Post-Election Day Roundup

16 Nov

Last month we took a look at some local and state ballot measures in our pre-election rundown. Now we’re happy to report on the outcomes for Proposition C in San Francisco, Measure J in Los Angeles, and the shifting political landscape in the Inland Empire.

Proposition C passed in San Francisco, arming the city’s affordable housing proponents with a dedicated stream of funding to finance the production of homes for low- and moderate-income San Franciscans. The passage of Proposition C establishes the San Francisco Housing Trust Fund that is expected to generate $1.5 billion to create upwards of 30,000 units of low-income housing. Moderate-income families will benefit from increased access to a down-payment assistance program.

Measure J narrowly failed, falling short of the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. The proposed 30-year extension of a half-cent sales tax was supported by 64.7% of the electorate. For now, projects listed on Measure J may have to seek other funding sources to proceed.*

Statewide, Proposition 39 passed, closing a tax loophole and providing a source of funding for the newly established Clean Energy Job Creation Fund. The Fund will be financed with half of the anticipated $1 billion in revenue that the state stands to gain from increased corporate taxes. The mechanism for administering the funds is still rather vague; so stay tuned for additional details.

Democrats in the state fared well and now hold so-called supermajorities in both houses of the state Legislature. At the local level, Riverside County also saw a shift in its local representation. Prior to the election, the inland county was represented by Republicans in Congress, the state Senate, and in the state Assembly. After the election, the county’s representation has shifted from the GOP to Democrats. Notably, the County elected Mark Takano to Congress. Rep. Takano will be the first openly gay person of color in the House.

The shift in Riverside County’s political landscape mirrors national trends. The area’s population grew by almost one million people between 2000 and 2012, with Democratic-leaning Latinos fueling three quarters of that growth.

In all, it looks like housing advocates in San Francisco, clean energy jobs, and Democrats statewide were the big winners in the last election. Transit and transportation advocates in LA County will have to re-think their financing strategies.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied that all Los Angeles County transportation projects would be delayed because Measure J did not pass; this is not the case.

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