2020 Election

Both California and Los Angeles County Vote for Justice Reform

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

While votes are still being counted to determine for certain who will be the next President of the United States, the voters of California and Los Angeles County have spoken convincingly on a list of issues that will make a large and measurable difference when it comes to justice reform.

First the ballot initiatives.

Prop. 17

Nearly 60 percent of those Californians who went to the polls — physically, or via the mail or, in a large number of cases, by delivering their ballots to drop boxes — voted in favor of Proposition 17, which returns the right to vote to California’s formerly incarcerated citizens who are on parole.

The passage of Prop. 17 will affect the voting future of approximately 50,000 Californians, who have been prevented, by law, from helping to choose who runs their city, county, state, and nation.

Prop. 20

With 62.3 percent of the ballots cast against it, Prop. 20 was rejected by an even larger margin than the YES votes Prop. 17 received in Tuesday’s election. Proposition 20, which was backed by law enforcement union and other law-and-order-leaning organizations, would have, among other actions, rewound parts of Propositions 47 and 57, which have helped to reduce the state’s decades-long over-reliance on incarceration.

And, as we reported earlier, Black Californians would likely have been impacted by Prop. 20 at three to five times the rate of their white counterparts, had Prop. 20 passed.

Prop. 25

This complicated ballot proposition, which was rejected by 62.3 percent of the state’s voters, was basically the proposed ratification of a law that was passed by the California legislature in August 2018, in order to get rid of the money bail system.

Yet, before the bill was passed in 2018, it was amended to such a degree that many of its original champions, such as the ACLU and a long list of others, withdrew their support, saying that it was now better to defeat the thing and start over. Nevertheless, SB 10 passed in August 2018, with many lawmakers deciding that this was a case of don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Fast forward to this year, and Prop 25, which was vehemently opposed by California’s bail bond industry. But, like SB 10,  it has also been opposed by a list of respected justice reformers who said that, if passed, Prop. 25 would create more problems and potential injustices than it solved.

For one thing, Prop 25 would have triggered the use of an ethically dubious and potentially racist risk assessment algorithm to determine who should be released and who should not.  Furthermore, Prop. 25 would have given millions of dollars in funding to the state’s various county probation departments in order to involve probation, unnecessarily, in the risk assessment process.

Nevertheless, still other equally respected justice reformers, while they agreed that the bill and the proposition had worrisome faults, pointed to all the people who wind up in jail as they wait for their cases to be settled, not because they are any threat to public safety, but simply because they can’t afford bail.

This ballot proposition, as flawed as it was, the pro-25 justice advocates said, would help at least a percentage of Californians to avoid life-damaging and entirely wealth-based stays in local jails, while advocates worked to undo the law’s inadequacies.

Now that 25 has been defeated, we can expect a big push from both groups of justice advocates to craft and pass a better bill in 2021.

And, in the meantime, a case pending before the California Supreme Court, if it prevails, would, at the very least, require judges to consider whether or not someone can afford bail before requiring it.

Measure J

Although, not all the LA County’s votes are counted, the proponents of Measure J, have declared victory since nearly 60 percent of the votes already tabulated favored the important ballot measure.

Measure J, just to remind anyone who has forgotten, will amend L.A. County’s charter to permanently allocate at least 10% of existing locally-controlled revenues to be directed to community investment and alternatives to incarceration.

In short, the passage of Measure J is a game changer when it comes to a county-wide commitment to health and healing first, incarceration last as the perspective with which to approach public safety and community well-being, particularly in Black and brown communities.

Los Angeles District Attorney

By Wednesday afternoon, the much watched race between Los Angeles  District Attorney Jackie Lacey, and challenger George Gascón showed Gascón leading with 54% to Lacey’s 46% . There is an unclear number of votes still to be counted, yet the momentum appears to be with Lacey’s opponent.

Gascón, a former longtime cop, has headed two police departments, and was second-in-command at the Los Angeles Police Department under Bill Bratton.  More recently, Gascón served as San Francisco’s D.A. where he became known as a nationally recognized as  justice reformer.

