County Supervisors Finalize Vote to Place ‘Defunding’ Initiative on November Ballot
August 4, 2020 — Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors finalized the vote 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 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 again addressed the County Supervisors via phone during the online hearing this morning. Below is the statement from President Rhodes:
“The Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association represents over 9,000 current and retired County employees. Our members who live and work in this community, remain profoundly concerned about this motion, and very much opposed to this charter amendment, which could have a devastating effect on county residents and the unionized employees of Los Angeles County.
PPOA continues to emphasize we are not just representing a law enforcement viewpoint, but also a LABOR perspective as well as a genuine concern for the detrimental impacts this amendment will have in the community. PPOA is first and foremost a labor organization, and while we represent sworn peace officers in three County agencies, we also represent numerous classifications of non-sworn unionized members including Dispatchers, Custody Assistants, Criminologists, Security Officers, and Crime Analysts, some of whom are facing irreparable financial uncertainty and harm as a result of this motion.
As for general comment, your offices have been provided a comprehensive legal analysis of the proposed motion outlining the failures of this Board to adhere to your own established rules, negotiated bargaining rights, and the law. County Counsel has commented with concerns regarding the legality of the proposed motion. The CEO has expressed concerns with the uncertain financial plight our County faces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our labor partners in the County Coalition of Unions and the Los Angeles County Federation have expressed their formal opposition to this proposed charter amendment. I have personally had conversations with each of you and/or your staff, identifying many of the unintended consequences which would impact the citizens of Los Angeles County.
PPOA, joining with the LA Times Editorial Board, our brothers and sisters in our labor coalitions as well as many civic organizations, emphatically oppose this motion. We strongly urge the Honorable Supervisors of the Board to put aside the emotions of this moment, live up to the expectations and responsibilities of the constituents who put you in office, and govern through analysis and careful consideration.”
While the causes of the increased emotion levels within today’s society are numerous (COVID-19 isolation, police reform protests, unemployment, no school, etc.) many elected officials are taking advantage of “the moment,” pushing their progressive social change agendas, much to the detriment of Los Angeles County and California in the long term. We are sincerely grateful to our current and retired PPOA members who volunteered their time and participated in opposing the Board of Supervisors’ ill-advised action through the numerous emails and willingness to speak during the meetings.