The Los Angeles City Council threw its support Wednesday behind Measure M, the Nov. 8 ballot measure that would fund transit projects with a half-cent sales tax hike.
The council voted 13-0 to pass a resolution in favor of the measure. City Councilman David Ryu was absent from Wednesday’s vote and City Council District 7 currently doesn’t have representation following City Councilman Felipe Fuentes’ recent resignation.
• RELATED STORY: LA County’s Measure M would boost sales tax forever to fund transportation
A “forever” tax, Measure M would pay for transit and freeway improvements in Los Angeles County. The tax expands upon Measure R, an existing half-cent tax for transportation passed by voters in 2008.
If Measure M passes, county residents would see their sales tax rise to one cent for transit projects. Measure M also extends Measure R, set to expire in 2039, meaning the one-cent tax would last indefinitely.
• RELATED STORY: San Fernando Valley group wants more out of $120 billion transit sales tax
Speaking in support of Measure M at Wednesday’s meeting, City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said the tax would help bring transit projects to her working-class constituents in the northeast San Fernando Valley. She talked about how her father, a dishwasher, never drove a car in his life and relied on buses to get around Pacoima and Van Nuys.
“This is long overdue, this is about making things right,” Martinez said. “This is about making the northeast Valley whole.”
Opponents of Measure M include the cities of Carson, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Signal Hill, Santa Fe Springs, Commerce and Norwalk. Those cities contend the majority of transportation improvements won’t touch the southern portion of the county.
•RELATED STORY: Cities file suit claiming Measure M ignores transportation needs in southern LA County
The Bus Riders Union also opposes the tax.
Measure M needs to pass by a two-thirds majority on Nov. 8.
Editor’s note: The headline of this story has been corrected to reflect that Measure M is slated to raise $120 billion in transportation funds.