April 22, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Real Estate Giant Funds LAPD Union Fund to Sway L.A. City Council Election in March

Santa Monica Company Responsible for LA’s Largest Mass Eviction Gives $400,000

Santa Monica-based Real estate investment trust company Douglas Emmett donated $400,000 to the Los Angeles Police Protective League. The police union is backing a committee that seeks to unseat progressive Councilwoman Nithya Raman, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Douglas Emmett’s contribution is part of a larger effort, with independent expenditures totaling at least $789,000, aimed at supporting Deputy City Attorney Ethan Weaver’s bid for the council. Raman, representing the 4th City Council district encompassing areas from Koreatown through the Hollywood Hills to North Hollywood, has faced criticism in political attack ads focusing on homelessness and public safety. 

It’s not the first time that the company has contributed to campaigns in local politics. In the highly contentious race for the CD 11 City Council District election in 2022, Douglass Emmett also contributed $400,000 to the campaign of Traci Park, who won the race over fellow candidate Erin Darling. The contribution was given to Park’s campaign in a similar manner through the Los Angeles Police Protective League. 

The councilwoman opposed an ordinance preventing homeless encampments near schools and daycare centers and voted against substantial pay raises for the police. 

The real estate investment trust is currently involved in efforts to evict hundreds of tenants from Barrington Plaza, a major apartment complex in West Los Angeles. The property is at the center of a tenant lawsuit regarding mass evictions. 

President of the Police Protective League, Craig Lally, expressed concern over Raman’s policy positions, particularly regarding homeless encampments near schools, stating they are “out of touch” with voters, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. Raman defended her record, citing reductions in crime and homelessness in her district since taking office in 2020.

Weaver, Raman’s opponent, received support from the LAPD union and defended endorsements from various segments of the real estate industry, emphasizing his role in addressing the housing crisis.

Douglas Emmett’s press representative responded to a request for a comment with a statement that says, “From time to time, Douglas Emmett engages in public policy advocacy in support of our real estate business and the office and multifamily real estate sectors through ongoing and constructive interactions with government officials, policymakers and stakeholder groups. Our advocacy activities are directed toward creating value for our stockholders and other stakeholders without regard to the personal political affiliations or views of any individual Douglas Emmett officer, employee, or board member.  We comply with all laws governing political activity, including all lobbying registration and disclosure laws.  While we are committed to transparency, we do not discuss the specific reasons for our contributions. Our full policy can be found here.

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