Proposition 41 Housing for Poor Veterans Wins Big

Ron Kovic demanding shelter for homeless vets in Westwood.
Ron Kovic demanding shelter for homeless vets in Westwood.

UPDATE:  With 100 percent of the precincts counted, this measure was approved in a landslide. See below.

Looks like California voters like the idea of helping out troubled vets with special new housing, as early returns show a strong 65.8 percent in favor of the Veterans Housing & Homeless Bond Act of 2014, with 34.2 percent of voters opposed.

The proposition is being closely watched by angry Vietnam era veterans such as famed anti-war activist and Vietnam vet Ron Kovic and veteran Robert Rosebrock. Rosebrock conducts a weekly protest outside the Westwood Veterans Administration grounds on Wilshire Boulevard because the federal government has failed to build housing for homeless vets on the vast sweep of land.

The VA land was deeded for the sole use of vets in 1888 by John P. Jones and Arcadia B. de Baker, who wanted to ensure that vets had homes.

But Brentwood residents want it turned into a public park - not filled with potentially grubby vets. The VA is leasing much of the property not for veteran use but for entities like a ritzy school and a rental car service.

This proposition, if it passes, will provide money for housing on sites just like the one in Westwood, putting new pressure on the VA to hear out the war veterans.

The vets have gained a new dollop of public sympathy in the wake of Third World-esque scandals in Arizona and other states where veterans' badly needed medical treatment is taking up to a year in some cases, and secret waiting lists have been discovered.

Updated at 10:30 p.m.: 
Veterans Housing & Homeless Bond Act of 2014: YES 1,324,573 65.7%, NO 691,443 34.3%

Updated at 11:40 p.m.:
65.6% have voted in favor of the measure and 34.4% have opposed it. 

Updated at 3:58 a.m.: 
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Yes votes were 1,977,057 or 65.4%. No votes were 1,045,684 or 34.6%.

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