As we reflect on what happened on the national stage, the Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates opinion research team is honored to have worked with committed and hard-working campaigns that provided bright spots at the state and local levels.
Voters sent several of our clients to Congress, including:
- Patty Murray (WA)
- Earl Blumenauer (OR 3)
- Lou Correa (CA 46)
- Suzan DelBene (WA 1)
- Jared Huffman (CA 2)
- Ro Khanna (CA 17)
- Derek Kilmer (WA 6)
- Rick Larsen (WA 2)
- Grace Napolitano (CA 32)
- Jimmy Panetta (CA 20)
- Rick Schrader (OR 5)
Nearly a dozen clients are heading to Sacramento to represent their constituents in the Capitol, including:
- Bill Dodd (SD 3)
- Cathleen Galgiani (SD 5)
- Scott Weiner (SD 11)
- Jim Beall (SD 15)
- Anthony Portantino (SD 25)
- Steven Bradford (SD 35)
- Marc Berman (AD 24)
- Ash Kalra (AD 27)
- Anna Caballero (AD 30)
- Raul Bocanegra (AD 39)
- Blanca Rubio (AD 48)
Over the past two years, we worked to elect Darrell Steinberg (Sacramento), Ben McAdams (Salt Lake County) and Greg Stanton (Phoenix) as mayors. In the Pacific Northwest, we congratulate Hilary Franz, Washington’s next commissioner of public lands, and Tobias Read, Oregon’s next state treasurer.
Rep. Janice Hahn won her campaign for Los Angeles County Supervisor with FM3’s research.
Sensible Drug Reform
More than 2.7 million Americans voted in Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada to repeal ineffective, unfair drug laws and legalize marijuana for adults. Voters also cast ballots in favor of medical marijuana in Arkansas.
In addition, Humboldt County (Measure S), Laguna Beach (Measure KK) and Long Beach (Measures MA and MM), voters anticipated the passage of California’s Proposition 64 legalizing marijuana for adults by setting regulations and tax rates.
Two soda taxes – which opponents spent millions unsuccessfully attempting brand as “grocery taxes” – will take effect in San Francisco (Proposition V) and Oakland (Measure HH) next summer. These are the two largest American cities to approve this groundbreaking public health policy.
With 17 statewide measures on the ballot, Californians threw prop parties, consulted voter guides, and sat down with their ballot to consider some sweeping changes.
- Voters showed their support for Prop. 51, providing schools statewide with $9 billion in matching funds for upgrades and repairs.
- With the passage of Prop. 52, funding is guaranteed for 13 million Medi-Cal patients.
- Voters rejected a plan to undermine crucial public infrastructure projects (Prop. 53).
- Despite millions in opposition spending by the tobacco industry, Prop. 56 was approved, raising cigarette taxes by $2 per pack – no longer among the lowest nationwide.
- Californians have roundly rejected Citizens United with approval of Prop. 59.
- Prop. 61, a contentious and confusing measure on drug pricing, was voted down.
- Cutting through a deliberately confusing pair of measures, voters approved Prop. 67 and rejected Prop. 65 – affirming a statewide ban on polluting plastic bags.
Investing in Transportation
Voters across the country agreed to game-changing investments in mass regional transit.
- Los Angeles County’s Measure M was the largest transportation tax measure on the ballot this year, raising $120 billion over the next four decades to transform the county’s transportation infrastructure. The half-cent sales tax measure passed with a resounding 70% of the vote.
- Sound Transit Proposition 1 will fund the major expansion known as ST3, adding 62 miles of light-rail, additional bus-rapid transit lines and more Sounder train capacity in the Seattle region.
- BART’s $3.5 billion bond Measure RR will make crucial upgrades to the 50-year-old regional rail system, which serves 430,000 riders per day in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- The Valley Transit Authority, serving San Jose and Silicon Valley, will have 30 years of funding to ease congestion by extending BART and Caltrain service (Measure B).
- A major expansion of Phoenix’s public transit passed last year with Proposition 104.
In addition, more than two-thirds of voters in Santa Cruz County and Cities of Clearlake and Orinda approved sales taxes to fund traffic relief and pothole repairs.
Funding Parks, Public Safety, Libraries, Roads, and Schools
Los Angeles County approved is the largest local park measure in U.S. history (Measure A), raising $94.5 million in the first year alone. And Missouri voters approved Amendment 1, which provides $90 million per year for their state parks system.
Los Angeles’ community colleges have $3.3 billion to invest in repairs, upgrades and job training programs after voters approved the nation’s largest community college bond measure. And Long Beach Unified School District voters passed a $1.5 billion bond, the largest in California, with more than 73 percent of the vote.
In addition, FM3 helped local governments across the country win voter approval for the funding needed to get things done. That includes funding for crucial services like police and fire protection, street and road repair, parks, and public safety for:
- Southern California: Carson, Compton, Culver City, Downey, Fountain Valley, Hemet, Indio, La Quinta, Laguna Beach, Long Beach (two measures), Lynwood, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Palm Desert, Riverside, San Buenaventura, Santa Paula, Temecula, and Westminster
- The Bay Area: Alameda, East Palo Alto, Hollister, Pittsburg, San Francisco, San Jose (two measures), Santa Rosa, St. Helena, Sonoma County, Solano County, Sunnyvale, and Vallejo
- The Central Valley and Northern California: Wasco, Newman, Visalia, Mountain Communities Healthcare District, and Lakeport
- Outside California: Eastmont Metropolitan Park District (WA) and Smithfield Township (PA)
Clients who faced the challenging two-thirds vote threshold for tax approval – and won – include the Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, Rodeo-Hercules and Apple Valley Fire Protection Districts, the cities of Sanger and Clearlake.
Schools throughout the state will be infused with new funding following the passage of dozens of measures, including:
- K-12 School Bonds: Alhambra USD (two measures), Bakersfield CSD, Barstow USD, Caruthers USD, Central Union HSD, Chino Valley USD, Etiwanda SD, Firebaugh Las-Deltas USD, Fresno USD, Hacienda La Puente USD, Kern HSD, Livermore Valley Joint USD, Lodi USD, Long Beach USD, Montebello USD, Mountain View ESD, Ontario-Montclair SD, Paramount USD, Ravenswood CSD, Red Bluff Joint Union HSD, Sanger USD, San Juan USD, and Santa Barbara USD (two measures).
- Community College Bonds: Chabot-Las Positas, Glendale, Kern, San Jose-Evergreen, Southwestern, State Center, Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Butte-Glenn Community College Districts.
El Paso, Texas, voters approved $668.7 million in bonds for their public schools as well.
Thank you to all the dedicated elected leaders, campaign teams, consultants and volunteers who partnered with us in these efforts. As the fight goes on at the national level, the work you have done – and will continue to do – will make our communities safer, healthier and more fair, year by year.