A move by a group of Skid Row residents to create a new neighborhood council for the area appears to have failed, reports KPCC.
Early results from Empower L.A., which oversees all of the city’s neighborhood councils, show 764 voters in the special election favored the formation of a Skid Row neighborhood council—but 826 voters were against it.
Official results won’t be ready for a few more days, says KPCC.
Voting took place Thursday in 12 pop-up polling places across Downtown, as well as online, says KPCC. Anyone working, volunteering, or living in the Downtown area was able to register to vote in the special election.
Skid Row is already represented by the Downtown Los Angeles and the Historic Cultural neighborhood councils. But some Skid Row residents say they don’t have enough of a voice in these groups.
The Los Angeles Times says supporters of a Skid Row neighborhood council wanted to bring more facilities to the 50-block area’s unhoused residents—more public restrooms, subsidized housing, showers and parks.
But some opponents argued that adding more facilities would further entrench the neighborhood’s poor. They said bringing more mixed- and moderate-income housing and residents to the neighborhood would help “lift the district out of its misery,” says the Times.
General Jeff, one of the leaders of the push for an independent Skid Row neighborhood council told Curbed that he wasn’t ready to throw the towel in just yet. He says that while the formation committee will be coming together soon to research and discuss their options if the election doesn’t turn out in their favor, he remains “focused on now.”