Monday, March 20, 2017

What Does S Stand For?

In the LA Weekly, Hillel Aron has a piece about the crushing defeat of Measure S in the recent election.  He tries to analyze its meaning.

This is pointless. Being a citizen here, I can guarantee him no one had any idea what Measure S was about.  We got about 100 mailers calling it either a disaster or something that will save the city.  And most of the material was against.  We could vaguely tell it dealt with development in some way, but that was it.

But that doesn't stop Hillel:

...the rejection of Measure S is a watershed moment in the history of Los Angeles, a confirmation that the city wants to become more urbanized, more dense, less reliant on the automobile, more inclusive and, perhaps, a more unified city.

This is a litany of nonsense.  No one understood Measure S, so you can't read anything into how people voted.  When people are unsure, they vote no.  But even if Measure S read "do you agree with everything Hillel Aron says in that quote above," and they voted Yes, Aron's claims would still be nonsense.

Here's what people want, no matter how they vote, no matter what Hillel thinks:  They want a better home or apartment.  They want their mortgage or rent to be lower.  They want more space.  And they want less traffic, especially so they can enjoy their automobiles more. (They also wouldn't mind better mass transit while enjoying their automobiles.)

It's bad enough we get stupid Measures that no one understands.  If people start thinking the vote actually means something, it'll only make things worse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a little bit circular. You can't read anything into how people voted but here is what they want. That direct democracy thing is a messy business

Sounded like the measure was designed to prohibit large developments (which presumably are currently legal) and that despite a well-financed and ubiquitous campaign, it was roundly defeated. I think you can read things into a vote but this one it seems to be more in favor of the status quo than any change to it.

It does not follow that folks would have necessarily supported the opposite change to the status quo (more growth and density I guess) though I guess everyone is free to pick apart the polling data for their next big campaign.

It also sounds like the anti-big development folks have been a force for awhile and they just lost spectacularly-maybe they overreached, maybe its a new day ..... Only time will tell.

12:26 PM, March 20, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Not even slightly circular. It's very clear what they want based on thousands of pieces of evidence, and a pointless election can't disprove that.

The turnout for the election was under 12%, so most people couldn't be bothered.

As to what Measure S would have accomplished, it's hard to say, since both sides of the debate claimed it'd would do the same thing (i.e., whatever you wanted it to do), and the few who did vote mostly voted based on who they trusted. And as the anti-Measure S side was much better funded, I'm not surprised they played it safe.

For Hillel Aron to claim this mass of meaningless confusion was some sort of watershed is laughable. I'm not sure it's going to change at all how the city will be developed, but I do know that it's ridiculous to read the vote as support for some weird utopian vision where everyone lives cheek by jowl in their small neighborhood which offers everything they want and thus the need for cars will wither away

1:40 PM, March 20, 2017  

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