Los Angeles County is holding an election on March 7 and we strongly encourage you to vote! Here are some brief notes on the measures and candidates for office, along with campaign websites and relevant articles for further research.
is a great resource for all information related to LA County elections: you can look up your sample ballot and polling place, check your registration, register to vote, and find answers to frequently asked questions. The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election is February 21. Polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm on March 7.
Candidates for Office
Eric Garcetti (i):
Los Angeles Mayor since 2013. Has been supportive of sustainability initiatives and spoken out against racism and xenophobia, specifically on Trump’s words and policies.
: A frequent attendee and speaker at City Council meetings.
Diane “Pinky” Harman
: A teacher and actress. Has spoken out against reopening the Aliso Canyon well.
: Campaigned for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and worked in the State Department. Supports sustainability measures, single payer healthcare, and keeping LA a sanctuary city.
Frantz Pierre: Supports a universal basic income and workers cooperatives.
: Proposes splitting Los Angeles into two cities, between the valley and the westside.
: A member of the Socialist Workers Party, opposes imperialism and capitalism.
City Council (Look up your City Council district here)
Gilbert Cedillo (i): Committed to three main things: Immigrant rights, Environmental protections and Support of the Arts/Culture. Introduced The House LA initiative which seeks to properly allocate housing to homeless individuals and families. Endorsements: Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)
: Small Businessman who favors creating economic incentives for small business. Favors increasing Police Force. Concerned about affordable housing but is promoting housing developments that are limited to single family detached homes with a moratorium on large housing projects for the next 2 years.
: Wants to install a freeze on rent increases and a moratorium of unjust evictions under the Ellis act. Supports the creation of community gardens and looks to ban GMOs. Favors converting LA to sustainable energy resources like solar power. Committed to protecting immigrant rights.
: Supports immigrant communities, opposes federal any and all federal efforts to deport, or persecute immigrants. Committed to affordable housing. Opposes Measure S. Wants to expand public transit and protect wildlife spaces/parks. Endorsements: LA Times, Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters
Paul Koretz (i): Paul Koretz is the incumbent representative for district 5. Koretz is a strong advocate for worker’s rights, LGBTQ rights, public safety and champions environmental protections. Endorsements: LA Times
Jesse Max Creed
: Jesse Creed is a lawyer whose top priorities include city reforming city planning, providing housing for the homeless and utilizing city infrastructure to address environmental concerns. He also supports more policing and the utilization of “police technology” including police access to “video doorbells” in order to address the “crime surge’ in LA. Creed has been notably endorsed by the California Bike Coalition and Citizens for a Humane Los Angeles (CHULA).
Mark Matthew Herd: Mark Matthew Herd is the owner of a political consultancy and a libertarian candidate for district 5. Herd describes himself as “socially tolerant, fiscally conservative.” Herd is a strident supporter of rolling back regulations on private businesses and he proposes that homeless shelters be required to be open 24/7. Herd is a supporter of Yes on Measure S.
: Top three priorities: Ensure safe neighborhoods, monitor and advocate against High Speed Rail in the NESFV, bring quality community/city services back into the district.
Jose Castillo: Jose Castillo is a real estate broker. His priorities include: Homelessness, High Speed Train, DWP, Veterans & Senior Issues & Jobs Creation, Domestic Violence, Gang & Crime reduction, Affordable Housing & Child Care, Education, Equestrian & Bicycle Safety, and More City Services. He endorses Measure S.
: Los Angeles Commissioner/Businesswoman. Longtime community leader, non-profit director, public servant, and a mom. Endorsements: United Firefighter of Los Angeles City, Los Angeles School Police Association, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Women’s Political Committee
Terrence “Terry” Gomes
: Terry is a financial advisor and has served as the Treasurer for his Neighborhood Council for the best part of the last decade. He is a member of the City’s budget advocates program, a volunteer group of Neighborhood Council leaders who review the Mayor’s budget each year, challenging and pushing back to make sure that our public funds across the city are spent as responsibly as possible.
Franki Marie Becerra – Manager, State Government
– Lender Mortgage Subservicer. Top Three Priorities: To establish peer review of all codes to ensure they are understandable and constitutional and remedy where not, Handle Homeless, disallow skid row (unhygenic) conditions on city streets, sidewalks and properties, Create Affordable Housing without tax increases by facilitating investors with boiler plate models, including expanding what is allowable for ‘tiny homes’.
Mike Schaefer – Public Interest Advocate. Top Three Priorities: Indict more elected and appointed officials, Prudent use of $1.2 billion bonds approved for 10,000 homeless housing, have more liberal library hours in LA County, open now only at noon some days.
