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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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County

Los Angeles County
Measure J Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passing

2,159,690 votes yes (57.12%)

1,621,198 votes no (42.88%)

COMMUNITY INVESTMENT AND ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION MINIMUM COUNTY BUDGET ALLOCATION. Shall the measure, annually allocating in the County’s budget no less than ten percent (10%) of the County’s locally generated unrestricted revenues in the general fund to address the disproportionate impact of racial injustice through community investment and alternatives to incarceration and prohibiting using those funds for carceral systems and law enforcement agencies as detailed in the ordinance adopting the proposed charter amendment, be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Mary C. Wickham, County Counsel

Measure J is a proposed charter amendment placed on the ballot by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ("Board"). If approved by the voters, the measure would implement an ordinance amending Section 11 of Article III of the Charter of the County of Los Angeles ("County").

The measure would set aside at least ten percent (10%) of the County's locally generated unrestricted revenues in the general fund, as determined annually in the budget process or as set forth in the County's Code or regulations, to be annually allocated towards the following primary purposes:

- Direct Community Investment, including: community-based youth development programs; job training and jobs to low-income residents; access to capital for small minority-owned businesses; rent assistance, housing vouchers and supportive services to those at-risk of losing their housing or without stable housing; capital funding for transitional housing, affordable housing, supportive housing and restorative care villages; and,

- Alternatives to Incarceration, including: community-based restorative justice programs; pre-trial non-custody services and treatment; community-based health services, such as counseling, wellness and prevention programs, mental health and substance use disorder services; and non-custodial diversion and reentry programs.

The set-aside revenues cannot replace monies otherwise allocated for the foregoing categories as set forth in theCounty's Code or regulations.

The measure would prohibit the set-aside revenues from being used for any carceral system or law enforcement agencies, including the County's Sheriff's Department, District Attorney, Probation Department, or the Los Angeles County Superior Courts, and would prevent redistribution of funds through those entities. This prohibition would not extend to court facilities and expenditures required pursuant to State law, including the Trial Court Facilities Act of 2002, the Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act of 1997, other mandatory fines and fees, or any other County commitments required by law.

The measure would enable set-aside revenues to phase in over a three-year period beginning on July 1, 2021, to the full set-aside amount by June 30, 2024. The measure requires the Board to establish an inclusive and transparent process for the allocation of the set-aside funds.

While the measure, if approved by the voters, may be repealed only by a subsequent vote of the electorate on an amendment to the Los Angeles County Charter, the Board may, by a four-fifths vote, reduce the set-aside in the event of a declared fiscal emergency that threatens the County's ability to fund mandated programs.

The measure requires a majority vote for passage.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Measure J to address the disproportionate impact of racial injustice by prioritizing health, housing, youth development and jobs in low-income and underserved communities—with a particular focus on Black, Brown, and low-income communities.

Vote YES on Measure J to make sure that a minimum of 10% of EXISTING local county revenue is guaranteed to be invested in community safety, housing stability, and care.

Vote YES on Measure J because it is clear that now is the moment to re-imagine L.A. County and make sure our county government budget reflects our shared values and priorities.

Vote YES on Measure J to:

--Increase community based counseling and mental health services

--Prioritize restorative justice programs

--Expand job training and placement support

--Create housing that is affordable to working people

--Support small businesses

-Scale up mentoring and youth development programs

Vote YES to shift resources from the criminal justice system to programs proven to address the root causes of crime. Incarceration and punishment are ineffective at treating poverty, mental illness, and a lack of housing.

Vote YES on Measure J because it is fiscally responsible and holds our elected leaders accountable. This is NOT a new tax--instead it will gradually and responsibly phase in the 10% budget set aside of existing local revenues over a four-year period. The funding set aside could be paused by the Board of Supervisors in a fiscal emergency. The measure promotes transparency by requiring an annual budgeting process that is flexible, but with a clear framework of eligible and non-eligible uses.

