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Here’s What You Need to Know about the LA Election

The City Council keeps its members while the School Board is to be determined.

Having+just+taken+the+Oath+of+Office%2C+Mayor+Garcetti+prepares+to+address+the+crowd
Having just taken the Oath of Office, Mayor Garcetti prepares to address the crowd

Having just taken the Oath of Office, Mayor Garcetti prepares to address the crowd

Mayor Garcetti

Mayor Garcetti

Having just taken the Oath of Office, Mayor Garcetti prepares to address the crowd

Ani Nalbandian, Staff Reporter

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On March 7, Los Angeles re-elected Mayor Eric Garcetti by an overwhelming 80 percent. A small number of Angelenos also casted their votes for ballot measures, city council members, and school board members.

The largest LA City Council race was District Seven, the northeast San Fernando Valley. 20 candidates were vying to replace council member turned Sacramento lobbyist, Felipe Fuentes. Monica Rodriguez took home the win with 27.7 percent of the vote. Mayor Garcetti’s endorsement of his former appointee to the Board of Public Works, definitely made a difference. Her closest competitor, Karo Torossian, took only 16.3 percent of the vote.

In City Council District One, incumbent Gilbert Cedillo was re-elected with 51 percent of the vote, narrowly avoiding a runoff election. With no challengers, Bob Blumenfeld also held his seat in District 3, taking home 100 percent of the vote. Incumbent Paul Koretz won in District 5 with 65.7 percent. City Council members Curren Price of District Nine, Mike Bonin of District 11, Mitch O’Farrell of District 13 and Joe Buscaino of District 15 were all re-elected as well.

Ballot Measure S, to temporarily stop large-scale development, failed with 68.8 percent of voters declining the measure. If passed, it would dramatically reduce the number of large apartment and commercial buildings being built across the city.

The main contributor to the ‘Yes’ campaign was the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. They said they wanted to stop these projects because it will push AIDS sufferers out of the city, but others claimed that it was to halt a large project next door to their offices from being built. The company building, the large project is Crescent Heights, the main contributor to the ‘No’ campaign.

Concerning the taxation and regulation of Los Angeles marijuana dispensaries, Measure M passed overwhelmingly with more than 79 percent of the vote. A competing initiative, Measure N, did not pass because the backers of the campaign agreed to rally for Measure M instead.

Measure M was proposed by the LA City Council, and Measure N was made by the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries. Measure M would lower the sales tax on medical cannabis from 6 percent to 5 and set a 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana.

Needing 2/3 majority for a sales tax increase, Measure H passed with 67 percent. The measure will hike the sales tax to 9 percent in most communities and to 10 percent in some. The tax increase is to support homelessness prevention in the form of housing and services. The quarter cent rise is meant to support Proposition HHH, a $1.2-billion measure approved by voters in the November General Election.

The Los Angeles School Board had one of the most expensive races in recent history. The reason being that there was a major effort to have pro-charter school board members elected.  Board President Steven Zimmer won the vote with only 47.5 percent, forcing a runoff election in May against Nick Melvoin. Zimmer is backed by the Los Angeles Teacher’s Union while Melvoin is an advocate for charter schools.

Another School Board runoff election will happen in May between charter-backed and union-supported candidates. Kelly Gonez, a seventh grade teacher at Crown Preparatory Academy, took 36.1 percent of the vote on Tuesday, while Imelda Padilla lost with 31 percent. Incumbent Monica Garcia, a charter school supporter won re-election with over 57 percent of the vote. With these results, the fate of the Los Angeles School Board is still up in the air until May.

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Here’s What You Need to Know about the LA Election