Measure

San Diego, Measure B

Both Measures A and B on the San Diego County March ballot deal with housing development in the county’s unincorporated areas. While Measure A is designed to increase public oversight and approval over any large development project in San Diego County, Measure B reaffirms the approval of a specific large development project called Newland Sierra by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. 

San Diego County’s Measure B would uphold the approval of Newland Sierra, a planned high density development just north of Escondido on land currently zoned as rural or semi-rural. The Newland Sierra project would build 2,135 homes on land previously zoned for 99 residences, as well as the development of about 2 million square feet of commercial space. In addition to approving the land rezoning, the San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the county’s development guidelines specifically for Newland Sierra.

The Supervisors have failed to set in place any long-term action plans on affordable housing or climate for the county, which is how Newland Sierra was approved with no affordable housing guarantees in part of the county identified by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as an area of severe fire danger. 

Proponents of Measure B argue that a legal agreement signed by the the developer of the project guarantees affordable housing be included in the project, and that the project will help alleviate the housing crisis in the area. Opponents of Measure B, have pointed out that the signed legal agreement can be changed at any time by the developer and is therefore not enforceable by the county or the public. This is a strong example of how developers are often irresponsible stewards of our responsibility to build and expand affordable housing, while making sure that this housing is built in areas safe from excessive wildfire danger.

We recommend a NO on Measure B. 

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County
Ballot Measure Type
Ballot Measure Number
B
Support/Oppose
Oppose
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Sample Ballot Description
General Plan Amendments for Newland Sierra Project
Call to Action
Vote NO on Measure B
Sample Ballot Checked?
On
State

San Diego, Measure A

Both Measures A and B on the San Diego County March ballot deal with housing development in the county’s unincorporated areas. While Measure B is related to the future of a specific development -- the one that inspired both of these measures -- Measure A would address the approval process for all developments in the unincorporated lands around San Diego. 

Dubbed by advocates as the “Save Our San Diego Countryside Measure,” Measure A would require a countywide vote on any major projects granted a General Plan amendment. (The county’s General Plan covers zoning and land use was last updated in 2012. Large housing developments generally require an amendment in order to proceed.) Developers rarely fare well in these kinds of public votes, but proponents of the measure believe residents should have a greater voice in any changes that involve building in the fire-prone areas in the outskirts of the county. They also note that the county government is too easily bought off by donations from the building industry and developers. 

The opposition, unsurprisingly, comes primarily from those very people -- the building industry and developers. Opponents claim it’s being financed by the ultra wealthy and primarily designed to save properties like the Golden Door Spa, the luxury retreat funding the opposition to Measure B, from development despite the fact that over a dozen environmental groups support the measure. They reiterate the conservative claim that Measure A would stymie new housing projects due to the expense involved in putting anything before a public vote.

Developers often are irresponsible stewards of our responsibility to build and expand affordable housing. Measure A would ensure that the public's voice is heard when it comes to amending the General Plan, which impacts both affordable housing and safety. It would prevent elected officials from changing the General Plan without justifying those amendments to voters in order to appease developers. While it might be well-meaning to build more housing in an attempt to address the housing crisis, if it's done in high-risk areas where families may lose their homes and potentially their lives down the line, it is misguided -- as we've seen with the countless wildfires throughout the state that have devastated various communities in fire-risk areas. 

Vote YES on Measure A.
 

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Election Type
County
Ballot Measure Type
Ballot Measure Number
A
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Support
Official District Info
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Sample Ballot Description
Voter Approval for Land Use Amendments to County General Plan
Call to Action
Vote YES on Measure A
Sample Ballot Checked?
On
State

Vote YES on FD Los Angeles

Measure FD would add a parcel tax of 6 cents per square foot on residential and commercial buildings in the unincorporated areas of LA County as well as in the 58 cities that contract with the county for fire protection and emergency services. (This does not include the city of Los Angeles, but does include many of the smaller cities in and around the city limits.) The parcel tax would cap out at 100,000 square feet and the money would be used to by the Los Angeles County Fire Department to hire more firefighters and paramedics and upgrade its equipment.

In a region famed for being prone to natural disasters, fires are among the most frequent large-scale crises we face. Climate change is making matters worse. All over the state, fire departments are being stretched by the increasing frequency with which they’re dispatched to battle major fires, and, as we learned in 2018, this means reinforcements and resources from elsewhere are not always available when they’re needed. LA County’s fire department also operates paramedic services, which are concurrently seeing an increase in demand. Both of these functions are vital to protecting the health and property of LA County’s citizens and worth funding. 

LA County’s fire department is funded entirely via property taxes -  it doesn’t receive any money from the county’s general fund. Because of this unique funding scheme they periodically have had to go to voters to pass parcel taxes for additional funding. The last time they did this, however, was over twenty years ago in 1997. Though the department has been late in getting their overtime report to voters, meaning they have not done everything they could have to document the need for this tax, it’s still worth voting YES. Too much rides on the fire department’s ability to provide quick, efficient service.

This measure requires a two-thirds vote to pass and the resulting tax would only apply in areas where the L.A. County Fire Department does its work. 

Vote YES on Measure FD.
 

