Measure J results, by map and by spreadsheet

There are still ballots from the Measure J election remaining to be counted, but we believe the results are unlikely to change. It’s always useful to know where support did and didn’t come from across sprawling Los Angeles County on any kind of transportation issue, so we spent some time yesterday assembling the following maps with the help of Metro Transportation Planner Marie Sullivan.

The map below is based on the results of the election posted early Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Registrar. Not surprisingly, support for Measure J was strongest in the more urbanized parts of Los Angeles County, where there is also the most transit service.

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The map below shows the final results of Measure R in 2008. Compared to the Measure J results, the most striking thing is there are fewer areas where support ran under 50 percent and there are more areas around the county where support was over 70 percent.

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The map below shows the difference in support between Measure J in 2012 and Measure R in 2008. There’s nothing here that isn’t obvious from this week’s election results: in most parts of the county the majority of voters supported J but overall support for J was less than it was for R.

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After the jump: the city-by-city breakdown of Measure J votes.

We know that many of you want to see city-by-city results given the many different viewpoints expressed on Measure R and Measure J by localities across L.A. County. The first list below shows how the Measure J vote went in each city of the county (pdf here).

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The following shows the difference in each city between the Measure R vote and Measure J vote (pdf here).

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Related: The Source ponders Measure J’s loss at the polls

18 replies

  1. I think it’s most important to note that the areas that already experience significant light rail or the promise thereof were most enthusiastic to support both measures.

  2. There were only 13 of the 88 cities in the county where the majority of voters did not vote in favor of Measure J. Even the majority of voters in Beverly Hills were for it. The majority of voters in Pasadena and South Pasadena seemed to understand that whether the I-710 connector gets built through their city had nothing to do with Measure J.

    If it wasn’t for the 2/3 approval by voters requirement for new taxes that has been required since the passage of Proposition 13, then Measure J would have been easily approved by voters.

  3. This is very useful; thank you for providing it to us. Where do we go from here? Can lawmakers simply legislate the tax into being? After all, there is great support for this tax, and one would hate to see this excellent plan fail because of a couple of percentage points, apparently determined by the less urban areas of the county.

  4. @BP

    Of the 14 cities that voted at least 70% for Measure J only 4 of them have or will have light-rail within their area (the city of Los Angeles voted less than 70% for the ballot initiative) I even threw in West Hollywood even though it will not have light-rail, nor is the subway that will travel under Wilshire Blvd within the city limits.

    People really need to do a little research before jumping to conclusions.

  5. Cities far away from Metro Buses and Rail receive nothing in return so, accordingly, did not vote for it. Why should they?

  6. It takes 67% of the vote to extend a tax, but it only takes 50% to fire an elected official. Hopefully a few folks in office will look at this map and realize where to hitch their political future. Pasadena and Beverly hills seem to be areas where the voters are way out ahead of their city governments.

  7. Great Maps! Los Angeles is a big city. It may be interesting to know which parts of LA voted each way. The voting is counted by council district and I grouped them noting the following approval rates (and percentage of the City’s electorate):

    North Los Angeles: 63.4% (33.7%)
    West Los Angeles: 69.8% (19.5%)
    Central Los Angeles: 76.1% (21.3%)
    East Los Angeles: 74.1% (10.0%)
    South Los Angeles: 69.7% (15.6%)

    The only part of the City that didn’t reach the approval threshold is also the most influential. The map would have less blue if the City of Los Angeles were displayed by district.

    [grouping: north=2 3 6 7 12; west=5 11; central=4 10 13; east=1 14; south=8 9 15]

  8. Ron: Alright, they aren’t allowed to travel in the Valley or Basin. I’m sure all those Santa Clarita people don’t need to drive there ever, right?. No benefit to them, right?

  9. @Ron: I know people in the distant exurbs who voted yes because of environmental concerns and because when they do visit more central areas they like to be able to get around on the train. Also I think many people out there are invested in Los Angeles as a whole so even if it won’t directly affect their lives too much, they’re happy to invest a little bit of their money making the city a better place.

