Voters in West Hollywood and Los Angeles will go to the polls March 7 to elect members of their respective city councils as well as Los Angeles school board members and members of the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees.
Los Angeles voters also will vote for mayor and four ballot measures.
A fifth measure, Measure H, would raise the county sales tax a quarter-cent for 10 years. It was placed on the ballot by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to raise funds to fight homelessness.
In West Hollywood, 10 candidates — including incumbents John Duran and John Heilman — are running for two City Council seats.
The eight challengers on the ballot are Reed Stillwell, Amanda Goodwin, Steve Martin, Carla Romo, Michael Cautillo, Nate Clark, Joel Quaresimo and Cynthia Blatt.
As part of the city’s efforts to make the polls accessible to all residents who wish to vote, West Hollywood will provide a variety of free transportation options to any resident needing a ride to a polling location.
CityLine, the city’s free local shuttle, has stops adjacent to all of the city’s polling places. Shuttles will run on Election Day at 30-minute intervals from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
West Hollywood Dial-A-Ride also will provide free direct transportation on Election Day between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Residents may request a ride by calling (800) 447-2189 at any time before 1 p.m. on Election Day to reserve a trip.
Additionally, WeHo Pedals, the city’s bike share program, will offer 60 minutes of ride credit to new and existing members. The promotion will be valid on Election Day between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. (one hour before and one hour after polls open and close, respectively).
Standard WeHo Pedals charges for out of hub and out of system area fees will still apply, except at West Hollywood polling stations. After 60 minutes of ride time, normal WeHo Pedals usage fees will apply. WeHo Pedals users can create or log in to user accounts on the Social Bicycles App, at a WeHo Pedals payment kiosk, or by visiting www.wehopedals.com and using the promo code BIKE2VOTE.
In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti faces 10 challengers in a bid for a second term. He can avoid a May runoiff by receiving more than 50 percent of the vote March 7. Otherwise, he will face the person drawing the second most votes, which figures to be Mitchell Schwartz, who identifies himself as a political strategist, an environmentalist and an entrepreneur.
Schwartz was involved in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and worked in the State Department during his first term in office.
Also running for mayor are David Hernandez, a community advocate; Diane “Pinky” Harman, a retired educator and actor; David “Zuma Dogg” Saltsburg, a community activist; Y.J. Draiman, a neighborhood council board member; Yuval Kremer, Paul Amori, a creative artist; Dennis Richter, a factory worker; Frantz Pierre, a community activist; and Eric Preven, a writer and producer.
In the 13th City Council District, incumbent Mitch O’Farrell is seeking a second four-year term against five challengers, including Doug Haines, a neighborhood council board member; Sylvie Shan, a housing rights advocate; Jessica Salans, an activist and organizer; David De La Torre, an international business manager; and Bill Zide, a neighborhood council chair.
Three seats are up for re-election on the Los Angeles Community College District board.
In Board Seat 2, incumbent Michael Eng is not seeking re-election. Four people are seeking to replace him: former board member and college teacher Steve Veres, community college advocate Steve Goldstein, education advocate Sergio Vargas and college professor Thomas Norman.
In Board Seat 4, incumbent Ernest Moreno, a longtime district employee, is facing Dallas Fowler, a South Los Angeles resident and a city commissioner.
In Board Seat 6, incumbent Nancy Pearlman is being challenged by college professor Gabriel Buelna.
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, board President Steve Zimmer faces three challengers in District 4, educator and parent Allison Polhill, educator and children’s advocate Nick Melvoin and police specialist and parent Gregory Martayan.
Two of the four ballot measures for city of Los Angeles voters are about marijuana.
Proposition M would establish taxes on marijuana businesses, while authorizing criminal penalties for non-approved marijuana businesses and outlining the City Council’s authority to regulate cannabis-related activities.
Initiative Ordinance N would authorize a permitting system for marijuana businesses, giving existing marijuana businesses time to register for permits, allowing marijuana businesses in select non-residential areas and setting distance requirements from schools. It also authorizes fines for unauthorized marijuana activities and sets a tax on “adult use marijuana sales.”
Measures M and N both require only a simple majority for approval, but if both are approved, the one receiving the most votes will be enacted.
Charter Amendment P would increase the maximum term of franchises, licenses and permits issued by the Harbor Department from 50 years to 66 years, making the city consistent with state law. It requires a simple majority vote for approval.
Measure S would impose a two-year moratorium on development projects that require amendments to the city’s General Plan, require a public review of the city’s General Plan every five years and prohibit project applicants from performing environmental impact reports for their own projects. It requires a simple majority for approval.