In these unprecedented times, we need real, meaningful change. Vote YES on Measure J to prioritize health, housing, and economic investment in communities across L.A. County.

ELISE BUIK

President & CEO, United Way of Greater L.A.

PATRISSE CULLORS

Chair, Reform L.A. Jails

HECTOR VILLAGRA

Executive Director, ACLU of Southern California

DAN LANGFORD

Executive Secretary-Treasurer and CEO,

SW Regional Council of Carpenters

ISAAC BRYAN

Director of Public Policy, UCLA Ralph J. Bunche

Center for African American Studies

Arguments AGAINST

Measure J has good intentions, but the consequences will be painful.

Vote No on Measure J.

No on Measure J – the county is struggling just to provide existing services

- Measure J permanently diverts nearly $500,000,000.00 away from essential workers and critical public services county residents already rely on to a broad wish list of unspecified programs county government isn't equipped to manage.

- The county is still struggling to help get us through the COVID-19 crisis and decrease homelessness.

- Permanently diverting hundreds of millions of dollars from essential services into a whole new set of unspecified programs during a health and economic crisis will hurt the people it's designed to help.

No on Measure J – puts the safety of our neighborhoods at risk

- Measure J permanently takes $500,000,000.00 in funding away from where it is needed the most—emergency response workers, nurses, 911 operators, public safety officers, social workers, and other essential workers.

No on Measure J – big political promises and no explanation of consequences

- The Los Angeles Times called it a "bad idea" and a "poor substitute for careful study, deliberation, and decision making."

- Measure J is cloaked in progressive words and big political promises, but no plan to implement and no specific fiscal accountability to make sure the money is spent effectively.

- Four county politicians rushed Measure J to the ballot without assessing the consequences of how permanently diverting nearly half a billion dollars away from essential county services will harm our neighborhoods.

We all want more people in Los Angeles to succeed, but all Measure J actually does is permanently divertnearly $500,000,000.00 away from essential county services into a whole new wish list of programs the county can't effectively manage.

Vote No on Measure J.

More information: ProtectEssentialWorkers.com

KATHRYN BARGER

Chair, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

DAVID SIFUENTES

Retired Firefighter

LAMBERT ADOUKI

Long Beach Community Organizer

MARIA BOWSA

Retired Registered Nurse

Replies to Arguments FOR

VOTE NO on MEASURE J – the $500,000,000.00 essential services cut.

Measure J fails to solve racial injustice.

— Measure J asks voters to "Re-imagine LA" where racial injustice will somehow be fixed by PERMANENTLY cutting nearly $500,000,000.00 from essential services provided by the county's emergency response workers, nurses, 911 operators, social workers, and more.

— Measure J PERMANENTLY diverts nearly $500,000,000.00 to unspecified programs that sound politically appealing today, but cannot be effectively implemented by County Supervisors.

Measure J hurts the people they say they're trying to help.

— Many of the people and communities who need additional investments to succeed in today's difficult economy would lose nearly half a billion dollars in resources under Measure J.

— Workers who provide essential county services more often come from and serve communities of color. Measure J PERMANENTLY shifts nearly $500,000,000.00 away from those essential services and jobs into growing the government bureaucracy.

Measure J PERMANENTLY diverts nearly $500,000,000.00 into the hands of county politicians who keep failing us.

— Voters gave County Supervisors millions of dollars to fix homelessness. The crisis has only gotten worse.

— Voters entrusted County Supervisors to help us get through the COVID-19 health crisis. LA County has the most infections and deaths in California while more people face unemployment as businesses shutter.

County Supervisors keep failing to solve the crises threatening our safety and well-being right now.

Why would we PERMANENTLY give County Supervisors $500,000,000.00 to keep failing us on a whole new set of unspecified programs?

VOTE NO on MEASURE J.