Lacey, the first Black person and first woman to lead the nation’s largest DA’s office, was initially very well liked.  But, in recent years, critics say, her reform actions have repeatedly failed to match her rhetoric.  Justice advocates, public defenders, and others point to such issues as an ongoing insistence by her office on prosecuting too many of those who struggle with mental illness, who could be safely diverted. And there are other issues, such as her reluctance to prosecute anyone from the world of law enforcement, ongoing allegations in her office of a pattern of sexual harassment, retaliation, and incidents of racial discrimination –and more.

Like measure J, the Lacey/Gascón race has come to be seen as another highly-watched test of the county’s commitment to justice reform.

And in other justice reform news….Holly Mitchell, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Nithya Raman

Justice reformer and state senator, Holly Mitchell, appears to have easily defeated City Council member Herb Wesson to replace termed-out LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, another well-known justice reformer who appears to have won his own race for Los Angeles City Council by a large margin.

Los Angeles progressives  are also cheering loudly for the victory of urban planner Nithya Raman who appears to be about to unseat City Council member David Ryu, with 52.4 percent of the vote to Ryu’s 47.6 percent.

More as we know it.


34 Comments

  • Surely the Spanish surname put Gascon over the hump which mirrored Villanueva and his win to become Sherrif. Hopefully Gascon will put the hammer down on ALL criminals, including cops who commit crimes.

    The judicial settlement of Deputy Scotti who raped incarcerated women at Lynwood Jail was inexcusable with the sentence equivalent to a jaywalking conviction.
    That sentence was a iron weight on D.A. Lacey’s legacy leading to partial downfall of her reign as District Attorney

    Now the BOS will take new status as the “Five Queens” reflecting the makeup of Los Angeles County.

    The next four years in the nation will be like no other as diversity will be exhibited to the delightment of some versus the disenchantment of others.

    • Diversity is a sham because what it means today is, “No Whites allowed.” Truly STFU. What all you Social Justice haters march to is the drumbeat of cop hate and if you’re White better think like us or step the fuck aside. You care nothing about the murders in your neighborhoods unless it’s a cop who pulled the trigger, not even of the smallest child. I and my partners do more for the mentally ill and drug addicts than any of you fucks, always have and will continue to. You people are laughable, cowards and bigots, nothing more.

  • City Dweller……”What kind of fairy tale piecing the sky statement was that!” Your view is not shared by millions of Americans as the voting numbers showed. The next four years will be just like the last four with the “other side” doing everything in it’s power to criticize, impede, obstruct, disrupt and disrespect the political regine in power. In that the far left never respected the sitting President and did everything in it’s power to interfere with his “vision” how simple minded to think the right will go “gently into the good night”. The rules and lines of the battlefield have been drawn.

    No, the left set by and condoned civil protest, destruction of cities, the abolition of civil discourse as a way to meaningful compromise and used every means at it’s disposal to get its way. No…half the Nation is not going to sit idly by…..lessons learned from the methods and practices of the far left over the past four years.

    And for the LA County DA’s Office, it’s amazing that a Bay Area, George Soros Funded politician won. If you think this was a good thing that says a lot regarding for view America.

  • City Dweller,

    You’re ASSuming that cops needed to have criminal charges filed on them but weren’t. That’s a stretch, and you obviously don’t keep up on all the cops who were charged for various crimes during Lacey’s tenure. And just because the family of a criminal suspect who was shot says, “My baby din’t do nuffin,” doesn’t mean squat. How many of them do you need to see on video with guns in their hands, which supports the police and contradicts “witnesses” and the family?

    Deputy Scotti should have received a stiffer sentence, but if you recall from the information, there were technical issues that made a settlement the better option. He’s a sex offender for life, can never again work in law enforcement, and bears the scarlet letter of his disgusting proclivities on his forehead for the rest of his days.

    And what exactly do you mean about the five queens reflecting the makeup of Los Angeles County? Have all of the men suddenly left the building?

