Big Housing Vote Is Set For November 


LOS ANGELES CIVIC CENTER—On June 25, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors made it official: The “Bold New Way” will be on the November 5, 2024 ballot.

Titled the “Affordable Housing, Homelessness Solutions and Prevention Now Measure,” it will generate hundreds of millions of dollars each year for union-built affordable housing, renter aid and services for homeless people.

At a press conference before the unanimous vote, Ernesto Medrano, Executive Secretary of the LA/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, said, “We’re now one step closer to building the affordable housing that our entire county needs. LA County residents can vote to create a permanent stream of funding for affordable housing construction in every city in the county!”

As Medrano pointed out, every one of the 88 cities in Los Angeles—the most populous county in the United States—needs more housing. 

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The union-built Weingart Tower will provide 278 supportive homes.
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James Morgan, Laborers Local 300 journeyman, supports the housing measure.
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A broad coalition advocates a “Yes” vote.
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The next step is to vote early, or by Nov. 5.
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On any given night, 75,518 people in LA County are homeless.

About 550,000 renter households are paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent, which makes them more at risk of falling behind on rent and being evicted. And the county has lost low-priced units at a fast clip in the past 10 years: 200,000 units that rented for less than $1,000 per month are no longer on the market.

To tackle this, community members gathered more than 400,000 signatures, and on June 18, the county certified they had met the threshold of more than 238,922 valid voter signatures

The Supervisors’ approval is the final, technical step to go onto the ballot.

Organizer hope the new measure will follow in the footsteps of a previous success: In 2022, Building Trades unions helped pass Measure ULA, which is generating hundreds of millions of dollars a year for union-built affordable housing in the city of Los Angeles.

If the measure passes, it will provide at least $250 million a year to build affordable housing with a union workforce.

All new housing complexes of 40 units or above that it funds would be built under a Project Labor Agreement with the Building Trades Council.

At a well-attended rally what the measure would do: fund services for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and 

The new measure will replace Measure H, which passed with Building Trades support in 2017. The new measure would keep the ¼ cent sales tax imposed by Measure H, and add a new ¼ cent sales tax, for a total of ½ cent for consumers.

Inflation is still on everyone’s minds, but proponents say the payoff from the sales tax investment will be worth it. The county will gain new homes, good union jobs and vast improvements in mental and physical health for thousands of people. 

James Morgan, a journeyman with Laborers Local 300, is an uplifting example of the individuals that the measure would help. He has known the challenges of homeless and incarceration as well as the intensity of serving in the US Army.

Now, he knows the pride of being a union journeyman.

The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, a partner of the Building Trades Council’s Apprenticeship Readiness Fund, sponsors the program where Morgan participated on his way into union apprenticeship.

“I am an example of the impact these ballot measures can make,” he said. “My wife and I are saving for our first home.”

Medrano mentioned Morgan when he celebrated the Board of Supervisors vote. “When we pass this measure, we will open up thousands more career opportunities for people like James in good, union construction jobs.”

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