Carlos Lara – Community Leader
– Rancher/Stuntman. Concerns: building moratoriums, the homeless issue, equine concerns, the bullet train, and the abundance of vacant commercial space along Foothill Boulevard.
Olga Ayala – Community Organizer
– Chief Environmental Planner. Karo believes in civic engagement and the importance of giving back to his community. He’s served as a Neighborhood Council member. Priority is to ensure that every child in the Valley lives in a safe neighborhood with access to parks, libraries and high-quality schools. Endorsements: The Sierra Club, Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, Armenian National Committee of America, Western Regions
Monica Ratliff – Teacher/School Board Member. Endorsements: The Los Angeles Daily News, Woman’s Political Caucus of San Fernando Valley, North Valley Democratic Club
Venessa Martinez – Deputy Attorney General. Top Three Priorities: Adding additional police and fire resources to CD7 including a police substation near or around Hansen Dam and finally open the second firehouse in Sylmar. Smart development that balances the need for additional affordable housing and respecting the culture and aesthetics of the neighborhoods. Develop for the people who are in our communities, not the people developers hope will come. Being a watchdog on the high speed rail. Effectively investigating, researching and if necessary, opposing all routes that would cause harm to our communities.
Nicole Chase – Education Advocate/Rancher. Stop the High Speed Rail I am OPPOSED to High Speed Rail in the San Fernando Valley • We must protect our environment, preserve local groundwater aquifers, wildlife habitats and the equestrian lifestyle. Public Safety We need to stop the deterioration of our “Quality of life” and safety. Los Angeles Police Department: ISSUE: Our local LAPD needs help. For years the City has failed to address the increase of crime in the San Fernando Valley. Addressing Spike in Homelessness: The huge spike in the San Fernando Valley homeless population contributes to increased crime in CD 7 ISSUE: A significant portion of the population experiences homelessness for a variety of reasons.
Mark Reed – Businessman/Realtor/Rancher
– Neighborhood Council President. Top Three Priorities: representing local interests / Neighborhoods First! Balancing the budget / Common Sense Solutions! Production incentives for the Entertainment Industry / Restore the Hollywood dream! Endorsements: North Valley Democratic Club, Bring Hollywood Home Foundation, Patient Care Alliance LA
John Higginson – Business Owner/Counselor. “I don’t want to see high speed rail, solar power plants, high density housing, at the expense of our open space and erosion of our horse keeping rights”
Art Miner – Aerospace Engineer/Businessman
Freda Flores – Commissioner/Veterans’ Advocate
Curren De Mille Price Jr. (i)
: Curren De Mille Price Jr. is the Democratic incumbent representative for district 9. Price is committed to green spaces and has created initiatives to raise the minimum wage and legalize street vending. Price has extensive political experience. Endorsements: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Planned Parenthood and the L.A. County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
: Jorge Nuno’s platform includes community beautification, supporting first-time home buyers and establishing a Sanctuary City Council District. He is a south L.A native and is committed to the rights of undocumented immigrants.
Adriana Cabrera: Adriana Cabrera is a South Central native whose platform includes supporting safe spaces for youth and the LGBTQA community, creating affordable housing and establishing an elected community police control board.
Mike Bonin (i): Mike Bonin has been on City Council since 2013, during which he coauthored legislation on the $15 minimum wage increase and committing LA to 100% renewable energy. Endorsements: LA County Democratic Party
: Mark Ryavec is the founder and president of the Venice Stakeholders Association. He opposes new offshore oil drilling and construction of the Martin Cadillac Expo Project, and is a supporter of Measure S.
Robin Rudisill: Robin Rudisill has been a member of the Venice Neighborhood Council for 6 years, and is a supporter of Measure S.
Mitch O’Farrell (i): Mitch O’Farrell has been in City Council for 3 years, during which he has approved over 900 affordable housing units and authored legislation to provide funding for LA River improvements. Endorsements: LA County Democratic Party
Doug Haines: Doug Haines is a member of the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association and has fought against the construction of a Target store on Sunset and Western, and successfully invalidated a permit for a 299 unit apartment building, forcing all tenants to move out.
: Jessica Salans is an activist who campaigned for Bernie Sanders. Her platform supports affordable housing, making LA a sanctuary city, the Movement for Black Lives policy platform, and powering LA on 100% renewable energy. Endorsements: Green Party of Los Angeles
David De La Torre
: David De La Torre supports the broken window theory of policing, or strongly enforcing low level crimes.
: Bill Zide is a screenwriter and a member of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council. His platform includes single payer healthcare for LA, changing City Council voting machines to vote as “absent” instead of “yes” if a Councilmember is not present, and providing free wifi to his district.
