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Measure H receives support from 68 percent of county voters

Lauren Coughlin, Editor
2:38 pm PDT March 13, 2017

Malibu’s lone Tuesday, March 7 ballot item received voters’ approval, according to preliminary election results from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

LA County Measure H, which seeks to prevent and combat homelessness through a 10-year 1/4 cent sales tax, passed with a 67.62 percent majority in the March 7 Consolidated Municipal and Special Elections. 

Overall, 422,456 voters cast “yes” votes while 202,283 (or 32.38 percent) voted “no,” with all 2,685 precincts reporting. Results are as of Friday, March 10.

The ballot item will “fund mental health, substance abuse treatment, health care, 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.”

Mayor Lou La Monte said he was delighted to see Measure H pass, and he believes Malibu contributed to that success by showing up to vote on the city’s lone ballot item. Overall, 1,209 ballots were cast by Malibu voters (748 yes, 446 no).

“It seemed to me that the people that I ran into at the library were definitely there specifically just to make sure that that measure passed,” La Monte said.

At its Feb. 13 meeting, the Malibu City Council unanimously passed a motion to send a letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in support of the measure.

“Homelessness has reached epidemic proportions in L.A. County, and the people of Malibu rightly see this as a humanitarian crisis that we must find ways to address,” said Councilmember Laura Rosenthal, according to a City release last month. “Measure H will offer a large, long-term funding source that can provide the kinds of supportive housing and comprehensive services that can really make a difference for people experiencing homelessness across the County and here in Malibu.”

The City also hosted a community forum to educate the community about Measure H on Feb. 23.

Advocates for Measure H note that it is expected to generate $355 million annually and will support roughly 45,000 families and individuals across Los Angeles County.

“I think the homelessness that it will help solve is incredibly important and, ultimately, it will come back to help Malibu,” La Monte told the Surfside.

Jay Scott, the chairman of the Malibu Task Force on Homelessness, said he was also “very pleased” with the election results. 

“It’s going to provide the necessary funds, countywide, for helping the homeless in various situations with housing and mental health coverage or mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment, [and] job training,” Scott said.

The Malibu Task Force on Homelessness raised more than $300,000 to hire two full-time professional outreach members from The People Concern, who began to work in Malibu in September 2016. 

Measure H will not change that outreach, Scott said. The latest LA County count tallied 161 homeless living in Malibu, and those individuals will continue to receive assistance from the local group.

“I don’t think it’s going to change our role,” Scott said. “ ... Our focus is going to remain the same, [and that] is to work with these particular individuals.” 

Third District Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl also weighed in on the results in a March 8 statement, saying, “Passage of Measure H is a significant milestone in the County’s effort, in partnership with local cities and service providers, to reduce homelessness. The voters clearly recognized the urgency of addressing this crisis, and of providing the resources needed to fund solutions to it. We are on our way to reducing homelessness by helping people to stay housed, finding housing for those who don’t have a home and providing the services necessary for folks to stay in their homes.”

The county clerk notes that there are still outstanding ballots to be counted. Current results contain all provisional and Vote by Mail ballots received on Election Day. 

Election results are expected to be certified on March 31, and the LA County Board of Supervisors is slated to declare the results official on April 4.