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AIDS Healthcare Foundation dumps another $300K into development fight

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While the healthcare foundation bankrolls Measure S, developers are funding the opposition campaign

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has poured another $300,000 into the campaign to pass Measure S, the March 7 ballot measure that aims to limit real estate development citywide by imposing a two-year moratorium on most major projects.

A growing list of developers and real estate firms, meanwhile, are contributing to the opposition campaign. Opponents donated $190,910 in cash during the first three weeks of the year.

As the March 7 election approaches, proponents and opponents of the measure are stepping up fundraising efforts.

A mandatory campaign finance report filed with the city’s ethics commission shows the Coalition to Preserve LA—which backs the measure—raised $300,952 between January 1 and January 21. (The campaign brought in $504,332 in the three months prior.)

All but that last $952 came from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Its CEO and senior staff wrote the ballot measure, and the nonprofit is its primary financial backer, contributing more than $2 million to the campaign since the start of 2016. The foundation also kicked in nearly $200,000 worth of non-monetary contributions in the early weeks of January—mostly in the form of billboard ads.

Opponents donated $190,910 in cash during the first three weeks of the year. That’s notable because Miami-based developer Crescent Heights, which gave more than $1 million to fight the measure in 2016, did not contribute a dime in that period.

Instead, the largest donations came from Century City Realty, SunCal, and Kilroy Realty. Those three companies combined for $170,000 in contributions.

If approved by voters, Measure S would ban city officials from approving new buildings that deviate from zoning codes and the general plan, usually because they’re larger than what the outdated codes allow. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other critics argue these restrictions would worsen LA’s housing shortage and make building affordable housing exceedingly difficult.