Here is an update how California’s most interesting local government ballot measures fared on Election Day.
Measure L, Sacramento: Mayor Kevin Johnson has long been seeking to shift the city to a “strong mayor” model of governance. The controversial measure has led to strong opposition and is criticized as a power grab. Result: A major loss for a tarnished mayor, who has now failed several times to increase his own powers.
Measure E, San Francisco: Following in the footsteps of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against sugary drinks, this would impose a 2-cent tax per ounce on sugared beverages–24 cents per soda can sold. Result: San Francisco voters approved the soda tax, and Berkeley voters approved one as well.
Measure D, Santa Monica: Aviation enthusiasts put this measure on the ballot to require any change by the city council to the Santa Monica Airport to be approved by referendum. Opposed by the council in Measure LC. Result: A big defeat for Measure D and the airport, with opposing Measure LC passing easily.
Measure P, Humboldt County: This local measure would ban genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from being raised or grown locally, after statewide voters rejected a similar ballot measure in the 2012 election. Result: Overwhelming win, though look for the issue to be revisited if GMO marijuana hits the market.
Measure J, San Francisco: This initiative would raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 per hour by July 2018. Backed by unions, the measure was watered down by the Chamber of Commerce in exchange for support. Result: A win for unions, and a loss for businesses and the unemployed–especially minorities.
Measure R, Malibu: This measure would keep chain stores out of new developments in one of America’s richest and most beautiful communities. The debate has proved fodder for major celebrity grudge matches. Result: The measure passes–a victory for Hollywood director Rob Reiner and local NIMBYs.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak