Scholars of Urban Planning, Public Health, Environmental Science & More Say No To Measure S

Professors at UCLA, USC, Occidental College, and CSU Northridge say No to Measure S
 
Scholars across Los Angeles can agree on one thing: Measure S would be disastrous for our city. That’s why academics from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA School of Law, USC Price School of Public Policy, Occidental College, and California State University Northridge have joined the No on Measure S campaign.
 
“The November election showed us broad public support for a livable, sustainable Los Angeles — one that addresses its housing crisis, locates jobs and housing near transit, and steps up to its role as a 21st-century metropolis committed to creating opportunity for both newcomers and the children who grow up here,” said Manuel Pastor, Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC. “Measure S, held in an off year with a substantially smaller and less representative electorate, is an attempt to derail that future at the great human cost of higher rents and lost jobs."
 
“It’s stunning to compare the claims Measure S’s backers make about it compared to its predictable effects. It does not stop Ellis Act evictions, it does not stop condo conversions, it does not prevent demolitions of rent-controlled housing (and is likely to accelerate them)," said Jan Breidenbach, a longtime housing advocate in Los Angeles who presently teaches housing policy at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC. "It prevents affordable housing developers from using planning tools for innovative solutions to address our housing and homelessness crisis, while staying completely silent on campaign finance reform. As someone who has studied and facilitated the development of affordable housing for years, I can say that this will stop much-needed housing at all levels from being built. It will hurt no one more than the ordinary Angelenos it pretends to help.”
 
“If you want a more transit-oriented Los Angeles, you should oppose Measure S,” said Marlon Boarnet, Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis at the USC Price School of Public Policy. “Our transit rail system can only work if we can build sustainable transit-oriented developments near rail transit. Measure S asks voters to look backwards. Los Angeles voters made a commitment to the future by passing Measure M last fall and supporting a forward looking transportation system. If voters want our rail transit system to work, they should vote against Measure S. Measure S would stop a minimum of 19,000 housing units in permitting today and would stop almost all new housing near our transit stations.” The figure of 19,000 housing units can be verified at this spreadsheet compiled by Abundant Housing L.A. and discussed here.
 
As explained by James E Moore, Professor of Urban Planning and Vice Dean for Academic Programs at the USC Price School of Public Policy, the price of housing is determined the same way as the price of everything else: Housing prices adjust to equalize supply and demand. “Measure S places new constraints on supply, and this will force prices up in a market in which affordability is already a substantial problem,” he explained. “In the best case, Measure S is well intentioned but myopic. In the worst case, Measure S is a cynical maneuver by a few homeowners to drive up the value of their own assets by constraining availability and making it more difficult for non-owners to buy into the market anywhere. In any case, Measure S is damaging to the interests of anyone who wants to buy a home."
 
“Measure S is a terrible way to address the problems with the planning system in Los Angeles,” said Paavo Monkkonen, Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. “The moratorium on certain kinds of projects will block a significant share of the city's residential development and thereby exacerbate a serious housing affordability problem.”
 
"Prohibiting or slowing dense development does not prevent traffic," said Martin Wachs, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. "Instead, it drives sprawl. And Measure S’s parking requirements will make housing more expensive, and conflict with our obligations to fight climate change.”
 
“Measure S is anti-family and anti-grandkids, and I base that on my demographic studies,” said Dowell Myers, Professor of Urban Planning at the USC Price School of Public Policy. “People don’t see how much of the growth in housing demand is from our own kids, not from new people trying to live in LA. The huge Millennial wave is three-quarters native Californians, twice as big a share as back in 1990, and now they are coming of age. Many of them already are over age 30 and trying to partner up. What, they should just stay in their parents’ back bedroom? You’d rather they just move to Texas? There go the grandkids too. It doesn’t have to be that way if we just build housing like normal cities do. Please don’t block our grandkids from living here.”
 
Last year, Beacon Economics calculated the effects that the first two years of Measure S’s building moratorium would have on the city of Los Angeles. (Its 'silent moratorium’ banning General Plan Amendments would extend indefinitely.) According to economist Christopher Thornberg, formerly of UCLA’s Anderson Forecast and report author Dr. Robert Kleinhenz, currently the Director of Research at the UC Riverside School of Business Administration Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, Measure S would shrink L.A.’s economy by $3.8 billion and eliminate 24,000 jobs, including 14,000 in construction alone, equaling almost $1.2 billion in lost wages.
 
The following scholars have endorsed the No on S campaign:

  • Manuel Pastor, Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC
  • Paavo Monkkonen, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Dowell Myers, Professor of Urban Planning, USC Price School of Public Policy
  • Martin Wachs, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Brian D. Taylor, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Michael Lens, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Joan Ling, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Michael Manville, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Vinit Mukhija, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Chris Tilly, Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Dr. Richard Jackson, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
  • Dr. David Eisenman, Professor of Medicine and Public Health, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
  • Stephanie Pincetl, Director and Professor-in-Residence, California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA*
  • Dana Cuff, Director of cityLAB-UCLA and Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA
  • Paul Ong, Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Asian American Studies, UCLA
  • Marcus Anthony Hunter, Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies, UCLA
  • Jonathan Zasloff, Professor, UCLA School of Law*
  • Ethan Elkind, Director of the Climate Change and Business Program, UCLA/UC Berkeley Schools of Law
  • Marlon Boarnet, Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis, USC Price School of Public Policy
  • Christian Redfearn, Borstein Family Endowed Professor of Real Estate, USC Price School of Public Policy
  • Juan De Lara, Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity, USC
  • James E Moore, Professor of Urban Planning and Vice Dean for Academic Programs, USC Price School of Public Policy
  • Jan Breidenbach, Adjunct Professor, USC Price School of Public Policy
  • Martha Matsuoka, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy, Occidental College
  • Henrik Minassians, Professor of Urban Planning, CSUN