More information at NoMeasureJ.com

DON KNABE

Los Angeles County Supervisor, Retired

LAMBERT ADOUKI

Long Beach Community Organizer

DAVID SIFUENTES

Retired Firefighter

RICHARD CLOSE

Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association President

KATHLEEN CADY

Children's Advocacy Center Co-Founder

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Vote Yes on Measure J

For far too long our underserved and marginalized communities across L.A. County have been left out and left behind, with fatal public health consequences. Measure J will change this.

The lack of investment has driven higher levels of poverty and shorter life expectancy for Black, Brown and low-income people. The pandemic has made this inequity even more clear.

While voting YES on Measure J is about creating a more just and equitable future that reflects our shared values, the opponents of Measure J prefer to use fear tactics to maintain the broken status quo.

Over 100 organizations with a track record of fighting for justice, community investment, health and wellness say Yes on Measure J.

National Union of Healthcare Workers, Black Lives Matter L.A., Community Coalition, Frontline Wellness Network, UNITE HERE! Local 11, and many more have all called for bold and permanent action to improve public safety and prioritize our communities. Measure J does exactly that.

--YES on Measure J – Increases public safety by funding programs that proactively address and treat the root causes of crime.

--YES on Measure J – Increases public safety by funding mental health treatment and counseling.

--YES on Measure J – Ensures that at least 10% of EXISTING County funds are fairly dispersed through a transparent, inclusive process for impacted communities-- rather than being allocated through backroom deals to campaign contributors.

Re-Imagine L.A. County, vote YES on Measure J.

www.MeasureJforLA.com

BELTRAN CHOW, LCSW

Enriched Residential Services Program Coordinator

DAHLIA FERLITO, MPH

Health Educator

LIZ SUTTON, LCSW

Enriched Residential Services Program Manager

ANDREA PASQUINI

Registered Nurse

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

ORDINANCE NO. 2020-0040

An ordinance calling a special election to be held on November 3, 2020, throughout the County of Los Angeles for the purpose of voting upon an amendment to the Los Angeles County Charter and directing the consolidation of the election with the statewide general election to be held on the same day.

The Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles ordains as follows:

SECTION 1. Call of Election and Purpose. A special election is hereby called, proclaimed and ordered to be held on November 3, 2020, for the purpose of voting upon a proposed amendment to the Charter of the County of Los Angeles.

SECTION 2. Resolution Establishing Form of Proposition. The exact form of the Proposition as it is to appear on the ballot and the complete text of the proposed amendment is as follows:

PROPOSED COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT.

COMMUNITY INVESTMENT AND ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION MINIMUMCOUNTY BUDGET ALLOCATION.

Shall the measure, annually allocating in the County's budget no less than ten percent (10%) of theCounty's locally generated unrestricted revenues in the general fund to address the disproportionateimpact of racial injustice through community investment and alternatives to incarceration andprohibiting using those funds for carceral systems and law enforcement agencies as detailed in theordinance adopting the proposed charter amendment, be adopted?

YES

 

 

 

NO

 

 

PROPOSITION J

This Proposition shall become effective only if it is submitted to the voters at the election held on November 3, 2020 and is approved. The Charter amendment shall become operative on July 1, 2021.

First: Section 11 of Article III of the Charter of the County of Los Angeles is amended to read:

Section 11. It shall be the duty of the Board of Supervisors:

(1) To appoint all County officers other than elective officers, and all officers, assistants, deputies, clerks, attaches [14] and employees whose appointment is not provided for by this Charter. [15]

...

(8) To allocate, in compliance with all laws and regulations, the County's locally generated unrestricted revenues in the general fund as follows:

A. Set aside a baseline minimum threshold of at least ten percent (10%) of the County's locally generated unrestricted revenues in the general fund (Net County Cost), as determined annually in the budget process or as otherwise set forth in the County Code or regulations, to be allocated on an annual basis, after input from, among others, the public and County departments at a public hearing, for the following primary purposes:

 

i. Direct Community Investment.

