Stephen had great twitter coverage of urbanist election issues last night, but here are a few more links to significant outcomes:
1. Washington state and my home state of Colorado voted to legalize marijuana possession, private use, and in Colorado limited production. Drug policy liberalization is a huge win for cities, as arrest rates among users are higher in urban areas. However, given the current administration’s intolerance for medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal under state laws, I see little reason to hope that the feds won’t prosecute drug users who are in violation of federal but not state laws.
2. In Alexandria, VA voters reelected democratic Mayor William Euille and elected an all democratic city council. This has ramifications for the city’s waterfront redevelopment plan; opponents of increased development have sued, and the case will be heard by the state supreme court this spring. Opponents allege that the zoning change required supermajority support from the city council, but the new democratic plurality makes supermajority support likely.
3. In Escondido, CA voters passed upzoning with Proposition N which will allow increased downtown housing development as well as allow more commercial and industrial development. The city’s conservative leadership supported Proposition N for economic development.
4. Kirk Caldwell was elected mayor of Honolulu. The opposing candidate Ben Cayetano ran on an anti-rail platform. Rail in Oahu is already under construction, but a lawsuit has stalled progress. The elevated 20-mile HART project has a projected $5.2 billion price tag, $1.55 billion of which local officials say will come from the federal government. I don’t know enough about the project to have an opinion on whether or not it’s a good idea.
5. Virginia voters said “yes” on Question 1, requiring authorities to demonstrate public use to employ eminent domain (as opposed to the Kelo public benefit standard).
6. I won my unopposed election for Area Neighborhood Commissioner in DC’s 1B08 district and look forward to being a market urbanist voice in local politics.