When Measures M and A were overwhelmingly supported by voters in Los Angeles County in November 2016, it was a groundbreaking moment – and an opportunity to shape the sustainability and livability of the region for generations to come. Measure M will provide more than $120 billion over the next 40 years for transportation projects across Los Angeles. Measure A will raise $94 million annually to build, maintain, and improve local parks, beaches, and open spaces throughout Los Angeles.
Together, Measures M and A could prove transformative. But this will only occur with a concerted effort to direct revenue from these initiatives to benefit communities that have historically lacked this type of public investment.
Harnessing Public Policy to Close Equity Gaps
That’s why the funders that together form the Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative commissioned a recently-released report by USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, Measures Matter: Ensuring Equitable Implementation of Los Angeles County Measures M & A.
In the aftermath of the election, funders identified the need for a clear framework for advocates, policy makers, agency staff, and philanthropy to use in navigating the allocation of both revenue streams – a framework that prioritizes investments that close racialized gaps and supports authentic community-based participation and power.
Measures Matter seeks to be that framework, as well as a roadmap for equitable implementation of Measures M and A. This includes how to define equity through inclusive and participatory processes; create equitable processes to impact programs and policies; and design metrics that ensure accountability and are adaptable to changing conditions.
The report is relevant for any funder thinking about how to ensure public investments yield healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities. The report also contains a detailed appendix and action plan for the philanthropic community to engage with the ongoing work of equitable implementation of Measures M and A.
Learn more about the Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative, a funder working group of Smart Growth California.