Measure J

Los Angeles County Community Investment and Alternatives to Incarceration

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ALL LOS ANGELES COUNTY—Would require Los Angeles County to 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, prohibiting using those funds for carceral systems or law enforcement agencies. Measure J requires a simple majority (50% + 1) to pass.

Fiscal Impact: Would require no less than 10% of the County budget to be spent on community investment and alternatives to incarceration.

Next Los Angeles County Measure: Measure RR

Details

Pro/Con
Pro: 

Proponents of Measure J argue that the measure is necessary 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. They argue that the measure would shift resources from the criminal justice system to programs proven to address the root causes of crime.

A YES vote on this measure means: Los Angeles County would be required to allocate no less than 10% of its general fund budget to address the disproportionate impact of racial injustice through community investment and alternatives to incarceration.

YesOnJ.Reimagine.LA (Campaign Website)

Con: 

Opponents of Measure J argue that the measure permanently diverts nearly $500 million away from essential workers and critical public services county residents already rely on to a broad wish list of unspecified programs that the County government isn't equipped to manage.

A NO vote on this measure means: Los Angeles County would not be required to allocate no less than 10% of its general fund budget to address the disproportionate impact of racial injustice through community investment and alternatives to incarceration.

NoMeasureJ.com (Campaign Website)

In Depth
In Depth:

Measure J 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 two primary purposes:

1. 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; and
  • Capital funding for transitional housing, affordable housing, supportive housing and restorative care villages.

2. 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.

Measure J would also 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.

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.

Source: County Counsel's Impartial Analysis of Measure J

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