  10. People often fail to understand that transit projects benefit drivers as well. If, during rush hour, one could take 10% of the drivers that use the Sepulveda pass and let them use a subway under the pass, that would take 10% of the cars off the road. The speeds would increase for the remaining solo drivers.

    There was much mis-information being spread about the Measure. The main point being that it was all transit projects.
    Also, the 710 gap alternates upset people. Along Ave 64 and other parts of the alternate routes, I saw many places where there were NO 710 signs next to NO on J. From my conversations in the area, people thought that J would have accelerated the 710 being built in their backyard (even after that alignment was dropped).

  11. @JustAPerson: Tax-spendthrifts often fail to understand that there is only so much money to be had, and we’ve already spent way more than that – thus, borrowing 40 cents on every dollar.

    Much as I like rail projects, and voted for J, until we can see wise management of the public trust by the party in power, those of us who pay most of the taxes will occasionally disapprove of your wonderful dream.

  12. Cross post from in my quest, turning crusade, to bring mass transit to North LA:

    A lot of talk about Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills had 10k votes and got 58% approval. 10K is about 0.5% of total Measure J votes. We should keep things in perspective. It is our obsession with 90210 that gives these small groups of people so much press. I would venture further and say it is our obsession with these pop-culture communities that permeates our decisions and causes us to spend a disproportional amount of our funds on those areas, thereby alienating others.

    For example, the City of LA was considered the stronghold of transit support but there were 4 council districts in the City of Los Angeles which had support below 2/3rds. Those districts cast 217K votes or about 10% of the total. One of those districts had support of 55%. That 55% district is #12 and had 72K votes or 7x what Beverly Hills had. I doubt that district 12 (northwest San Fernando Valley) cared about Beverly Hills High school’s underground parking lot, but still gave Measure J less approval then the people in the Beverly Hills School District did.

    3 of the 4 districts in the City of LA that did not support the Measure by 2/3rds were in the San Fernando Valley, and the Valley as a whole gave Measure J 63% approval. That is lower then the rest of the City of LA and lower then the County as a whole.

    Little attention is paid to the Valley but it represented about 1 in 8 voters (and I’m guessing that 1 in 8, or 12%, will go up after the absentee ballots are counted). Perhaps we should start thinking about what we can do to get people north of the hill on board, because the arguments of ‘less people driving in Westwood and more jobs helps everyone’ or ‘it is the Valley’s fault why they don’t have rail’ obviously isn’t working. The attention spent on Beverly Hills would be better used addressing even lower support in a vastly more electorally important area. Otherwise, future measures may similarly run into silent yet numerically crucial opposition.

    P.s. The 4th LA City district that didn’t support J by 2/3rds was in South LA.

  13. I am a little confused. Does half a cent in this case mean half a penny or half a percent because in some cases people refer to half a percent as half a cent and I want to be sure.

  14. @Fred
    “those of us who pay most of the taxes will occasionally disapprove of your wonderful dream.”
    1. It is not ‘my dream.’ I was just relaying some of the misinformation that I had witnessed coming from others.
    2. I think that I personally pay a higher amount of taxes than the median (or than the mean).
    3. I do not vote, because of specific religious convictions. Again, I was passing along observations.

    @SteveH: The “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” function has not seemed to be working for at least a couple of weeks. I liked when it was added. It really helped The Source to be a conversation.

    • Hi Just a Person;

      I’ll look into the notify email issue early next week. Thanks for the heads up and sorry for any inconvenience!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  15. This was not promoted right. No one knew about it. Even the flyer was no clear.
    It was promoted to late.
    Put in on the March ballet. Promote it right and it will pass.
    It is a win win for the area.

  16. Those who proposed against Measure J, saying that in the past when building Western-Wilshire Station, low income residents in Western-Wilshire district apartments were forced to relocate , so that the location can be used for the Purple line Train Station. It happened while it was difficult to find affordable housing at that time in the neighborhood. So the eminence domain was effective in achieving the goal of the Metro projects, but was also very ruthless. Now, was that a true accusation? What kind of better assistance those low income residence could get if the measure J were to pass in the next round ?