Two key California propositions that the Bay Area Council has made mission critical for the November election appear to be trending favorably, according to new polling this week. The results indicate that voters have good awareness of the issues and understand what’s at stake, but also show that much work remains to educate voters about how flawed the two propositions are. The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll found that 52 percent of voters oppose Proposition 6, which would repeal the passage last year of legislation (SB 1) that is pouring $5.2 million annually into fixing California’s deteriorating bridges, roads and highways. The Council was a staunch advocate of SB1 and the important investments it is making in cities across the state, and is partnering with a diverse coalition of groups across the state to defeat the measure. A report out this week by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission found that road improvement investments being made in the Bay Area are having a good impact. The report found that increased funding from SB1 and other local sources, such as Oakland’s Measure KK, has halted what had been a steady decline in the overall condition of local roads.
The PPIC survey also held encouraging results for the Council’s continuing work to ease California’s housing crisis. The poll found Proposition 10 trailing by 12 percentage points. Proposition 10, by repealing the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, would open the door for a massive statewide expansion of local rent control, which is almost universally regarded as a deterrent to investment in housing and a long-term driver of reduced housing affordability. A recent study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute found that expanding rent control in Alameda County would reduce housing affordability for more than 10,000 households. Much work remains to defeat these two misguided measures, particularly as absentee ballots begin to arrive in mailboxes in coming weeks and campaigns ramp up advertising.