Oct 30 2012

Why A Broad Coalition of Grassroots Groups Oppose Measure J

A transportation measure in LA County this November that brings attention to public transit and civil rights concerns is Measure J.

J, an extension to Measure R which was approved in 2008, will extend a half-cent tax for an additional 30 years to fund the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). The sales tax is not new, but if J passes, it will be extended to the year 2069.

Proponents of Measure J say it will speed up the completion of several projects that were introduced after Measure R was passed by starting construction in five years rather than twenty. Projects include extending the Green Line to LAX and a Westside Subway Extension. However, many of the projects will also rely on outside funding in order to see completion.

Measure J’s supporters and funders include the L.A. Dodgers, AEG, LACMA and Mayor Villaraigosa, who together have raised $2.2 million dollars in campaign contributions. According to them, Measure J will bring 400,000 new local jobs, decrease traffic and will make popular areas more accessible by train.

Opponents of Measure J, which include the Bus Riders Union and City Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Don Knabe, say the measure is discriminatory and promotes gentrification in low income communities of color.

While most of the revenues from the Measure J sales tax will be spent on the rail system, in the last five years alone bus service has been cut by almost one million hours, making it difficult for low wage employees to travel to and from work. Metro Officials have publicly said they prefer focusing on rail projects.

But in 2011, a federal civil rights review showed that the MTA had violated civil rights regulations knowingly – their cuts to bus services were known by MTA to be racially discriminatory. The MTA’s rail expansion make them property owners throughout Los Angeles, and as such, it has encouraged developers to construct high-end shopping centers, homes and businesses along their rail routes.

GUEST: Sunyoung Yang, Lead organizer with Bus Riders Union

Visit www.noonmeasurej.net for more information.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Why A Broad Coalition of Grassroots Groups Oppose Measure J”

  1. Alek Fon 01 Nov 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Once again,
    bus service cuts have NOTHING to do with Measure R or Measure J. They’re independent of each other. It’s sad that BRU members spread wrong propaganda without learning facts first.
    If Measure J passes (hopefully!), then both Rail and Bus service will improve, due to additional funding. However, if Measure J does not pass, then neither Bus or Rail service will improve. Not only that, in the event Measure J does not pass, bus service may be reduced even further.
    Please learn the facts, dear BRU, before rejecting a measure that would improve mass transit system citywide!

  2. LAofAnaheimon 01 Nov 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Apparently, the BRU still avoids telling the Facts behind the bus service cuts. Here are your two distinct reasons for service cuts. 1) the end of the Consent Decree in 2006, which artifically inflated bus service for 10 years and 2) the state raid of the Transit Operating Assistance that would be distributed to each county has nearly disappeared. Look at OC, it has no more owl service anywhere and went to 1970s level. Sacramento has suffered tremendous bus service. Luckily, in LA, Measure R was able to backfill what was lost in the state raid of transit funds.

    In effect, if you want to limit more bus service, then vote No on J. Measure J gives 20% to bus operations, something the BRU absolutely does not mention. If you support all public transportation, vote Yes on J. We cannot survive on buses alone, we need a comprehensive system of rail, bus and bike lanes.

  3. George Buzzettion 02 Nov 2012 at 3:33 pm

    As was stated by a Beverly Hills City Councilperson “The Bus Riders Union was correct before Measure R was passed that MTA would cut bus service and raise fares.” I can easily receive money, waste it, inter fund transfer it and cut bus service at the same time. How many of you have over 20 years experience nationwide busting fraud. For the experienced person this is easy to understand.

    Let me ask you true believers in the MTA this question “Why is there only one paragraph with no specific legal details for $90 billion and there are 34 pages for the $40 billion Measure R?”

    Also, who knows what the transportation demographic needs will be that far out. These greedy politicians also want another 1/2 cent for the city and increased parking fines, increased parking charges and charges on your property transfer. Where will it end? This is fifth grade math. Is that too hard to comprehend for you “True Believers?”

    Public, wake up and smell the corruption. MTA has proven that they do not care about any community no matter the wealth, race or any other factor. Their only concern are their wealthy contractors, devolupers and campaign contributors.

    As a friend of mines grandfather taught him “I hear real good, but I see a whole lot better” to which I also say “Do not listen to the silvery tongued devils, only watch what they do.”