway Extension, with a construction contract to be awarded in 2012, tunneling is to start in 2015, and the first segment to La Cienega will open by 2023 – unless strategies to accelerate construction succeed.