Move LA is proud to have enjoyed 15 years of remarkable success in Los Angeles County and in California, and we have played a notable role in at least 15 successful ventures described below.
We've been advocating for equitable, affordable, better-connected public transit and housing, addressing the existential crisis of climate change, and cleaning our air. We’ve only been able to accomplish the victories we cite below—from Measure R in 2008 to Measure ULA in November of this year—thanks to partners and supporters like you, who show up for our annual policy conferences and virtual programs, and engage in dialogue with us about critical issues on social media and via email, and who show up at our events to donate your time and to volunteer.
We especially appreciate those of you who listen, read, engage, and then vote with us. We need you to support our continued work in what could be the most critical decade for our region, our country and, in fact, our world!
Please read about our work over the past 15 years and continue to enable us to be leaders on public transit, affordable housing, cleaning the air, and curbing climate change by donating now!
1) Measure R, 2008: Denny Zane, former Mayor of the City of Santa Monica, created Move LA in 2007, concerned about the worsening crisis of traffic congestion in LA County. He teed up a business, labor and environmental coalition that partnered with Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa to successfully champion Measure R in November of 2008. This 30-year half-cent sales tax measure to invest primarily in LA County's transit system and service was approved by 67.4% of LA County voters to raise $36 billion over 30 years. When Measure M (below) was put on the November 2016 ballot it amended Measure R to continue until voters choose to change or end it.
2) SCAG's Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS), 2012: Move LA was a founding member of the ClimatePlan coalition that convened environmental, environmental justice, housing and transit advocates to champion ambitious GHG reduction goals in the very first RTP/SCS at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). This Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy committed to reduce transportation emissions to comply with SB 375, improve public health, and meet air quality standards set by the federal Clean Air Act.
3) California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), 2014: Move LA was a founding member and the only Southern California participant in the Sustainable Communities For All (SC4A) coalition, which won continuous appropriations of significant cap-and-trade funds for transit capital (the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program), transit operations (the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program), and affordable housing near transit (the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program). By the beginning of 2019, more than $8 billion from the GGRF was appropriated by the legislature to state agencies implementing GHG emission reduction programs and projects.
4) Measure M, 2016: Move LA continued building a diverse LA County coalition and ultimately helped convince Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA Metro to place Measure M, another half-cent sales tax, on the ballot in November 2016. Measure M had no sunset and extended Measure R with no sunset, and together they are generating an astounding $120 billion for transportation investments in LA County over the next 40 years or until voters choose to change it. More than 70% of the funding will be invested in an expanded rail system, enhanced bus service, and active transportation projects. Significant funding was earmarked for enhanced transit services for older adults and people with disabilities.
5) Metro Student Transit Pass Program, 2016-2022: Move LA began working with LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2015 to gain Metro's support for a universal student transit pass program, and also began working with Asm. Chris Holden on a reduced fare program for community college students statewide. In 2021 Metro adopted the Fareless System Initiative that is now providing free fares for 1.2 million K-12 and community college students in LA County—the direct result of Move LA’s persistence over more than a decade. The program was piloted in South LA with a grant Move LA received to support an “any line, any time” program, and Move LA continues to work with Asm. Holden to make fares free for all California students.
6) Measure H, 2017: Working closely with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Move LA helped launch and staff the campaign to win Measure H in 2017, a quarter-cent sales tax measure approved by 69.3% of LA County voters. It was the very first revenue stream dedicated to preventing and addressing homelessness countywide, and is raising $350 million/year to provide services and housing. Measure H is projected to raise a total of $3.5 billion to implement LA County’s Homeless Initiative strategies and is set expire in 2027 unless renewed by voters.
7) SB 961 (Allen), 2018: In 2018 the legislature approved and Governor Brown signed into law SB 961, authored by Sen. Ben Allen and sponsored by Move LA. The bill enables cities to create tax increment financing districts within a half mile of major transit service. Districts will be required to use 40% of the property and sales tax increment generated for affordable housing, 10% for urban greening and active transportation investments, and the remaining 50% for transit capital projects and other neighborhood improvements.
8) No on Prop 6, 2018: In November 2018, working in partnership with labor, Move LA was the primary organizer of the LA County-based opposition to Proposition 6 which sought to repeal SB 1, the legislature’s major transportation infrastructure bill that provides about $5 billion/year for transportation statewide. Happily, voters rejected Prop 6 and preserved funds to ensure a state of good repair for local streets and highways, with a 15% set aside for investments in transit capital and operations and in active transportation.
