Westside political leaders may be surprised, but are almost certainly gratified, that County Measure R – the 30-year one-half cent sales tax increase to fund transportation improvements and traffic relief – passed on November 4 (barely) by the required two-thirds margin. In the weeks leading up to the election, many leaders from other parts of the county began criticizing the measure, fearing that the Westside might benefit disproportionately, but that regional sentiment did not resonate with the voters according to polls.
Locally, the passage of R is good news for the Expo Line Phase 2 to Santa Monica, the Green Line extension to LAX, and eventually the Subway to the Sea.
On the statewide ballot, Proposition 8 – the ban on same-sex marriages – passed by a narrow margin, but Proposition 4 – parental notification for teenage abortions – failed by a somewhat less narrow margin. A comparison of the L.A. County and statewide returns shows Los Angeles area voters continue to be rather more liberal than voters across the state, although the only measure on which the returns actually reached opposing results was Proposition 11 concerning redistricting, an initiative that was supported by the Republican Party and the American Civil Liberties Union.