L.A. BUSINESS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES KEY ENDORSEMENTS FOR NOVEMBER 2020 STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES

L.A. BUSINESS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES KEY ENDORSEMENTS FOR NOVEMBER 2020 STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (September 3, 2020) – The Los Angeles Business Council, one of the most influential advocacy organizations in California, today announced endorsements of one key statewide ballot measure in the November election, opposition to two state measures, and support of the LAUSD school bond measure.

The L.A. Business Council has endorsed the following November 2020 measures:

  • Proposition 16: Opportunity for All
  • Measure RR: School Upgrades and Safety Measure
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The L.A. Business Council opposes the following November 2020 statewide ballot measures:

  • Proposition 15: California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act
  • Proposition 21: Rental Affordability Act

Background:

YES on Prop 16: Prop. 16 would promote equal opportunity for women and people of color by allowing schools and public agencies to take gender, race and ethnicity into account when making admission, hiring or contracting decisions. This initiative couldn’t be more timely given the broader national conversation on how we must all do our part to actively combat systemic racism.

“The LABC has long advocated that we cannot truly have equity in our society without leveling the playing field and creating meaningful economic opportunities for small and diverse businesses in communities across state,” said LABC President Mary Leslie. Most recently, the LABC spearheaded the effort to modernize the City of Los Angeles’s contractor procurement system with a new open and transparent portal, Compete4LA, to bring more small and diverse local businesses to the table. “At a time when COVID-19’s impact has been particularly devastating to minority-owned businesses, we need to promote tools that will spur economic recovery across L.A. That’s why the LABC is strongly endorsing Prop. 16 to remove many of the barriers in the way of minority and woman-owned businesses succeeding,” Leslie said.

Yes on Measure RR: Measure RR is a $7 billion bond measure to upgrade, modernize and replace aging school facilities, update technology, and address inequities in L.A. schools. More than 70 percent of our public-schools were built over 50 years ago – too many of these buildings are deteriorating, contain health hazards like asbestos and contaminated drinking water, and generally do not meet standards for 21st century learning and school safety. Such disparity is unfair and puts students at risk of falling behind in preparing for college and careers simply because of where they live.

It’s important to note that Measure RR will not increase taxes – rather it extends without increasing the tax rate currently authorized for voter-approved Los Angeles Unified School District bonds. Moreover, it is subject to strict independent oversight and accountability requirements. And not only will Measure RR benefit our kids and lay the foundation for a stronger future workforce, it will immediately create thousands of quality jobs benefitting the region’s economy.

“LABC’s endorsement is an extension of our longstanding commitment to support the development of modern, public education facilities in Los Angeles,” Leslie said.

NO on Prop 15: Known as the “split roll” measure, Prop. 15 would increase taxes on commercial and industrial real estate worth $3 million or more to raise funds for schools and local government. “At a time when small businesses are hemorrhaging revenue and struggling to stay open due to the pandemic, this would add yet another cost to commercial and industrial property owners that would ultimately be passed down to small businesses and the consumer,” said LABC Board Member Brad Cox. The initiative would also trigger a massive property tax increase on solar energy properties by rendering current solar property tax exclusions meaningless. This means solar farms, carports, rooftops, and battery storage would be subject to property tax at their full fair market value, despite the fact that voters enacted a property tax incentive decades ago to encourage the deployment of solar energy throughout the state to fight global warming.

While it may be well-intentioned, Prop. 15 is short-sighted and fated to set off detrimental consequences to our economy and environment.

NO on Prop 21: Prop 21 would allow local governments to establish rent control for certain residential properties over 15 years old. The measure is nearly identical to Prop. 10, a statewide rent control measure on the ballot in 2018, despite a 20-percentage point, 56-out-of-58 county defeat that year by voters. Just like last time, the measure would allow for permanent price caps on all forms of housing, including single family homes and condos, thereby discouraging new construction, reducing the availability of affordable and middle-class housing, and driving up rents for many Californians. Prop 21 would also open the door to an expansive web of varying statewide policies that would discourage real estate investment in the midst of an escalating housing crisis rather than give last year’s AB 1482 — a new statewide law that caps rent increases to 5% plus inflation for housing built in the past 15 years — a chance to work.

“LABC has long fought for real solutions to our housing crisis that includes building more affordable housing and helping get the homeless off the streets. Unfortunately, Prop. 21 is not the answer,” said LABC Chair Nadine Watt.

For more information on the LABC’s 2020 endorsements and advocacy work, please visit labusinesscouncil.org/advocacy-action-center

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