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2018 Los Angeles voter guide

A cheat sheet for Los Angeles County residents casting votes in the November 6 general election

Illustrations by Alyssa Nassner

Los Angeles County voters get to cast ballots today in the 2018 general election.

The ballot includes a handful of measures that may direct the future of housing and transportation statewide, including Proposition 10. If passed, the contentious measure will roll back restrictions on rent control in California, where nearly one in three renter households puts more than 50 percent of their income toward housing.

There are also key decision to make locally. If you live in Santa Monica, you’ll pick three people to represent you on the City Council, and if you’re an Inglewood resident, you’ll choose whether to keep Mayor James Butts in office.

Here is a guide to who and what is on the ballot in Los Angeles County, with a focus on the issues that Curbed covers. We’ve selected the propositions and elections that will have an impact on housing and infrastructure in Los Angeles.

But if those aren’t not enough to lure you to the ballot box, there are two other big reasons to vote: You’ll have a say on whether Sen. Dianne Feinstein remains in office—and you’ll help elect California’s next governor.

Polls don’t close until 8 p.m. today. Until then, here’s your cheat sheet. Study up, then vote.


Proposition 10

In what could be a boon to renters, this measure would give cities the ability to expand rent control, including potentially to newer apartments buildings. It would do that by repealing Costa Hawkins, a 23-year-old state law that puts limits on how cities like Los Angeles enact rent control. One of the law’s provisions? A rule that says LA can’t apply rent control to buildings constructed after 1978.

See how this measure would change rent control in Los Angeles.

Proposition 5

Should older homeowners who purchase a new home get a break on their property taxes? That would happen if Proposition 5 passes. It would allow homeowners in California who are 55 and older to tie the property taxes for their new home to the taxable value of their old home.

Explore how this measure would benefit older homeowners in California.

Proposition 6

Also known as the “gas tax repeal,” Proposition 6 would undo a hike on the tax that drivers pay at the pump. The tax increase went into effect less than one year ago but is poised to generate lots of money for big transit projects, including the construction of a train station near LAX.

Dive deeper into what the gas tax repeal would mean for transportation in LA.

Proposition 1

This measure asks voters to authorize the state to borrow up to $4 billion to pay for affordable rentals for low-income Californians, the construction of denser housing near public transit, and home loans for veterans.

Will all that money help alleviate the state’s housing crisis? Learn more here.

Los Angeles County

Measure W

County officials want voter approval for a tax that homeowners and other property owners would pay in order to fund the collection, treatment, and recycling of rainwater that otherwise flows into the ocean.

See how much properties would be taxed if the measure passes.

Santa Monica

City Council

Scooters. Development. Traffic. Seven candidates are running for four-year terms in office in Santa Monica, and they have taken stands on issues like these. In interviews with Curbed, they’ve also laid out their priorities for the city.

Read the Q&As with candidates here.

Measure SM

For years, builders, city leaders, and residents have fought over the pace and scale of development in Santa Monica. The dust is starting to settle, but the debate isn’t over. This measure would make it tougher for developers to erect denser, taller buildings.

Dig into how this measure would impact Santa Monica.



For better or worse, Inglewood is changing quickly, and depending on your point of view, Mayor James Butts deserves the credit or the blame. Now, he’s up for reelection, and four residents want to unseat him.

Learn more about Butts and his work in Inglewood—and his challengers.


The following is a list of local publications’ and advocacy groups’ endorsements for the November 6 election.


Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Daily News

Political and advocacy groups:

Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles

Green Party of Los Angeles County

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Los Angeles County Democratic Party

Los Angeles League of Women Voters

The Republican Party of Los Angeles County

Sierra Club, Los Angeles Chapter

Stonewall Democratic Club