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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

October 12, 2016 -- The list of opponents to the slow-growth LUVE proposal, which will appear on Santa Monica’s November ballot as Measure LV, grew by at least two this past week.

A regional pro-bicycle group Bike the Vote L.A. and the Green Party of Los Angeles County have recommended Santa Monica residents oppose LV, which if approved would make voter approval a requirement to finalize a significant number of construction projects and planning documents.

"Measure LV would only make automobile traffic worse and drive up housing prices, while leading to longer and less bikeable commutes for many people in Santa Monica and around the region," the organization wrote on its website.

The idea that LV would increase traffic is not a new one.

This theory was included in a Santa Monica City staff report in July that was critical of the measure ("LUVE Could Undermine Community's Vision for Santa Monica's Future, Government Staff Report Says," July 8, 2016)

Advocates have said this would not happen, and preventing Santa Monica's already congested traffic situation from worsening is one of the major arguments for the measure.

Bike the Vote says on its website that it is "an independent group of active transportation and safe streets-concerned members in Los Angeles [County]." It also made Santa Monica ballot recommendations in 2014.

It is not certain how much influence Bike the Vote and the Green Party have on Santa Monica voters, but they are the latest in a large list of organizations and prominent people opposing the measure.

Among the on-the-record opponents are six of the seven City Council members, all of Santa Monica’s County and State representatives, the League of Women Voters of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Democratic Club, Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) and two major local unions.

LV’s strongest support comes from the neighborhood groups, who are often on the front lines for slow-growth advocacy. Five of the boards of those groups have endorsed the measure.

Slow-growth organizations Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) and Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow (SMa.r.t) also support it.

Kelly Olsen, a former planning commissioner who served on the City Council from 1990 to 1994, is the only person backing LV who has served on a City governing panel, according to list of supporters on the campaign website.

There is a large difference in the amount of money raised to campaign for and against the measure.

Two groups have combined to raise well over $900,000 to oppose LV. Residocracy, which wrote the measure, has yet to pass the $50,000 threshold (“Opposition to Santa Monica LUVE Measure Raises Nearly $1 Million,” September 30, 2016).

Neither Bike the Vote or the Green Party endorsed Santa Monica council candidates.

Bike the Vote graded nine of the 10 candidates running for four council seats based on its determination of their level of bicycle and public transit advocacy.

Incumbents Gleam Davis, Terry O’Day and Ted Winterer received an A.

Challenger Mende Smith earned a B+. The other graded candidates were incumbent Mayor Tony Vazquez (B) and challengers Terence Later (B-), Jon Mann (C+), Armen Melkonians (C-) and Oscar de la Torre (C-).


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