When filling out your ballot, you need to answer this question, especially as it relates to the two ballot measures that will raise our taxes by over $1 billion per year. Obviously, the answer is, “Hell No.” How can we trust our elected officials after the recent front page disclosure of the racist conversations between City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmen Kevin deLeon and Gil Cedillo, and Ron Herrera, the President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. How can we trust the City Council which has had three of its members indicted for bribery and other criminal acts. And what about the Department of Water and Power whose former General Manager, David Wright was sentenced to six years in the slammer for bribery. Three other individuals have pleaded guilty for bribery and other charges in connection with the DWP billing scandal. And no doubt there is more inappropriate behavior that has not surfaced. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, there is an ongoing criminal investigation into the City’s affairs.
By rejecting Initiative Ordinance ULA, the 4% tax on sales of apartment, commercial, industrial, and residential properties valued at more than $5 million and 5.5% on sales of $10 million or more, and Proposition SP, the $227 million Parks and Recreational Facilities Tax, we will send a message to City Hall that we will not approve any new taxes unless the City implements real reform. There is a motion sponsored by Councilmembers Raman and Bonin to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance Reform which will be charges with implementing reforms and increasing transparency. Reforms would include the establishment of an Independent Redistricting Commission, the elimination of Section 245(e) of the City charter that allows Councilmembers to have discretionary power over land use decisions in their districts, reforming City rules concerning lobbyists, strengthen the Ethics Department, expending the City Council, and robust campaign finance reform and oversight.
These proposals must be developed in a transparent manner and then placed on the ballot for our approval. And then, after they have been approved by the voters, we will begin to consider these taxes.
The City Council also must investigate the undue influence of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor in redistricting. The conclusion may include the need for increased transparency into County Fed’s relationship with our elected officials and City employees and restrictions on County Fed’s relationship with our elected officials and their staffs.
Beside the need for reform, there are four seats on the City Council that are being contested in November and one seat that has been vacated with Martinez resignation. And it is probably a good bet that deLeon will resign giving the increasing pressure. With six open seats, who will be responsible for the proper use of our tax dollar.
Both propositions do not deserve our vote based on the lack of transparency in developing the measures and the lack of predetermined spending plans. Add to this the uncertainty as to who will be on the City Council, we need vote NO on ULA and SP and send a message to City Hall that we demand reform now.
29 SEPT 2022 Vote No on Proposition SP, the $6.8 Billion Parcel Tax