Yes on Measure LA: funds LACCD campuses’ betterment

By Beatriz Garay

In the California election Nov. 8, voters should pass Measure LA as it will help the Los Angeles Community College District by providing critical funding for its campuses’ infrastructure, technology and other desperately needed upgrades.

This measure may seem as another tax increase on their budgets, but it should be seen as an opportunity for investment. The benefits from the measure outweigh the harm that can come from it.

East Los Angeles College economics professor M. Allen Coson said, “[Measure LA] will positively assist all nine colleges by ensuring that buildings are up to date as most have been built well over 50 years ago. This would include projects such as proper air conditioning systems, filtration, UV lighting systems, Wi-Fi and cellular booster for service.” 

If the public were to invest money into the colleges, it would greatly encourage college-bound students to attend the updated colleges. This would, in turn, boost the  revenue for these schools. 

It can ensure taxpayers know that their money is going to good use in providing students with a good education. 

“We know that the only real way to escape generational poverty is through a college education. As a faculty member, a former community college student and a first-generation college student I know the value of a good college education,” Rogelio Garcia, ELAC associate professor of political science, said.

There are benefits this measure provides people in terms of getting higher education, but it does not really help people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck or with limited resources. 

“The amount of money to be asked of residents, between $88 to $157 annually in property taxes for the next 40 years, is a lot of money considering inflation and the decrease in purchasing power by consumers. Many families will need every single dollar to get by, especially if a family is renting in the Los Angeles area, as the homeowners are more likely to pass it on to their tenants via rent,” Coson said.

Even though there will be an increase on taxes for property owners, voters have to think of  how the measure would benefit the L.A. community as a whole. It might be a bit difficult to consider the cost at first. 

Garcia said, “Like any tax, the question ought to be, what value or benefit am I getting? The answer to that is easy. We are getting a well-funded educational institution that is able to deliver on its mission to educate, uplift and inspire the communities where we live. It is less of a tax and more of an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.” 

Despite being a big pill to swallow, voters should not dismiss Measure LA just because it scares them. 

Young people and adults who can not afford to attend four-year schools look to community colleges to begin their college education. This is why it’s important for the measure to pass. It is a more affordable start to their education.

There has been a decrease in enrollment at the LACCD. Part of the decrease is due to COVID-19.Many families lost their jobs, had to be caretakers, or had to take on jobs to help make ends meet. 

This slowed enrollment. With Measure L.A. passing, it will not only help enrollment increase as L.A. heads into post-pandemic mode, but it will also provide more opportunities for people to improve their lifestyle. 

A move that can give them the better life that they want.  

“Infrastructure is a very broad term that can include things like improved technology, labs, services, and creating green spaces. These things will make our colleges both more competitive and more appealing which in turn will increase enrollment rates,” Garcia said.

Regardless of how this measure is voted on, it’s proposed that if more attention is put on updating campuses, there will be an increase of people wanting to go to college because it will probably have resources to help people achieve more in life. 

Even if the measure does not fix all the problems within the community colleges, it will show voters that the state of California does care about its students. 

This would mean voters can do what is best for them in terms of getting a good education and pursuing a better future.

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