July 28, 2020 — This morning, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting included the continued discussion about a proposed ballot initiative seeking to “redistribute” funding away from public safety. If approved by LA County voters this November, public safety resources for the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and County Probation would be significantly cut.
In a 4-1 (Supervisor Barger again standing alone as the NO vote) decision this afternoon, the Board of Supervisors voted once more to place this ballot measure with a proposed County Charter amendment on the ballot for the November 2020 election. This will ultimately require voters to decide whether to endorse a reconfiguration of allocations for LA County budget priorities, which would represent a potential 10% defunding of public safety. These funds would then be reallocated to “address racial injustice, over-reliance on law enforcement interventions, limited economic opportunity, health disparities, and housing instability.”
PPOA President Tab Rhodes and a number of concerned PPOA members addressed the County Supervisors via phone during the online hearing this morning. This is the statement from President Rhodes:
“My name is Tab Rhodes, I am President of the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association. PPOA continues to be profoundly concerned about this issue, and very much opposed to this last minute approach to a charter amendment, which could have a devastating effect on county residents. Ballot box budgeting is nothing more than a complete abdication of your elected responsibility as fiduciaries. We agree with the LA Times, it’s ‘a bad idea and poor substitute for careful study, deliberation and decision making.’
We strongly urge the Honorable Supervisors of the Board to scrutinize the in-depth legal opinion provided to each of your offices by ALADS yesterday, which hopefully reiterates a few of our concerns.
Additionally, WHY should unionized county workers, who through this pandemic have been considered ESSENTIAL as disaster service workers by definition, NOW face potential layoffs?
PPOA, to protect our members, and the jobs of other union members of Los Angeles County, we join our brothers and sisters as partners in labor coalitions as well as many civic organizations, in opposition of not only this motion, but if need be in defeating this dangerous ballot measure in November.”
Due to time constraints placed on public comments, this 1-minute statement was a summary of the full letter President Rhodes mailed to the Board of Supervisors today. Click here to read that letter.
We are sincerely grateful to PPOA members who volunteered to express opposition to the Supervisors during public comment this morning. Calling in to the weekly meeting can be a lengthy, frustrating experience, and we appreciate our members’ dedication and perseverance. We also want to thank countless PPOA members who answered our call to action last week and generated HUNDREDS of emails to the Board of Supervisors to ensure that our opposition to budget redistribution was duly noted.