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Ballot Measure Type
Ballot Measure Number
FD
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Support
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Sample Ballot Description
Vote YES on FD Los Angeles
Call to Action
Vote YES on Measure FD, LA County Fire District Parcel Tax
Sample Ballot Checked?
On
State

Vote Yes on Measure H Healdsburg

This measure, sponsored by Healdsburg Vice Mayor Leah Gold and City Council member Shaun McCaffery, modifies the city’s Growth Management Ordinance to create more ways for people to access affordable housing. Back in 2018, Measure P allowed an average of 50 units of income-restricted multi-family rental housing to be built per year. Measure H would simply allow those units to also be offered for sale, not just rental, so some of these units could be included in new for-sale developments. 

In both cases, the units must be affordable to families earning below 160% of Sonoma county’s average median income. The idea is that the City Council will require these affordable units to be included in proposed developments, where they can give local residents and employees preference in buying or renting the units and require they be used as primary residences only. None of these affordable units cost taxpayers anything, nor do they use any public funds designated for affordable housing programs -- they are financed by developers and, like all units, subject to review by the city for zoning and design. 

Vote YES on Measure H.
 

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Election Type
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Ballot Measure Number
H
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Support
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City
Sample Ballot Description
Vote Yes on Measure H Healdsburg
Call to Action
Vote YES on Measure H, Income-Restricted Housing for Rent or Sale Ordinance
Sample Ballot Checked?
Yes
State

Vote Yes on Measure D San Diego

Measure D would amend the process by which San Diego’s auditor -- the person responsible for investigating waste, fraud, and abuse for the city -- is appointed. At present, the auditor is appointed by the mayor, but Measure D would amend the San Diego City Charter to allow the City Council to appoint the auditor instead. The purpose of the change is to ensure the auditor is as independent as possible, and the measure has unanimous support from the City Council and Mayor’s office itself. In fact, it hasn’t attracted any real opposition. 

Under Measure D, the Audit Committee would forward a minimum of three nominees to the full City Council, which would then make the final hiring decision. It would also limit the auditor to two five-year terms. An independent auditor’s office is important and, after the chaos of the previous auditor’s resignation in 2018 that led to the city government going without oversight for a spell, reforming the process is a worthy goal. 

Vote YES on Measure D.

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Election Type
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Ballot Measure Number
D
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Support
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Sample Ballot Description
Vote Yes on Measure D San Diego
Call to Action
Vote YES on Measure D, City Auditor Selection and Term Charter Amendment
Sample Ballot Checked?
Yes
State

Vote YES on Measure C San Diego

As is so often the case with local propositions and ballot initiatives, the debate over San Diego’s Measure C has taken a bizarre, nit-picky turn. The bulk of the measure is relatively non-controversial and would slightly increase the tax rate on certain San Diego hotel rooms to pay for an expansion of the convention center itself. Much of the tourism industry is in favor of the measure because the convention center provides a hefty chunk of business, and local taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for any of the funds. 

Advocates claim the measure could raise more than $6 billion over the next four decades, with 59% of the money going to the convention center project and the remaining 41% going to community projects. That’s where the controversy starts, however. That 41% would be earmarked for infrastructure spending and programs combating homelessness. Opponents are worried that the measure isn’t specific enough about what kinds of homelessness programs that money will be spent on, and advocates for the chronically unhoused are additionally concerned that the sum Measure C would raise will fall far short of the $1.9 billion necessary to enact the city’s already-written 10-year homelessness plan. That could give the appearance of a funding solution while simultaneously making it incredibly difficult to get their plan - a $900 million housing bond that would pay for new units of affordable housing - onto the ballot in November. Several City Council members have even indicated that if Measure C passes, they will no longer support that bond measure, which is a frustrating turn.

Ultimately, San Diego residents should push for both, not allow themselves to be backed into picking one or the other. Measure C would require a two-thirds majority to pass and is not a substitute for other funds necessary to combat homelessness, but funding is funding and the city should devote as many resources to addressing their housing crisis as possible. 

Vote YES on Measure C.

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Election Type
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Ballot Measure Number
C
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Support
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City
Sample Ballot Description
Vote YES on Measure C San Diego
Call to Action
Vote YES on Measure C, Lodging Tax for Convention Center Expansion, Street Repairs, and Homelessness Programs
Sample Ballot Checked?
Yes
State

No on Measure D Marin

Measure D would require the community to approve any plans to turn the former San Geronimo golf course site into anything other than a golf course. As opponents point out, the former course, now owned by the non-profit Trust for Public Land (TPL), is already closed and TPL has allowed the site to grow wild. The passage of Measure D would simply slow down the process of making it into a park, which TPL has successfully done with the over 4,000 parks it has created and protected since 1972.

In addition, passing measure D would prevent the possibility of increased fire safety in Marin, as one potential additional use for the site is to move the Marin County Fire Department headquarters from its current antiquated facilities to the former golf course.

We strongly recommend a NO vote on Measure D.

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Election Type
County
Ballot Measure Type
Ballot Measure Number
D
Support/Oppose
Oppose
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Sample Ballot Description
No on Measure D Marin
Call to Action
Vote NO on Measure D, San Geronimo Valley Golf Course Initiative
Sample Ballot Checked?
On
State