“Reimagine Los Angeles” Ballot Initiative Will Strip Almost $1 Billion From Law Enforcement, Court System
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a ballot initiative that would strip almost $1 billion in funding from the county court system and law enforcement, giving the county’s voters the option of enacting a defunding of police that possibly outpaces anything enacted by any city in the country.
The “Reimagine Los Angeles” ballot initiative strips the courts and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of around $890 million in funds, distributing ten percent of the city’s unallocated budget towards jail alternatives, social work, mental health treatment and other alternatives to the justice system.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva slammed the proposal of the ballot initiative, likening it to a defunding of the sheriff’s department that would recreate the apocalyptic atmosphere of the ‘Mad Max’ films.
The @LACountyBOS just pushed forward agenda item 51-C, advancing the campaign to cont. defunding @LASDHQ & change public safety forever. Do YOU share their opinions? If you don’t want your streets to look like a scene from Mad Max, use your VOICE to tell the board what you think pic.twitter.com/Rzzh9nGo6l
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) July 21, 2020
The sheriff later explained that he’d have to close police precincts and cut back on personnel available for police patrol in the event the initiative passes.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger was the only member of the county board to vote against placing the proposal on the ballot, citing the large personnel cuts its approval would force the county to make, the questionable legality and vagueness of Reimagine Los Angeles, and her general opposition to defunding the police.
Supervisors Hilda Solis, Sheila Kuehl, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Janice Hahn all voted to approve it, and it’ll be up to Los Angeles County voters to determine its fate in November.