L.A. Weekly’s Jill Stewart Named Campaign Director by ‘Coalition to Preserve L.A.’ for ‘Neighborhood Integrity Initiative’ Development Ballot Measure

In Advocacy, News by AHF

Respected longtime award-winning journalist, editor and political analyst will step down as Managing Editor of L.A. Weekly after nearly a decade at the paper.

LOS ANGELES (January 6, 2016) Jill Stewart, Managing Editor of the L.A. Weekly since 2012 and an award-winning print, digital and broadcast journalist with an extensive background in urban affairs and government reporting, political commentary and analysis, print and digital editing and social media, has been named Campaign Director by the Coalition to Preserve L.A. (CPLA) for the ‘Neighborhood Integrity Initiative.’ The initiative is an upstart City of Los Angeles ballot measure first introduced in mid-November of last year that is intended to curb abusive land use practices and favoritism shown to developers by the City of Los Angeles Planning Department and City Hall. The initiative will help preserve the character of Los Angeles neighborhoods by stopping unlawful amendments by the City Planning Department and by requiring developers to follow the City’s General Plan and other applicable laws in an increasingly overdeveloped Los Angeles.

In her new role as Campaign Director, Stewart will oversee and manage the Coalition to Preserve L.A., a grassroots group of city residents, community and neighborhood groups and L.A. voters concerned about runaway ‘mega-development’ in Los Angeles. She will also manage the strategic longer term planning as well as day-to-day operations of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative ballot measure campaign, which, when qualified, is expected to appear on the November 2016 Los Angeles citywide presidential election ballot.

The respected longtime award-winning journalist, editor and political analyst will step down as Managing Editor of L.A. Weekly in early February after nearly a decade at the paper. Since joining L.A. Weekly in the fall of 2006, Jill has overseen more than 60 staff and freelance writers and editors as well as a sizable freelance budget. In 2012, she was tapped to become managing editor.

During the past two decades, Stewart (photo) also appeared on hundreds of hours of live TV and radio, both as the broadcast host and as the guest, generally focused on analyzing political races, ballot measures and government policies and controversies. She was a political analyst for KNX News Radio’s coverage of the 2014 California gubernatorial race; for FOX-11’s coverage of the 2010 California gubernatorial race, and she contracted with KCAL-9 to provide live TV analysis throughout its coverage of the 2005 Los Angeles mayoral race. She has analyzed California issues for a national TV audience on MSNBC, FOX, CSNBC and CNN, and has appeared extensively on BBC, KPCC, KCRW, KFI and KABC radio. From 1996 to 2002, Jill wrote an award-winning column for New Times-Los Angeles that analyzed the civic institutions and power players who shaped California.

“We are delighted to have a powerhouse like Jill Stewart join the Coalition to Preserve L.A. as Campaign Director to manage and direct what many supporters genuinely see as a quality-of-life ballot initiative here in the City of Los Angeles,” said Michael Weinstein, a Coalition member, one of the ballot measure’s five citizen proponents and the President of AHF. “As a longtime Angeleno and someone who has been covering, reporting on or assigning and editing stories on many of the players and issues involved here for more than a decade, Stewart brings tremendous expertise and institutional knowledge as well as keen political acumen to the table. We could not be happier to welcome Jill to the Coalition to Preserve L.A.”

Reflecting on her transition from the Weekly to the Coalition to Preserve L.A., Stewart said, “I’m leaving L.A. Weekly, a Los Angeles institution filled with tremendous talent and good friends, only after a lot of thought, over several months, about the nature of a meaningful life. I am incredibly proud to be joining a group that is fighting for community and a sense of place, without which this vast and wonderful city would be unlivable.”

In a poll released December 15th by the Coalition to Preserve L.A., 72% of Los Angeles residents surveyed expressed support for the ballot measure requiring developers and elected officials to adhere to the city’s General Plan—which provides an overview of land use and traffic policies—to determine city approval of proposed real estate development projects. Based on an online survey conducted December 3-7th, the final poll of 557 registered City of Los Angeles voters found that 2 out of 3 City residents support the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, a ballot measure sponsored by the Coalition to Preserve LA that would:

  • Halt individual parcel-by-parcel or ‘spot zone’ amendments and/or building exemptions;
  • Enact a temporary, two-year moratorium on building or demolition permits for projects that do not adhere to existing City planning regulations and/or for which the City granted a General Plan amendment, or zone or height change;
  • Take the preparation of a project’s required Environmental Impact Report (EIR) out of the hands of developers; and
  • Limit a developer’s ability to reduce required parking for building developments.
L.A. Weekly managing editor tapped to head campaign against real estate 'mega projects'
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