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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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Local

City of Los Angeles
Measure BB Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Passing

373,956 votes yes (67.7%)

178,665 votes no (32.3%)

Shall the City Charter be amended to allow the City, on a competitive bid contract, to award a bid preference to a bidder located in the City of Los Angeles?

What is this proposal?

Pros & Cons — Unbiased explanation with arguments for and against

Information provided by League of Women Voters of Greater Los Angeles

The Question

Should the Los Angeles City Charter be amended to provide an additional contracting bid preference to businesses located in the City of Los Angeles?

The Situation

The City Charter provides that competitive bid City contracts be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. It currently provides for a bid preference for businesses that are “local.” Local is defined as businesses located in the County of Los Angeles or the State of California.  However, the City currently does not provide for a bid preference for businesses that are located in the City of Los Angeles.

The Proposal

Charter Amendment BB would amend the City Charter by adding “City of Los Angeles” to the definition of “local.”  Therefore, the City would then be permitted to provide an additional bid preference for businesses which are located within the geographic boundaries of the City of Los Angeles.

Fiscal effect

Businesses located within the City of Los Angeles are already eligible for a competitive bid preference.  Therefore, there will be no substantial net change in the City’s finances if this measure is adopted.

Supporters say

Los Angeles is one of the ten most expensive places in the country to do business. Smaller cities have a competitive advantage because they do not have the same costs for doing business.

Local bid preferences have assisted local municipalities in setting and achieving social policy goals.  Local tax dollars spent in a local economy generate jobs and income for the City.

Charter Amendment BB would level the playing field for businesses located in the City of Los Angeles by allowing the City to provide an additional scoring preference for those businesses located in the City of Los Angeles.  

Opponents say

Commerce is key to the health of the City of Los Angeles. This measure lacks the specifics needed to support businesses located in the City of Los Angeles.

Charter Amendment BB  does not specify any standards or definitions that detail what constitutes a city of Los Angeles business. 

Before approving Charter Amendment BB, voters need to know more about oversight, including  percentages tracked on contract preferences that are advertised and filled, policies for its implementation and auditing and reporting.

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Sharon M. Tso, Chief Legislative Analyst

City Charter Section 371 provides that competitively bid City contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Section 371(a) allows the City to provide a bid preference to a bidder located in California or Los Angeles County. A bid preference would provide an advantage at contracting with the City.

Currently, the Charter does not allow the City to award an additional bid preference to a firm that is located in the City of Los Angeles.

The measure on the ballot would amend the Charter to allow the City to award a bid preference to a firm located in the City of Los Angeles.

The City Council and Mayor would be authorized to enact ordinances regarding the extent and nature of the bid preference and policies for its implementation.

This measure will become effective if approved by a majority of voters.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

CHARTER AMENDMENT BB would amend the Los Angeles City Charter to ADD "City of Los Angeles" to the Charter's definition of "local", thereby allowing the City to award an additional scoring preference for businesses located in the City of Los Angeles when bidding on City contracts.

Los Angeles is one of the ten most expensive places in the country to do business, creating a climate in which businesses are forced to compete against firms from neighboring cities with lower business costs.

In FY 2018-19, the last full fiscal year before the COVID-19 Pandemic, seven percent, or one in fifteen local business enterprise contracts went to City of LA businesses as a result of the City's Local Business Preference Program. Those businesses only secured one-quarter of one percent, or $96,000 out of more than $41.5M in potential contracting dollars.

This Measure proposes to level that playing field.

The LA City Charter allows for a bid preference for businesses seeking contracts with the City that are "local", with the term "local" definted to include businesses located in the County of Los Angeles or the State of California.

This means that businesses in the City of Los Angeles - paying City of LA wages, rents, insurance and business tax - receive the same point reference on contracting bids as a business operating in Alhambra, Lancaster, Santa Clarita or Torrance.

CHARTER AMENDMENT BB would amend the City Charter to add "City of Los Angeles" to the definition of "local", thereby allowing the City to provide an additional scoring preference for businesses located in the City of LA.

In advance of large regional and global events like the World Cup and 2028 Olympics, this will help bring local businesses into regional supply chains and create much needed economic growth and jobs.

VOTE YES ON CHARTER AMENDMENT BB

PAUL KORETZ
LA City Councilmember, 5th District
City of Los Angeles

RON GALPERIN
LA City Controller
City of Los Angeles

BOB BLUMENFIELD
LA City Councilmember, 3rd District
City of Los Angeles

MARQUEECE HARRIS-DAWSON
LA City Councilmember, 8th District
City of Los Angeles

JESSICA HALL
President and CEO
Central City Association

STUART WALDMAN
President
Valley Industry & Commerce Association

ADAM LANE
Vice President
Los Angeles Business Council

Arguments AGAINST

VOTE NO – This amendment lacks specifics needed to support City of Los Angeles businesses.

Why is a Charter amendment vote required now, when these local business preferences for contracts have been granted and changed by ordinance, without citizen approval?

In August, 2021, an ordinance (187121) regarding local business preference for contracts, repealed two articles and amended one article in the Charter. This ordinance on local business preferences was 9 pages, and did not require that the voters decide.

The City of Los Angeles was not specifically included in last year’s 187121 ordinance as the City of Los Angeles is in the County of Los Angeles, nor was it included in the older ordinance for local business preference. Are the voters now told, with this requested amendment, that the City of Los Angeles businesses have not received any preference for decades?

The latest change (resolution) requesting the vote of the Los Angeles citizens, now includes the City of Los Angeles, but does not have specifics. Could it be because it says bid preference “can be allowed” and that “any standards, definitions and policies for their implementation shall be provided by ordinance”?

More oversight, percentages tracked on contract preferences advertised and filled, with dollars awarded, auditing and reporting of local City of Los Angeles contract preference awarded, is required to fully recognize the development and growth of businesses in the City of Los Angeles.

Replies to Arguments FOR

VOTE NO for Amendment BB

Why didn’t the City Council vote in the Local Business definitions in the Council file 10-2414-S1 in 2010, and then allow it to expire in 2015? The Council began defining a local business and dropped it 5 years later.

In 2011, USC Professor Charles Swenson report on Local Vendor Preferences https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2016/16-0992%20_misc_09-02-2016.pdf ) wrote the City of Los Angeles spends $1,112,589,290 annually and only 16.22% is spent on City of Los Angeles firms.

The argument for this amendment says in “FY2018-2019 local businesses secured one-quarter of one percent or $96,000.00 out of $41.5M in potential contracting dollars.”

This commerce is key to the health of the City of Los Angeles, get it right. Voters and businesses should not vote without specifics or definitions that detail what constitutes a City of Los Angeles business or what contracts these local businesses can bid on, provide a proposal for, or qualify for. No wiggle room should be allowed.

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

An amendment to the Los Angeles City Charter IS REQUIRED to give businesses in the City of LA an ADDITIONAL scoring preference when bidding on City contracts.

The Ordinance referred to in the opposing argument only establishes preference percentages for local businesses. It does not and cannot change the fact that businesses located in the City of Los Angeles still receive no greater scoring preference than those located elsewhere in L ACounty.

Policies, programs, and positions may be adeopted by motion or resolution and the City's municipal and administrative codes may be amended by ordinance. But ONLY Sec. 371a of the City Charter grants the authority to provide a bid preference, and ONLY Los Angeles City voters can amend the City Charter.

This Measure is good for local businesses and good for the residents of Los Angeles.

PLEASE VOTE YES ON CHARTER AMENDMENT BB

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Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure BB

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure BB
Organizations (0)
Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

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