LA WATCHDOG--On Tuesday, July 21, the County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion, Reimaging LA County,
by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis to place on the November 3rd ballot a measure to amend the County Charter that will direct the County to allocate at least 10% of its “locally generated unrestricted revenues in the general fund” to Direct Community Investment and Alternatives to Incarceration. (See below)
This will involve the “redistribution of resources” to “address racial injustice, over-reliance on law enforcement interventions, health disparities, and housing disparities.” According to the motion, it is time to Reimagine Los Angeles County.
Under the County’s current budget, $3.7 billion (42%) of its $8.8 billion general fund revenue is allocated to law enforcement and legal system uses. But according to the motion, this allocation does not reflect the Board’s values and priorities.
This is a direct shot at the Sheriff’s budget that will add fuel to the existing battle between the Supervisors and Sheriff Alex Villanueva. If $880 million is taken from the $3.7 billion law enforcement and the legal system budget, it would represent a 24% cut their budget. This will result in a bare-knuckles fight to the death.
While this proposed ballot measure does not involve a tax increase, it is a rush to the ballot where we have not had the opportunity to review and analyze all of the implications of the redistribution of resources away from public safety or the implementation of the plans involving Direct Community Investment and Alternative to Incarceration.
Just what we need: another controversial ballot measure on the November ballot.
Direct Community Investment
- Community-based youth development programs
- Job training and jobs to low-income residents focusing on jobs that support the implementation of the “Alternatives to Incarceration” workgroup recommendations, especially construction jobs for the expansion of affordable and supportive housing, and a decentralized system of care
- Access to capital for small minority-owned businesses, with a focus on Black-owned businesses
- Rent assistance, housing vouchers and accompanying supportive services to those at-risk of losing their housing, or without stable housing
- Capital funding for transitional housing, affordable housing, and supportive housing
Alternatives to Incarceration
- Community-based restorative justice programs
- Pre-trial non-custody services and treatment
- Community-based health services, health promotion, counseling, wellness and prevention programs, and mental health and substance use disorder services
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: [email protected].) Graphic credit: The Real Deal.