Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pomona election measures wrapup

Did you know that the results by community and by district are out on the County's web site? (Click on "votes cast by community".) These numbers do not include late absentee and provisional ballots, but do include all absentees verified prior to election day, as well as all regularly voted ballots.

Some thoughts:

  • Measure T would have resulted in North Pomona and Phillips Ranch electing councilmembers for the center city and South Pomona. Despite District 5 having over 20% less population than the other districts, District 5 has the second highest number of votes cast out of all of the six council districts. District 6, in north Pomona, has the highest voter population in the area, although this may have been boosted by competitive local races. Measure T received a majority in District 1, yet how would west Pomona feel about Phillips Ranch picking their council person? It is easy to see how passage of this would have led immediately to legal action for violation of the Voting Rights Act.
  • Charter reform too complicated? The Charter Reform Commission's changes failed to register with voters. There was a substantial dropoff in votes recorded for this measure, compared to the other measures. For some reason, Phillips Ranch voters (District 5) rejected Measure U in greater numbers than the rest of the city.
  • Hotel tax increase fails narrowly: Although unlikely, it could still pass once all absentee and provisional ballots are counted. District 4 (east Pomona) passed the measure while all other districts rejected it in similar percentages. The property transfer tax failed more substantially.
  • Why does Phillips Ranch hate the library? In District 5, Measure X failed by a 51-49 margin. Only District 2 (southwest Pomona), where the library is actually located, passed it by the sufficient 2/3 margin. District 6 in North Pomona also notably had reduced levels of support for the library, with a 59/41 split. When you consider that District 5 and 6 comprised 20% and 24% of the citywide vote, respectively, while District 2 only had 12% of the citywide vote, the measure was doomed to failure if people in the outer areas of Pomona don't feel connected to the City. District 5 and 6 are generally more affluent than the rest of Pomona, and for those who need to use a library, the libraries in Diamond Bar, La Verne, and Claremont are closer to them than Pomona's. County libraries don't have the historic breadth of Pomona's, but they are much better at stocking new and popular material than the Pomona library.

    How was the campaign in Phillips Ranch? How was the campaign in general? While my Pomona residence received door knockers and canvassers for some of the mayoral candidates and John Mendoza, there did not appear to be any mailers or canvassers for the library tax. The campaign seemed to be yard signs (who don't vote), articles in the newspaper, and neighbors talking to each other, which works great in areas which support the library. Although there was no organized opposition, there was the sentiment out of many people that libraries are a non essential service and that Pomona could mooch off other cities' libraries. How did the pro-library tax people counter that perception? For those in Phillips Ranch, did you see people talking about the library tax? 
Later we'll look at the mayor's race and individual council races by precinct. You can review the citywide results by district here.


John Clifford said...


I can say that with limited funds, the library support was limited to areas that are traditional high-probability voters. Phillips Ranch, Ganesha Hills, Yorba, and much of North Pomona, and large parts of district 1 were blanketed with door hangers in the final week. There was also a phone banking effort made of only likely voters.

Actually, I think that a 60+% favorable in this climate, with only 6 weeks to mount and run an all-volunteer campaign (no war chest so no ability to hire a consultant).

Thanks Cal for your analysis. We do appreciate it.

Erin R said...

I would like to emphasize the fact that volunteers spent hours making phone calls and talking to people. Given the limitations mentioned by John, it was a strategy that provided a better time/area-coverage ratio than going door to door. (So no, the campaign was not just yard signs).

Erin R said...

As former library director Bruce Guter noted, more people voted for the library than voted for the mayor.

meg said...

Erin, where did the library director say this? Was there some sort of publicly-readable discussion? I'd be very interested.

I'm still having trouble believing that anyone would vote against the library parcel tax. I guess I live in a dream world of my own design.

The whole thing just breaks my heart, though.

Erin R said...

No it was in an email to the taskforce (I just wanted to give credit for the observation), but you can check out the data in the election results linked in Calwatch's post. The library got 2885 more votes than the Mayor. The only thing that got a higher response in the Pomona election was no on W.

Erin R said...

Oh Meg, you missed the crazy mailer by the California Association of Realtors Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee which called Measure X a wolf in sheep's clothing.

It seems that realtors were speaking on behalf of absentee landowners who resented giving $38/year to the community where they make their profit. Who's the real wolf?

calwatch said...

What kind of lists did the pro-X side use? Filtered by past voting history (you can purchase these from Political Date and similar companies) or just high propensity voters? How come there was no call for volunteers to do outreach on the Facebook page or the SOPPL page?

I'm not doubting that the pro-X people had a lot of heart, but note that Pomona residents almost passed Measure J by the appropriate 2/3 majority (the rest of the county shot it down), despite Measure J providing little benefit to our area, since it did not fund the Gold Line extension to Claremont.

Meg, a lot of people would vote against the library. I've talked to them, and they said that it is not essential when you have a fire station closing down and a threadbare police department. They say that if any child wanted to study or read, they would find another place to do so if they wanted to learn. Remember that people received their property tax bill in October, and for many of them, it went up due to a slightly higher bond rate and the normal 2% inflation adjustment. They might have seen their bill go up $100, and the $38 would make a difference.

John Clifford said...

Cal. The lists were high propensity voters. They were donated. Remember that we had a budget of $0 when we started this 6-7 weeks before the election so we had to use what was readily available to us. Could it have been better? Absolutely, with time and money a lot of things would have been done differently. This was a truly grass roots effort.

theabc said...

Having lived in Phillips Ranch for 1989-2003 and then in District 6 from 03-2011 I can tell you why they didn't vote for Measure X. PR is basically a poor man's Diamond Bar seperate from the rest of Pomona. I've gone to the DBar library countless times, though the Pomona library only a handful of times. Diamond Bar is much more familiar to the PR resident than is downtown Pomona and the income levels of Dbar are much higher to match. When I lived with my parents as a kid, going into Pomona was a rarity aside from visiting the now defunct Price Club. Phillips Ranch wants nothing to do with Pomona.

theabc said...

as I stated elsewhere, I think the proponents should have targeted renters and those who don't know about property taxes. For renters can vote on property taxes even though they are directly levied on them, so why would they care unless the land owner raises the rent? I think that should have been their target audience.

"Vote for Measure X, it makes no difference to you. What do you care? You won't have to pay for it. Just vote X!"

LinknPark said...

In response to theabc....totally faulty thinking there. You are assuming that landlords wouldn't raise rents on renters to compensate for increased property taxes. People that rent already know this because it happens every time landlords are hit with new property taxes.

Anonymous said...

Hoping that the "real Pomona voters" know how to spell "separate" correctly.

The Phillips Ranch people seem to spell it incorrectly, even with the "benefit" of the Diamond Bar Truly Excellent Library ! LOL