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Los Angeles
Monday, Dec 5, 2022
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Time to Act

While the national conversation circles around paring back government regulation and lowering taxes as a way to rein in bureaucrats run amok, L.A. voters signaled confidence last week in its elected leaders.

Adding to a slew of new taxes already approved around the region in November, voters blessed a Los Angeles County-wide quarter-cent sales tax to provide services for the homeless, gave the city of Los Angeles the power to regulate and tax marijuana sales, and shot down an anti-development measure that would have severely curtailed new construction in the city.

Leading that charge was Mayor Eric Garcetti, who also received unprecedented support from voters by garnering more than 80 percent of the vote, sweeping away 10 largely unknown challengers to his re-election bid, albeit one where turnout, yet again, was dismal.

Now it’s time for Garcetti and other city officials to take the goodwill, trust, and, yes, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that have been entrusted to them and put it to work thoughtfully and effectively. The public expects and deserves to see results.

The city needs a responsible, common-sense approach to regulating marijuana, both medical and recreational, that balances public safety and the rights of businesses to engage in profitable commerce.

Now that funding for housing and services for the homeless have both received the green light, benchmarks need to be set for the hard work ahead: finding a permanent solution to help Angelenos who are most in need.

Though Measure S offered a false hope, the debate it spurred over the development and planning process was not wasted. Opponents in the city government, including the mayor, have pledged to revisit the issue. The city’s community plans are long overdue for an update, and the officials who have committed to that process should not view the resounding defeat of Measure S as an opportunity to maintain the status quo.

The good news for Garcetti is that because Los Angeles is realigning its elections to the federal and state schedule, his new term will last 5½ years – giving him even more time, and less room for excuses, to get the job done.

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