    Of course you mean the demonization and exclusion of white males as being “diversity.” Long live diversity. LOL

  • Dope of Reality,

    Can you tell me how many officers Lacy prosecuted for crimes committed on-duty? That woman would not prosecute an officer unless, she said, it was provable, meaning she would win a conviction. She had one standard for the portly uniformed and one for the poor saps. Brother she would prosecute regardless of whether she could convict, even if the portly witness was on list of cops that have perjured themselves, even if there were no witnesses, aside from the portly uniformed once, even if brother’s rights were violated by the portly uniformed men. She would do this because she knew she could get a plea. Its like shooting fish in a barrel. Prosecuting a portly officer is much, much harder. They get to STF when they commit a crime and still get paid. What employee has that right? They whine about lawyers, but they have the best money can buy. They have, in the union, a support group with formidable resources that no brother, aside from OJ, can match. So, she was too afraid of pissing off the union and too afraid to lose. Now, maybe she will get her ass back to ventura from where she came. Yes, she was a carpetbagger, but she was your negro, your carpetbagger, so you never whined about it like you did with Gascon.

    Having seen how things played out in middle America, thank god I am in the bluest of blue states, and in the bluest of blue cities. Its almost another world. I am glad I can go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and not see armed extras from Duck Dynasty demanding to go in without a mask. Remember, California was once the land of Pete Wilson, Prop 187, Prop 209, we were just like those rednecks. We, too, had the redneck militias looking for “illegals.” As California goes, so goes the rest of the country. If Biden loses, nothing will change for me. I’ll stay put. if Trump loses, I will remind you and the other portly uniformed heroes that you guys said you would leave California.

    • cf,

      You insulting leftist dingbat. I’ve missed you. Do your own damn research. There’s a thing called google that will help you out. Here’s another little open secret: the DA’s office actually puts out press releases on their website about notable indictments. I’m sure you think (and that’s a stretch right there) that every time a cop uses force on your precious street scumbags, they should be fired and prosecuted.

      Enjoy your blue shithole city. You deserve the higher taxes and increase in crime brought about by your new Soros-funded DA.

    • Portly, my 12 year old nephew could whip your decrepit ass. Trains daily, beast already and all you can do is yap like an ankle biter. Nobody but cops ever got a plea huh? The tardness in you is epic. Mom and dad were related right? Now back to that rock you live under miss.

    • Haha Cf.
      Well, sorry pal.
      Dems lost big time.
      Red senate, lost 5 house seats.
      Trump, the racist, received an overwhelming minority vote.
      2022 midterms will turn the house red too.

      The Dems accomplished one thing, they’ve proven they are the party of elitist whites.
      The Dems may have defeated trump but they’ve also sown their own defeat long term.

    • CF, you’re still going to be looked at weirdly when you walk into a Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Why? Because most of the people that voted like you are pandering fakes.

      This whole Social Justice Reform movement is a farce that’s seeded in ignorance. Not one of your fellow voters have any idea about what Graham vs. Conner is. Not any one of your fellow voters wants to talk about how young men of color are mostly killed by other young men of color. Not any one of your fellow social justice warrior friends want to talk about how Obama NOT ONCE ever traveled south of the 10 freeway, when he visited his drug killer friend Ed Buck in the west side for money, to visit an elementary or high school in the hood and barrio. The one man that truly had the power to influence young men and women of color, and truly make a change for the next generation, FAILED TO DO SO.

      So while you’re doing your grocery shopping at Trader Joes and Whole Foods, and being followed by the security cameras and loss prevention like I am, in your unicorns and rainbows world, the rest of us common folks are going to endure a Harris/Biden administration like adults. We’re not going to form political proxy groups, take the streets, and burn stores in the name of anything. We’re not going to be filmed having emotional tantrums in the middle of the street like spoiled brat children. They make what they stand for look really bad.

      That’s why I don’t vote for democrats anymore..

  • Ever wonder why a State Senator would want to be an Los County Board of Supervisor?

    Seems like a demotion, but not in power. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have more power than the Governor of California.

    Where are the checks and balances for the BOS?

    Very concerning!

    • “Where are the checks and balances for the BOS?”

      Answer: the electorate.

      The caveat, though, is that the electorate must be well-informed, else its voting decisions will be ill-advised.

      • Thus the “promotion” of the CAO to CEO, which put a buffer between the BOS and the department heads. Less accountability at the Board level has resulted.

