Coalition To Preserve L.A.: New Poll Shows City Hall Is Out Of Step With Voters

Group Fighting Overdevelopment Launches Front Page LA Times
Sticky Ad Campaign

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On the same day it launched a front-page newspaper ad blitz, the Coalition
to Preserve L.A.
released a new
poll
showing 70 percent of L.A. voters
support its ballot measure to fix the broken system that fuels L.A.’s
overdevelopment crisis.


“This poll shows that City Hall’s push for heavy new development from
Venice to Boyle Heights and from Los Feliz to Valley Village is wildly
out of step with voters,” said Coalition campaign director Jill
Stewart
on Thursday. The Coalition is the sponsor of the Neighborhood
Integrity Initiative ballot measure
.

The phone survey of more than 300 likely voters showed that 70 percent
back the measure. The survey was conducted in the last week of March.
The Coalition is seeking to have its initiative on the March 2017 ballot.

Meantime, the initiative has already begun to shake up City Hall.

Mayor Garcetti Wednesday unveiled an inadequate development reform plan
meant to steal the initiative’s thunder and confuse voters. “The mayor’s
plan validates what we’ve been saying all along – the system is broken,”
said Michael Weinstein, chief architect of the Neighborhood
Integrity Initiative. Weinstein said the city plan would also fail to
stop scores of projects that are already in the pipeline to be built.
“It’s basically a plan to close the barn door after all the animals are
out.”

The Garcetti plan falls far short of offering the real reform needed to
fix the city’s broken building approval system, Stewart added.

The voters know the City Hall system makes developers wealthy while
“causing serious collateral damage to regular people and their
neighborhoods,” said Koreatown attorney and community activist Grace
Yoo. “The voters also know our initiative is the right medicine to fix
it.”

Yoo has been an outspoken opponent of a proposed 27-story luxury
building that would dwarf its Koreatown neighbors. The project has been
called “wildly inappropriate” by a city planning commissioner (the
commission voted unanimously against it) but Mayor Garcetti and
Councilman Herb Wesson have kept it alive. “This project has killed off
rent-stabilized units,” said Yoo, referring to housing that already been
demolished to make way for the proposed luxury building.
“Twenty-thousand rent-stabilized units have been lost to developers in
recent years. We can’t afford to lose more.”

Yudy Machado, a Miracle Mile property manager, said developers in her
neighborhood constantly hound small landlords to sell their charming
four-plexes “so they can put up something much bigger and double and
triple the rents.” Machado successfully fought a huge project when she
was on the Mid City West Community Council three years ago and is ready
to fight again. “What’s going to happen to our neighborhoods if these
developers get their hands on everything?” she said. “I see a disaster
coming if we can’t stop this with the initiative.”

Today, sticky ads promoting the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative
appeared on the front
page of the L.A. Times
The colorful ads,
appearing through Sunday, are entitled “City Hall for Sale,” “Income
Inequality: L.A. Style,” “Developer Greed Is Choking LA.” The first of
the ads appeared today. It quotes a passage from a previous Los
Angeles Times 
editorial:
“There’s a perception that the [zoning] system is at best inept, at
worst corrupt.”

The so-called sticky or “post-it” note ads are pasted on the top
right-hand corner of the L.A. Times.

Stewart said the initiative is needed to stop Los Angeles’ neighborhoods
from being wrecked by the real-estate industry, absentee investor-
speculators and the City Hall politicians who enable irresponsible
building projects. “Developers and the politicians – who are too often
compromised by the gifts and campaign money they get from real estate
industry sources – are the very last people who should be deciding
L.A.’s destiny but that’s what we’re seeing happen,” she said.

“Our initiative levels the playing field so that everyday people have a
greater say in how their communities are shaped in the future,” said
Stewart.

“L.A. residents are paying the steep price for a developer-run city,”
said Stewart. “Our rents are skyrocketing, our traffic is out of
control. There’s nowhere to park. Our water costs are rising and our
water supplies are shrinking. We have exploding water mains and
crumbling roads. Working class families are being pushed out of their
rent-stabilized units to make way for luxury apartments. Our homeless
population is now up 12 percent from 2013. Our so-called revitalized
areas are being hit by rising crime. Judges routinely tell the city to
start obeying the law—and stop allowing illegal development projects.

“And how do our City Hall politicians respond to this unfolding crisis:
‘Let’s have more development!’ It’s outrageous.”

Contacts

Neighborhood Integrity Initiative
John Schwada,
Communications Director

310-709-0056
john.schwada@gmail.com