Letter to the Editor: Yes to Napolitano, No on Measure M

Dear Editor:

Janice Hahn is a former LA City Councilmember and is getting most of her money from lobbyists tied to LA City or Washington DC. She is beholden to them and not the voters of the 4th LA County Supervisorial District. Steve Napolitano is being funded mostly by local residents and businesses within the district and has raised much less money than Janice Hahn. 

If LA City controls three out of the five positions on the Board of Supervisors, much less money will be coming to Eastern LA County. LA City already has two in Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl, why should we give them three? Each county supervisor sits on the MTA board and the City of LA has four more positions on that 13-member board. Electing Janice Hahn gives LA City a 7 to 6 majority on the MTA and a majority on several other county boards. 

If Steve Napolitano is elected, he will receive a well-funded challenger in four years, no matter how well he represents the district. The list of those who may challenge Steve could include Janice Hahn, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. This means if he does not do a good job representing all of the residents of the 4th District and earns our votes, he will be replaced. If Janice Hahn is elected she will be the 4th District County Supervisor for the next 12 years, no matter how well she does; the powers that run LA City will make sure she will not face serious opposition.

Those same LA City powers are also behind Measure M which will seriously undermine any progress on transportation issues on the Eastside of LA County. 

There will be a permanent half-cent sales tax increase imposed on all LA County residents. For those who do not oppose all tax increases, you should oppose this tax increase for your own self-interest.

First, this tax will not be temporary, meaning that the majority of the MTA board will not have to cut deals to fund areas they do not represent. This means projects like reducing congestion on our freeways will be delayed. Given the amount of money and power that exists in LA City politics and does not exist elsewhere in the County, any attempt to speed up such projects will fail as we cannot raise the necessary funds to force an LA City dominated MTA board to expedite projects that will benefit us in Eastern LA County. 

Second, the real power in LA City comes from four areas: Downtown LA’s business areas, Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, and West LA. This is where the money and votes for LA Citywide offices exists. So the areas benefiting most from this new tax will be wealthy areas near LA City; meaning county tax money will come from poorer areas of LA county and go to wealthy areas of LA City.

In short, we who live and work in Eastern Los Angeles County need to Vote No on Measure M and elect Steve Napolitano to the Board of Supervisors; otherwise we will be handing our county resources to LA City.

Matt Kauble