With less than two weeks to go before the 2016 election, supporters of Metro’s ambitious Measure M ballot measure are beginning to sweat. Metro officials have laid out over 40 years worth of transit project they want to complete using the revenue from the proposed half-cent sales tax. Over $120 billion in transit funding in on the line this November 8, and it looks like it’s going to be a squeaker, according to the Pasadena Star News.
Measure M needs two-thirds majority vote to pass, and Metro officials are beginning to get anxious its chances. After all, it was only four years ago that a similar Metro ballot initiative fell 15,000 votes short of passing. According to recent polling, Measure M is right on the bubble at the moment, with support throughout Los Angeles County coming in at 67 to 69 percent.
With such a small margin for error, Measure M proponents are making a "late push" to convey to supporters how crucial their votes might be. At a recent transportation conference, Metro officials stressed that, should the measure fail, "there is no Plan B," the Star News reported.
Measure M is criticized by officials in the Gateway Cities and South Bay for not bringing enough projects to their communities. Both the South Bay Cities Council of Governments and the Gateway Cities Council of Governments have refused to support the measure. Several cities in the South Bay have even thrown funding into a Measure M "educational campaign" to discourage residents from voting yes.
But Mayor Eric Garcetti isn’t convinced constituents in those neighborhoods oppose the measure, too. According to the mayor, Measure M is polling well in the Gateway cities, with 73 percent support. As Garcetti puts it, "an overwhelming majority of people want this," but passage "will all depend on who turns out to vote."
- Measure M proponents, worried tax won’t pass, are planning a final push to win voters [Pasadena Star News]
- Measure M [Curbed LA]
- South Bay voters could be Measure M’s demise [Curbed LA]