        The BOS is a hybrid legislative and executive entity with virtually limitless power. It’s now comprised of 5 women, all but one are liberals. I hope they don’t run the place into the ground. My retirement check depends on them. LOL

  • What is also very concerning is the all powerful “elected LA County Board of Supervisors” are willing to use their unchecked power to overrule the will of the voting electorate and try to oust another elected official. I know Governor Newsome or King Newsome I should say think they have unchecked power as an elected official but shouldn’t they respect the will of the voters? The next election will give people the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice will it not?

  • @ Dose & @ Fife,
    Stop acting like litlle scared punks when you hear the word “diversity”.
    It literally means a combination or mixture which includes those who look like you. After all, this is America even before your ancestors arrived here.

    @Dose, how presumptive of you to ASSume that my thoughts regarding the absence of “white males” on the County Board of Supervisors is because they are demonized.
    You pretty much called them “White Devils” depicting yourself as a “Nation of Islam” member.
    The previous “white males” on the Board were actually remarkable guys.

    Concerning dirty LEO’S and lack of prosecutions specifically in LASD ranks, let’s just leave that to the FBI to put a foot in their backside.

    Remember Arco Narco & Pandora’s Box.

    • STFU you weak ass nothing. Scared, not me, not ever. I’m on point like always. The Left have been telling Whites to get in line for some time now and the weak minded have, sorry, not one of those boot licker types. What, want an example? Any Hollywood type that gets out of line, boom, Cancel Culture. That your idea of “Diversity?” One of my favorite actors cause I love his films is Mark Duplass and he got raked, not the only guy, same with Chris Pratt. How about this and how the media and Left portrays White guys in commercials, always the idiot. See, I’m an actual deep observer of all things in all mediums. Tell me this Sparky. Point out one commercial where there’s a Black person and a White person and the White person, by the end, is the obvious smart or witty one and the Black person is the dumb or just one who just is got over on…just one. Diversity is what we the masses are being shown? No, that train left a while back Spanky and I could show examples in areas of government as well. In sports commentary too. Really, sit down, watch Biden try to fuck up the country for the next four years, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the show. Be waiting on that commercial. Diversity to the Left means you have to agree with everything they believe or you’re not included and you know it. It’s that simple.

      • “…Watch Biden try to fuck up the country for the next four years.”

        A good many decades ago my sixth grade teacher said that when the American electorate trusts neither party then one party will control the Presidency & the other party will have legislative control, and that is exactly what is happening this election–checks and balances.

        The third day after the election and votes are still being counted.

        Biden will win, but it’s not a landslide–it’s just barely.

        Mitch McConnell will watch over him.

      • @ Fife,
        Get a life son, beginning with deep breathing exercises.
        Enroll in yoga classes and sign up for counseling to manage your anger.

        The latest commercial I saw, basically said that your privilege is revoked and btw, my favorite actor is Adam Sandler.

        • You didn’t answer me Little Fella, you ran. I’m not ever angry. I’m simply on point and you can’t handle it. City Dweller, what a laugh, just another racist gutter dweller with your White Privilege bullshit remark. All you got Little Fella? Roll over and cry to CF that I’m picking on you, he’ll make it feel all better.

  • City Dweller,

    I can’t help your lack of understanding that the term “diversity” now means white males are not welcome to liberals. Properly used, diversity is supposed to be inclusive of varying races, genders, etc. I’ve personally seen workplaces that are comprised of almost exclusively black employees. These are touted as very “diverse.” Really, in what way? Blacks are less than 13% across the board. That equates to 1 in 8 being black.

    Your comment “Now the BOS will take new status as the “Five Queens” reflecting the makeup of Los Angeles County.” demonstrated your twisted view about the composition of LA County.

    It’s really cute that you think the FBI is supposed to be the criminal watchdog over LASD. Pandora’s Box was a pissing contest between the two agencies, with the top LASD brass completely forgetting what the Supremacy Clause was all about. Arco Narco was broken open and investigated by LASD ICIB, who then involved the FBI for the final sting and prosecution. This happened during an era of respect for LASD/Sherman Block where the FBI worked jointly with LASD, completely unlike the disrespectful way they dealt with LASD leading up to Pandora’s Box.

