Opinion: Vote from the Bottom Up
Measure M and Prop HHH are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to address traffic and homelessness
By L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin
Bonin represents Council District 11, which includes Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey, Mar Vista and Venice.
If you want to make significant, positive and lasting change in the Nov. 8 election, think “bottoms up.”
Near the bottom of a very long ballot are two crucial questions that give you the power to make huge progress in ending homelessness and easing traffic. By voting yes on Measure M and Proposition HHH, you can help solve crises that threaten Los Angeles and its neighborhoods.
Measure M, the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan, will get Los Angeles moving again. Measure M will finally give us the type of world-class, interconnected transportation system that other cities use to reduce traffic and create jobs. It will allow us to: construct a system that reduces our commute times by 15%; create 465,300 new jobs; and share with every city in the county millions of dollars a year for traffic improvements and crucial infrastructure repairs, such as street resurfacing and seismic retrofitting of our bridges. Measure M also allows us to offer discounted fares for students, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Here on the Westside, Measure M would allow us to: complete the Metro rail connection to LAX from the Crenshaw Line and the Green Line; build transit from LAX north to Van Nuys; extend the Wilshire subway further west to the Veterans Administration campus; create Bus Rapid Transit on Lincoln Boulevard from Santa Monica to LAX; and extend the Crenshaw Line north to West Hollywood and Hollywood. It also includes funding for expanded local buses and neighborhood shuttles, and for bicycle and pedestrian amenities to make it safer to walk or bike to transit.
Again on the Westside, Measure M would build on the tremendous success of the Metro Expo Line, which is already exceeding expectations and taking cars off the road. A staggering 70% of riders on the line are first-time riders, and half of the new riders say they used to drive alone in a car.
Proposition HHH is the most important and significant effort to end homelessness we have ever made. It would allow the city of Los Angeles to issue $1.2 billion in bonds over the next decade to build 10,000 units of housing for people who are homeless or on the brink of homelessness.
Homelessness in Los Angeles is an unprecedented crisis, and the city and county have developed comprehensive, multi-faceted plans to address it. There are strategies to prevent people from becoming homeless, and strategies to help move people off the streets and into homes. None of those strategies work unless we have more housing.
In recent years, Los Angeles has become a city of encampments and shanties, with tens of thousands of people living on our sidewalks or in their cars. We can’t solve homelessness with wishful thinking, with magic, or by calling LAPD. We can solve it by providing housing — and HHH allows us to invest in a solution with a 90% success rate. If we do not approve HHH, the number of encampments in our neighborhoods will grow, and people will suffer and die on our streets.
Measure M and Proposition HHH are our best opportunities to make significant progress on reducing both traffic and homelessness. We have the power to make change happen.
Both Measure M and Proposition HHH require approval of two-thirds of the voters who cast ballots. And both questions are far down on a lengthy ballot — so please start your ballot from the bottom up, vote yes on HHH, vote yes on M, and use your power to solve our toughest problems and improve our neighborhoods and our quality of life.