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The Case Against the Los Angeles 'Neighborhood Integrity Initiative'

The dust from the November election is far from settled, but Los Angeles is already headed back to the ballot box in March. The big ticket item for planning in the city: Measure S, also known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative.

James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell | February 14, 2017, 2pm PST
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Gabriele Maltinti

Planetizen has been covering the genesis of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative since its earliest days—specifically, November 2015.

Now the city is just a few short weeks away from voting on the initiative's controversial reforms of the city's development process, now described by more prosaic nomenclature: Measure S. Election day is March 7, 2017, but Los Angeles residents have been inundated with mail on either side of the issue, while the city has been plastered in billboards financed by the Yes on S campaign.

Online, however, the No on S campaign has dominated the discussion, led by former Planetizen blogger Shane Phillips. Phillips has published in several forums about the realities of the city's housing market (i.e., despite the Yes on S campaign's claims about runaway development, the city is building well short of enough housing to meet the demands of its growing population). Here's a roundup of articles by Phillips:

In the past week, several high profile endorsements have also voiced strong opposition to Measure S, including the Green Party of Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Times editorial board. The headline of the Los Angeles Times editorial uses a memorable turn of phrase to drive home its argument: "Measure S isn't a solution to L.A.’s housing woes, it's a childish middle finger to City Hall. Vote no." Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also recently announced his opposition to Measure S, as did the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Curbed Urbanism Editor Alissa Walker, whose name will be familiar to Planetizen readers, has also taken to Twitter to debunk some of the claims made by the Yes on S campaign.

Walker also shared a Tweet highlighting the varied quality and quantity of endorsements on either side of the Measure S issue.

Endorsements for Measure S have been a thorny issue, after the Yes on S campaign falsely claimed actor Leonardo Dicaprio endorsed the measure. The Yes on S campaign eventually had to describe the endorsement as a "misunderstanding."

Both campaigns have websites. The Yes on S website is paid for by the Coalition to Preserve LA and sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The No on S website is paid for by the Coalition to Protect L.A. Neighborhoods and Jobs and sponsored by CH Palladium, LLC and No on S - Build Better L.A. Sponsored by Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Coalition of Organizations Representing Working Men and Women, and Businesses.

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