Southland elected officials and business leaders gathered this week to formally begin the campaign in support of a proposed countywide quarter-cent sales tax on the March 7 ballot to raise money for anti-homelessness programs.
“Measure H is the most substantial effort we’ve ever undertaken to end and prevent homelessness across L.A. County,” County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “The coalition that supports Measure H is broad and powerful–labor and business, homeless service providers and environmental advocates. This coalition will drive our efforts to victory on March 7.”
Supporters say the proposed tax—which needs approval from two-thirds of voters—would generate about $350 million a year for 10 years, with the proceeds going toward homelessness-prevention services, supportive services such as mental health care and job training, along with permanent housing. Backers contend the funding will end homelessness for 45,000 people across the county.
The proposal comes on the heels of a $1.2 billion bond measure approved in November by city of Los Angeles voters to fund homelessness initiatives.
“Last November, we voted to house 26,000 people in the city of Los Angeles, but we can do more,” said Rusty Hicks, executive secretary treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. “Measure H will offer comprehensive supportive services, like mental health care and job training for jobs that can lead to good careers and a second chance at life.