9) Boulevards of Equity and Opportunity, 2015-2022: In 2015 Move LA began a conversation with allies about building mixed-income, mixed-use housing along commercial boulevards, especially those well-served by transit. In 2018 Denny received a Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation to travel to cities across the US, Latin America and Europe to investigate similar efforts, which led to several very well-attended online discussions that attracted both housing advocates and labor leadership. This past year the Carpenters Union championed AB 2011 (Wicks) to enable/expedite multifamily housing on commercial boulevards to address California's housing shortage, create high-quality jobs and build a more transit-oriented culture.
10) Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (IIJA), 2022: Move LA worked with the TransitCenter and advocates across the U.S. to help President Biden’s Infrastructure bill move forward, discussing its importance with members of Congress. When Congress passed this bill, the TransitCenter acknowledged Executive Director Eli Lipmen's work—at the time he was Move LA's Policy and Programming Director—presenting him with their "Think Globally, Act Locally" award because he'd been “a key voice combining insight and action at the local, state, and federal levels." Eli was also recognized for his work on the Transit Justice National Campaign and "local campaigns to ensure that public transit continues to serve riders."
11) Rail to Rail Active Transportation Corridor, 2022: Move LA worked with SLATE-Z—the South LA Promise Zone partnership—to break ground on a transformative 5.5-mile active transportation corridor along an old rail spur in South LA, and helped find funding for this project. Move LA also worked with SLATE-Z to launch a Universal Basic Mobility pilot to provide multi-modal transit for low-income residents, and helped SLATE-Z win a $60 million state grant to create the South LA Eco Lab to invest in more climate resilient communities.
12) Proposition 30, 2022: Denny and Nick Josefowitz of San Francisco-based SPUR initiated and organized and implemented this statewide ballot measure which—had it been approved, but it was not—would have created the biggest, most aggressive climate and clean air investment program in the U.S. It began with a well-attended series of Zooms in 2020, when we were joined by California Environmental Voters, the Coalition for Clean Air and the Greenlining Institute, then gained the support of CA's Democratic Party, IBEW and CalFire, and received funding from Lyft. Prop 30 would have taxed Californians making $2 million/year or more to fund zero-emission cars, trucks, buses, trains, ships and planes—and make such cars and trucks affordable for middle- and low-income drivers—and to prevent wildfires.
13) Measure ULA, 2022: City of LA voters approved this initiative—57.7% in favor and 42.3% opposed—to raise up to $900 million annually for strategies that prevent/reduce homelessness and build affordable housing. Denny began this big coalition-building effort in 2019, bringing together advocates for affordable housing and for tenants' rights and the homeless, leaders of organized labor and academics. California courts had just decided voter initiatives were not covered by Prop 13’s requirement of a 2/3 majority vote—they required only a majority vote. Funding for the ballot measure was provided by the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council, SEIU 2015, SCANPH, and the Carpenters. The measure's program will be funded by taxing luxury real estate sales of $5 million or more, with 70% of the revenue to build affordable housing for LA’s very low-income and homeless population and 30% to prevent homelessness.
14) Labor Table for Hydrogen Infrastructure Development: The AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council asked Move LA to work with the LA-Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council to dialogue with environmental and environmental justice leaders and stakeholders to help develop an application for the development of a green hydrogen hub in California. Hydrogen fuel cells are currently the only zero-emission technology capable of replacing the diesel fuel used by heavy-duty long-haul trucks, trains, ships, aircraft, construction and port equipment—now the major sources of California's worst air pollution as well as climate-forcing emissions. We believe hydrogen production and distribution offers California opportunity for a just transition away from fossil fuels.
15) Bus Priority Lanes and the NextGen Bus Plan, 2019-2022: Move LA has been encouraging Metro to create bus priority lanes in LA County to speed up service, and Metro opened two lanes on Grand Avenue and Olive Street in downtown LA in December 2021 and another on Alvarado earlier this year. Now Metro is working on bus priority lanes from Hollywood down La Brea to South LA and another on Venice Boulevard from the beach to downtown LA. We also played an important role on the NextGen Bus Plan, encouraging dozens of advocacy organizations to support reorganizing the bus system to offer faster, more frequent and more reliable service in what was the first major change in 20 years.