  • Fifi, get off your high horse. You do more for the mentally ill and drug addicts?! Please! You mean you do more TO them. And, whatever you do you do it on the government dime, my dime. Don’t try to impress anyone by saying you do X or Y when you get paid to do X or Y. Impress me by doing it on your own dime, as some people do. Its like the mailman trying to impress me by saying he delivers more mail than me. Stop it already. And, to answer your question, no, mom and dad were not related. I am not from Kentucky.

    ReaLOL – I love how you rationalize. Spin it as you wish, tell yourself what you will, but I know it hurts. Above all, as Polonius admonished, to thine own self be true. I must say, however, you are partially correct. The Democratic Party is the party of the professional class. Aside from from black and Latino working class, who have stuck by it because the Republican Party is so overtly racist, it has lost the poor and working class, white that is. I think the Democratic Party has lost its way and is having a hard time finding it. The decline was furthered when the Democratic Party hero Bill Clinton out-Republican the Republicans and threw poor and working class folks under the bus on the altar of political expediency. When it threw the unions to the back of the bus, and let Wall Street drive the bus. The biggest losers, I think, have been poor and working class whites. They have gone backwards in many respects- income, education, life expectancy, drug addiction, etc. Believe it or not, I feel for them, I think we have more in common and have a common foe and it would serve all poor and working class well to get together on these issues. But, they want to stick with their racist ways.

    Now, about your “overwhelming” comment, stop your Trumpisms. Trump may have a gain of 2-3% on the Black and Latino vote, maybe cracked in the low teens for blacks and maybe around 30-33% for Latinos, but that hardly makes it overwhelming. Its better than the last go around, but hardly overwhelming. Let us be frank, the group that overwhelmingly came out for Trump was the White folk, period, including White women. And, if you want to dig down it was poor whites, working-class whites, the same group Nixon flipped decades ago. Dig down even further and he got the racist vote, the opiate addicted vote, the trailer vote, the rural vote, the hill vote. There he did overwhelmingly well. White professionals are embarrassed by them and your type. I think its patronizing and wrong, but its hard not to be embarrassed of the racist uncle.

    Now, ladies, again, I remind a number of you said you were leaving the state if Trump lost. Fifi, ReaLol, Madame Kong, Conspiracy, Fat Rolman, and on and on. Have you started packing. By the way, in my city, Los Angeles, where many of you feed at the trough, the vote for Trump was probably under 30%, so can you at least leave LA.

    • Look Miss CF, I’ll put up what I pay out of my own pocket and what I give on my own time against yours any day and what I give on duty as well. That goes for those who work with me and my other family members. You’re just a fucking hateful mouth that, from what I hear, couldn’t make it like we could and now you live to bash us. What a little bitch you are. I’m big and educated and trained up way beyond anything you’re lame ass has ever done and actually have empathy for hurting people, victims of thugs you never say a word about or your pals here, but, live to fuck up evil. I don’t hide it and you don’t like it, why would I care. You City Dweller, Celeste and her puppy who champion the bad guys, you people are the problems not us. Guys like me are the solutions, the honest ones. Get the fuck over yourself, you’re lint, like I’ve said, at best. Now, never said I was leaving if Biden won, another fucking lie you just spouted, but, long range, won’t retire here. Not me, no thanks. Now turn over and cry to City Dweller, he’ll give you a big hug and make it all better Little Guy.

  • City Dweller….you appear to be amd a consumate hater of all that is LASD and fairweather fanboy of the bearacrstic boards (LA County BOS) and bureaus (FBI). It’s pretty naive to believe and assume any government agency or individual that answers to no one is above reproach or corruption. I guess it’s a fairytale hope that the “Noble White Night will come and vanguish the ” Ignoble Black Night”. Imagery is for children.

  • Chicago this year so far: 3,300 shooting victims, 605 dead. They’ve already smashed last year’s number of deaths by 100 and these numbers are a month old. You can safely add 20 fatalities to this year’s totals. And this is a city with some of the nation’s toughest guns laws. This is what happens when you have top-to-bottom lib “leadership.” Instead of getting tougher on crime and putting more teeth into existing laws, lefties will form focus groups and host workshops yielding the same conclusion every time: Male White Republicans are to blame. They’ll walk away, pat themselves on the back for being such enlightened visionaries and then promptly retreat to their mansions located as far away as possible from the very districts they represent.

    Los Angeles, you’re next.

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