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Prop 47: “The Not so Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act”

In 2014, a majority of Californians voted for Proposition 47, erroneously pedaled to us as “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act”. No surprise that 60% of us voted for it- I mean, who wouldn’t? Sounds great. But that is not what we got. Our neighborhoods and schools are not safer. Lawlessness has increased and we feel less safe in our communities.

While the intent of this initiative was to reduce prison population and break the cycle of incarceration, it has not broken the cycle of crime. By reclassifying drug possession and property theft crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, Prop 47 nullified serious consequences for these crimes. Drug addicts and thieves are more enabled than ever to repeatedly commit these crimes to fuel their habits.

In addition, the reduction of penalties by prop 47 undercut the ability of the judicial system to mandate court ordered addiction treatment. Offenders choose the shorter sentence over a minimum 18 month program. Prior to prop 47, these offenders were off the streets and getting treatment. Now we have an increase in homelessness fueled by addiction.

Attempts by Republican legislators to repeal and/or amend prop 47 have been tossed aside by the Supermajority, most recently this past week. This is what happens when we have one party rule: the lack of transparency and the lack of healthy bi-partisan debate leads to poorly vetted policies that hurt Californians.

Electing common sense, pragmatic leaders who are dedicated to serving our residents will provide the much needed balance to forge rational and fully analyzed policies. That is why I am running for State Assembly District 28. We, as Californians, deserve better.

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Liz Lawler on Good Morning Monterey
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