Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Sacramento, CA, June 28, 2024—The Californians for Safer Communities (C4SC) Coalition today, a bipartisan group of more than 2,000 elected officials, small businesses, social justice organizations, victims, and law enforcement, voiced their support for the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act (Initiative 23-0017A1), which will appear on the November ballot.

At the press conference, members of the coalition addressed the need to solve the retail theft problem and the fentanyl epidemic. Fentanyl is one of the top killers in California, especially among young adults. Fentanyl-related deaths have increased 1,027% since 2017. In 2017, there were 537 deaths related to fentanyl (and other synthetic opioids), but in 2021, there were at least 6,054 deaths. The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act increases the consequences for the sale of fentanyl by reclassifying it as a hard drug – with the focus of deterring individuals from trafficking fentanyl.

An independent report by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that the number of individuals convicted of a third-drug offense at the state level increased from 11,699 before Prop. 47 to 32,527 following the passage of Prop. 47. It is expected that if the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act passes, incarceration rates will decrease by incentivizing mandatory drug courts, helping the state reduce incarceration recidivism while also achieving its budget goals.

The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act is a compassionate approach to addressing many issues at the top of voters’ minds. Over the past few months, state leaders have prioritized politics over public safety and neglected the need for meaningful change by threatening to amend numerous legislative measures to include poison pills that stipulate if the measure were to be passed by voters, the legislative bills would be rendered inoperable. Despite these attempts by state leaders, the initiative is set to appear on the November ballot and continues to include a diverse coalition of supporters, which coalition members advocating for its passage, including:

“Los Angeles residents are sick and tired of crime without consequence, and they’re fed up with political maneuvering and games. They want real solutions to the public safety and homelessness crises and they are demanding change. Ending this failed social experiment by repealing Prop 47 is the first step in that process.” – Traci Park, Los Angeles City Councilmember (District 11).

“Over the past couple of years, our cities have been impacted by retail crime, drug-related activities, and homelessness. These are priority issues our cities have been looking to address to restore their residents’ quality of life. We have also seen the fentanyl epidemic increase, killing hundreds of Americans every day. Yet, law enforcement lacks the tools to hold traffickers and dealers accountable, which leaves many families and loved ones without any justice for their loved ones who are killed by fentanyl poisoning related deaths.” – Marcel Rodarte, Executive Director of the California Contract Cities Association.

“As a small business owner, the rise in retail theft has impacted our bottom line and the sense of security in our daily operations. This measure gives us hope that there will be real consequences for repeat offenders, helping protect my store and neighbors’ stores and the community we serve.” – Alfonso Dominquez, Owner, Mia Restaurant.

“This measure represents a crucial step towards restoring safety and accountability in our communities. Our city needs more tools so that once we arrest a repeat theft offender, they are not just released with a citation but that there are consequences to deter crimes from happening in the first place. By focusing on repeat offenders and serious drug traffickers, we are addressing core issues that affect the quality of life for all Californians.” – Noel Gallo, Councilmember, City of Oakland.

“Families and victims of drug-related crimes deserve to see justice and safety in their communities. Fentanyl is devastating to so many families who have had a loved one perish because of this drug. We need measures to increase consequences for drug traffickers of this drug and to compel those who are addicted into drug treatment programs.” – Angela Webb, CEO & Executive Director, Arrive Alive, California.

“This measure provides a balance of increasing public safety in our neighborhoods while providing those with serious drug addictions with incentives to complete drug treatment programs by holding them accountable but also offering a foundation for systemic change and a chance for genuine recovery.” – Reverend Jonathon Moseley, Western Regional Director, National Action Network.

Passed in 2014, Prop. 47 aimed to make California’s criminal justice system more equitable. However, it led to unintended consequences over the past decade—repeat and often organized retail theft, inner-city store closings, and difficulty convincing people to seek drug and mental health treatment—that can only be corrected by the voters at the ballot box with reasonable changes to Prop. 47. It is time for meaningful reforms to our justice system, including Prop. 47, which ensures our communities are safe.

The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act (Initiative 23-0017A1) will:

  • Hold those who are committing repeated retail theft and fentanyl sales crimes accountable for the safety and health of our communities.
  • Create accountability for repeat smash-and-grab offenders who drive up costs for all Californians and chase retailers out of the state.
  • Bring back incentives and accountability needed for individuals to get into necessary drug treatment and job training programs — helping them begin new lives. Currently, those arrested multiple times for hard drug use have no incentive to choose treatment with no consequences. 

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Editor
The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

One thought on “The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act has qualified for the November CA Ballot ”
  1. We’ll see what happens. These are the same people that created the problem, and traditionally bills from our legislature do the exact opposite of what they say they’ll do. So we’ll see, but let’s hope it works.

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