: Sylvie Shain was evicted from her apartment and became a housing rights activist. She is a founding member of the LA Tenants Union.
Joe Buscaino (i): Joe Buscaino has been a City Councilmember since 2012, and was previously a police officer for 15 years. He supports additional police patrols in neighborhoods and economic development around the Port of LA. Endorsements: LA County Democratic Party
: Caney Arnold is a fiscal conservative and wants to increase communication between City Hall and Neighborhood Councils. Criminal justice reform, environmental justice, and sustainability are highlighted in his platform.
: Noel Gould is a supporter of Measure S and opposes overdevelopment on the coast. He wants to increase transparency at City Hall.
Los Angeles Community College District
Member, Board of Trustees, Seat 2
Steve Goldstein: Community College Advocate
: LA TIMES ENDORSEMENT; an aide to state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, served one term as a district trustee before launching an unsuccessful City Council bid in 2015. Knowledgeable of the district which receives funding from Sacramento. On LA Community College District Board of Trustees; served as President of the Board in 2012 and currently chairs the Board’s Facilities Master Planning & Oversight Committee; prioritizes improving graduation and transfer rate.
Sergio Vargas: Education advocate.
Thomas J. Norman: Management and marketing professor at Cal State Dominguez Hills; prioritizes making transferring process easier.
Member, Board of Trustees, Seat 4
Ernest H. Moreno
: LA TIMES ENDORSEMENT: former president of East LA College; has served for 42 years as a district employee. He served on the board of trustees of Santa Clarita Community College District from 1989 to 2006, and was elected to LACCD in 2013.
Dallas Denise Fowler
: Dallas Fowler is the founder of a consulting firm and has been engaged in many nonprofit organizations. Endorsed by UTLA and the LA County Democratic Party.
Member, Board of Trustees, Seat 6
: Nancy Pearlman was elected to the LACCD board in 2001. She is involved in many environmental projects, and coordinated the first Earth Day in Southern California in 1970.
: Gabriel Buelna is a CSUN professor and the Executive Director of the nonprofit Plaza Community Services. Endorsements: LA County Democratic Party, LA Times, State Senator Kevin de León
Los Angeles Unified School District
Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 2
Carl J. Petersen
: Carl J. Petersen supports a moratorium on charter school expansion and the strengthening of oversight. He has two children on the autism spectrum in LAUSD schools and a third child at a private school. Endorsements: Network for Public Education (NPE) Action, Los Angeles Community College District Trustee Nancy Pearlman
: Lisa Alva stands against charter school expansion and immigration enforcement in schools. Her two children graduated from LAUSD schools. Endorsements: LA Times, Network for Public Education (NPE) Action
: Monica Garcia has been on the LAUSD board since 2006. Her goal is a 100% graduation rate and getting students ready for college and careers. Endorsements: SEIU, Los Angeles School Police Association, California Charter Schools Association Advocates, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-32), California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D), State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-33), State Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-53), Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar, Los Angeles Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Los Angeles Councilwoman Nury Martinez
Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 4
: Steven Zimmer is running for his third term and is currently the board president. He authored a resolution to support the DREAM Act, supports access to the arts as a right for every student, and created a public service program for volunteering at Marshall High. He has 17 years of experience as a teacher and counselor. Endorsements: Los Angeles County Democratic Party, UTLA, SEIU
: Gregory Martayan is focused on student safety, budget reform, and fighting corruption in the LAUSD. He served as a reserve police officer and an ambassador for the National Crime Prevention Council to prevent school bullying. Endorsements: State Sen. Joel Anderson (R-38), Los Angeles County Commissioner Andrew Freidman
: Nick Melvoin is an advocate of charter schools and school choice. He attended private high school and universities, and holds a masters degree in urban education. He participated in a lawsuit against the state when he and other newer teachers were laid off because they lacked seniority. Endorsements: LA Times, California Charter Schools Association Advocates, Speak UP, Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan
Allison Holdorff Polhill
: Allison Holdorff Polhill served on the Palisades Charter High board for 6 years, and has sent three children through the LAUSD system. She opposes school privatization and Betsy DeVos, and supports charter, magnet, pilot, and traditional public school models.
Endorsements: California Charter Schools Association Advocates, Speak UP
Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 6
Jose Sandoval: Has a background in teaching families about spaying and neutering pets.