1. Community-based youth development programs.

2. Job training and jobs to low-income residents focusing on jobs that support the implementation of the "Alternatives to Incarceration" workgroup recommendations as presented to the County Board of Supervisors on March 10, 2020, especially construction jobs for the expansion of affordable and supportive housing, restorative care villages, and a decentralized system of care.

3. Access to capital for small minority-owned businesses, with a focus on Black-owned businesses.

4. Rent assistance, housing vouchers and accompanying supportive services to those at-risk of losing their housing, or without stable housing.

5. Capital funding for transitional housing, affordable housing, supportive housing, and restorative care villages with priority for shovel-ready projects.

ii. Alternatives to Incarceration.

1. Community-based restorative justice programs.

2. Pre-trial non-custody services and treatment.

3. Community-based health services, health promotion, counseling, wellness and prevention programs, and mental health and substance use disorder services.

4. Non-custodial diversion and reentry programs, including housing and services.

B. The set aside shall not be used for any carceral system or law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Los Angeles County Superior Courts, or Los Angeles County Probation Department, including any redistribution of funds through those entities. This restriction does not extend to State law requiring the County to fund court facilities and expenditures, including, but not limited to, the Trial Court Facilities Act of 2002 (2002 Senate Bill No. 1732) and Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act of 1997 (1997 Assembly Bill No. 233), other mandatory fines and fees, or any other County commitments to the extent required by law.

C. The unrestricted revenues that are set aside shall phase in over a three-year period, beginning July 1, 2021, and incrementally grow to the full set-aside by June 30, 2024, pursuant to the procedures codified in the County Budget Act in the Government Code.

D. The set aside cannot supplant monies otherwise allocated for the same categories listed in Subsection (8)(A), as defined and set forth in the County Code or regulations.

E. The Board of Supervisors shall establish an inclusive and transparent process on the allocation of funds set aside by this Subsection (8).

F. Notwithstanding this Subsection (8), the Board of Supervisors may, by a four-fifths vote, reduce the set-aside in the event of a fiscal emergency, as declared by the Board of Supervisors, that threatens the County's ability to fund mandated programs.

Second: In the event that the amendment to the Charter of Los Angeles County contained in this Proposition is rendered inoperative because of the actions of any court, legislative or other body, or for any other reason, the provisions of the County Charter in effect on November 3, 2020, shall remain in full force and effect.

Third: If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Proposition is for any reason held to be invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the remaining sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words of this amendment to Section 11 of Article III of the Charter. The voters of the County of Los Angeles declare that they would have independently adopted each section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Proposition irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words of this amendment to Section 11 of Article III is declared invalid or unenforceable.

SECTION 3. Consolidation. The special election shall be consolidated with the statewide general election to be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The Proposition shall be placed upon the same ballot as that provided for the general election. The precincts, polling places, or vote centers, and precinct board members shall be the same as provided for the statewide general election.

SECTION 4. Proclamation. Pursuant to section 12001 of the Elections Code, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles hereby PROCLAIMS that a special countywide election shall be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, to vote upon the Charter Amendment described in Section 2 of this Ordinance.

SECTION 5. Effective Date. Pursuant to Section 9141 of the Elections Code and Section 25123 of the Government Code, this Ordinance shall take effect upon the adoption thereof.

SECTION 6. Authority. This Ordinance is adopted pursuant to sections 23720, 23730, and 23731 of the Government Code, and sections 9141,10402, 10403, and 12001 of the Elections Code.

SECTION 7. Publication. This Ordinance shall be published once before the expiration of 15 days after its passage in a daily newspaper of general circulation, printed, published and circulated in the County of Los Angeles pursuant to Government Code section 25124.

The Executive Officer-Clerk of the Board of Supervisors is ordered to file a copy of this Ordinance with the Registrar-Recorder at least 88 days prior to the day of the election.

More information

Contact Info

Yes on Measure J
Measure J for LA
No on Measure J
Protect Essential Workers
No Measure J
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Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure J

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure J

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

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