L.A. Measure J: Ballot Measure to Cut Public Safety by 10%

With the promise of social workers not cops, therapy instead of incarceration, studies instead of safety, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors refused to cut the public safety budget.  Instead they put a measure on the ballot to cut safety in the County by 10%.  Then the Board will give out contracts to academics, non profits, friends and donors—while criminals are let loose and more victims are crated.

“And so we elect local political leaders who run government to fine-tune the details. But here in Los Angeles County, four of those leaders on our powerful Board of Supervisors punted on their responsibility to properly budget themselves by placing on this fall’s ballot Measure J, which would “permanently allocate at least 10% of existing locally-controlled revenues … to be directed to community investment and alternatives to incarceration.”

I am too old to be subtle.  This 10% is a slush fund for politicians to buy friends, supporters and donors.  Corruption?  Only if the voters agree corruption is a good thing.  Vote NO on Measure J in L.A. County.

Vote no on ballot-box-budgeting Measure J in L.A. County

By The Editorial Board, Daily Bulletin,  9/26/20   

Far from being as politically and socially hidebound as they are made out to be, it’s amazing how swiftly people’s views can change when they see with their own eyes the magnitude of a problem they had overlooked before.

After witnessing on video the entirely unwarranted police killing of George Floyd this year, millions of Americans — by no means all the kinds of folks who would ever march in the streets — have understood that justice has a long way to go in our country, and that the way we do law enforcement needs to change.

Eyes opened in recent years for other reasons, many Californians see now that mass incarceration does more harm than good to our society, and that people who are homeless because they are mentally ill are not best dealt with by officers who are not social workers. Defund the police? Most of us just want to see our taxpayer dollars spent in more efficient, productive ways.

And so we elect local political leaders who run government to fine-tune the details. But here in Los Angeles County, four of those leaders on our powerful Board of Supervisors punted on their responsibility to properly budget themselves by placing on this fall’s ballot Measure J, which would “permanently allocate at least 10% of existing locally-controlled revenues … to be directed to community investment and alternatives to incarceration.”

The supervisors could instead do what we elected them to: Make that decision themselves. That’s why, well-meaning as the measure is, it’s also a massive cop-out by our electeds. Why be reluctant to make the hard call? Why even consider this such a hard call, given that their constituents are increasingly for preventative rather than punitive approaches that will ease homelessness and block the school-to-prison pipeline? Who are they afraid of — law-enforcement unions? We elect our leaders both to be bold and to be detail-oriented. They wrote the old county budget. So, rewrite it and spend with Angelenos’ new priorities in mind.

Kathryn Barger, the only supervisor opposing J, rightly says: “This amendment will tie the hands of future boards, preventing them from acting nimbly to meet the public’s needs in real time.”

Vote no on Measure J, and then lobby your supervisors to spend your money wisely.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

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