: Imelda Padilla serves on LA county’s Commission for Women and works for a grant-writing firm. She has a background in community organizing and is currently completing a masters degree in public administration. Endorsements: Los Angeles County Democratic Party, UTLA, SEIU, California School Employees Association AFL-CIO, Los Angeles School Police Association, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-39), Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles Councilwoman Nury Martinez
: Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez is a seventh grade science teacher at a charter school. She served as an education policy advisor under the Obama administration. Endorsements: LA Times, California Charter Schools Association Advocates, State Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, Los Angeles Unified Board of Education member Ref Rodriguez
: Patty Lopez recently lost re-election for State Assembly, where she served for 2 years. She plans to use her state assembly connections to secure more funding for LAUSD. She is a parent of four LAUSD students.
: Araz Parseghian is a parent and a loan officer, and he serves on the LA Valley College Foundation board and the Glendale Police Foundation board. Endorsements: State Sen. Scott Wilk (R-21)
: Running unopposed; Was recently involved with the LAX protests the weekend the Muslim ban was implemented and was present trying to get customs officials in releasing their detainees.
Ron S. Galperin
: Running unopposed; helped allocated $10 million unspent in money for public art; created UtilityPanel.LA to create more oversight and transparency of DWP.
Measure H places a 0.25% tax on retail sales across LA County, specifically to fund a variety of services to prevent homelessness and help the homeless. This includes mental and physical healthcare, substance abuse treatment, education, job training, rental subsidies, emergency and affordable housing, transportation, outreach, prevention, and supportive services for homeless children, families, foster youth, veterans, battered women, seniors, disabled individuals, and other homeless adults.
For every $400 you spend, you will pay an extra $1 to fund services for the 45,000+ people experiencing homelessness in LA County and help prevent an estimated 30,000 people from becoming homeless. A Citizens’ Advisory Board will review all expenditures from this tax twice a year. The LA Community College District, the Skid Row Housing Trust, the LA County Federation of Labor, the Downtown Women’s Center, United Way, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the L.A. County District Attorney are some of the many groups that support Measure H. No arguments against Measure H have been submitted to election officials.
Measure M was proposed by City Council. It provides City Hall the authority to regulate Los Angeles’s new non-medical cannabis industry, after holding public hearings. It assigns priority to existing medical cannabis dispensaries compliant with current law. It sets a 10% cannabis sales tax (5% for medical cannabis), and a 1-2% tax for cannabis manufacturing, processing, and transportation, with all taxes going to the Los Angeles General Fund. This measure competes directly with Measure N, and if both are approved by voters, the initiative with the most votes will become effective.
The president of the LA NAACP, the LA Chief of Police, and members of the LA County Federation of Labor, the LA Business Council, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, and the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils have endorsed Measure M, alongside the writers of Measure N who have dropped their support of their own measure. No arguments against Measure M have been submitted to election officials.
Measure N was written by a cannabis business association to regulate Los Angeles’s new non-medical cannabis industry. It assigns priority to existing medical cannabis dispensaries compliant with current law, but limits the number of cannabis dispensaries to 135 in Los Angeles unless City Hall repeals current law separately. It places an 8% tax on non-medical cannabis sales and maintains the current 6% tax on medical cannabis. This measure competes directly with Measure M, and if both are approved by voters, the initiative with the most votes will become effective.
Measure N was written by the United Cannabis Business Alliance Trade Association before City Hall wrote Measure M. The group has withdrawn its support of Measure N and is now supporting Measure M instead.
Measure P is a technical change that increases the maximum duration of the Harbor Department’s franchises, concessions, permits, licenses and leases of its land from 50 years to 66 years. This measure updates the City Charter to comply with a newer state law.
Joe Buscaino, LA’s 15th District City Councilmember, supports Measure P. No arguments against Measure P have been submitted to election officials.
Measure S places a 2 year moratorium on new construction projects requiring a General Plan amendment, such as zoning changes for taller buildings, fewer parking spaces, or land zoned for open space or industry. It provides an exception for new construction on 100% affordable housing projects. It requires a public review of the city’s General Plan every 5 years, and requires the city to conduct environmental impact reports and review project plans for consistency with the General Plan. It limits parking variances to no less than ⅓ of original requirements. Supporters argue that Measure S will fight the influence of developers at City Hall and allow for comprehensive city planning.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, the LA County Federation of Labor, Downtown Women’s Center, United Way of Greater LA, United Firefighters of LA City, LA Area Chamber of Commerce, and Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing stand against Measure S. Opponents project that Measure S will destroy over 12,000 jobs and cost workers more than $640 million in lost wages each year, block the building of hospitals, fire stations, public transit, and recently approved affordable and homeless housing, and cost taxpayers over $70 million each year in lost revenue needed for police, firefighters, and other vital city services. Opponents also point out that the measure does not directly address corruption at City Hall. Most importantly, opponents argue that Measure S may hinder development needed to keep up with LA’s growing housing demands and drive up rent and homelessness across the city.