Los Angeles is ready to close the loophole and “Make It Fair”

Last weekend 350 community members from across LA came together at Los Angeles Trade Tech College. They joined community leaders and local elected officials to talk about how we can use the power the community has built to close the commercial property tax loophole in Prop 13.

Speaking at last weekend’s event were State Sen. Holly Mitchell; Torie Osborn, Office of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Principal Deputy for Policy and Strategy; John Kim, Executive Director, Advancement Project; Clarissa Woo Hermosillo, ACLU of Southern California, Director of Economic Justice: Dr. Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California, Professor; Arlene Inouye, UTLA, Union Officer and Bargaining Co-Chair; and Alberto Retana, Community Coalition, President & CEO. Guests answered questions and provided more context about how over $3 billion a year designated locally for education and services could transform Los Angeles County.

State Senator Holly Mitchell (SD-30), a champion of the Make It Fair campaign since 2015, told the crowd “This is about making it fair. Corporations use our public infrastructure just like you and I. So, why shouldn’t they pay to help fix our streets?” and called the Make it Fair proposal an opportunity to correct a wrong.

The community college campus provided the perfect background to discuss the impact of $2.9 billion for education and services in Los Angeles. When Prop 13 passed Community Colleges in California were free, but now LATTC President Larry Frank pointed out after decades of increasing tuitions and housing cost a staggering 65% of Los Angeles’s community college students can’t afford balanced meals.

Alberto Retana, President & CEO of Community Coalition announced that after the years of working to pass state and local initiatives to fund education, housing, and reform the next big fight is reforming Prop 13, “There is one fight left that we’ve got to get together on” he said, “and that’s the fight to make sure that our schools and our communities get the money and resources we deserve to live like human beings in a community that treats us like human beings.”

The town hall was hosted by ACCE LA, California Partnership, Community Coalition, InnerCity Struggle, LA Forward, League of Women Voters, SCOPE, UTLA, California Calls, CTA, CFT, PICO California, and SEIU CA

Up next, Make it Fair will host community town halls in Chula Vista on October 18, San Diego on November 1, and Bakersfield on November 9.