Vote Yes on Measure J to increase spending on housing and mental-health services while decreasing funding for law enforcement.
Measure J will divert at least 10 percent of Los Angeles County’s unrestricted funding to community-based programs, such as affordable housing and rent assistance, job training, and mental-health and social services. These funds will not be invested in police departments, jails, or prisons. Based on the current $34.9 billion budget, an estimated $360 million to $490 million will go to community-based needs. In the event of a budget emergency that threatens mandated programs, county supervisors can vote to decrease that amount.
Why Voting YES on Measure J Matters
Los Angeles County runs the world’s largest jail system, with an inmate population of 17,000, nearly one-third of whom have mental-health concerns, making the system the largest de facto mental-health facility in the country.
According to the RAND Corporation, more than half of the inmates in the Mental Health Unit at Los Angeles Jail are candidates for diversion to community programs rather than incarceration.
California’s penal code criminalizes poverty, substance abuse, and mental-health illness while denying residents of color their fair share of community resources needed to thrive.
In recent years, residents and advocates have won key victories with the Board of Supervisors, creating new investments in housing and care for those experiencing homelessness. The essential element to scale up these interventions is funding. With more than 40 percent of Los Angeles County’s local tax revenues going to incarceration and policing, there are not enough resources for programs that can make a real difference in communities. Measure J could help close this gap.
This measure responds to the growing calls from the community to defund the police and prioritize public services by requiring that at least 10 percent of the county’s local revenues go to investments that support communities – including affordable housing, community counseling, mental-health services, youth-development programs, small businesses, and job creation.
Funders of Measure J
- Top funders in support of Measure J include philanthropists Patty Quillin and Nicole Shanahan and the ACLU of Southern California.
- Top funders in opposition to Measure J include the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs and the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association.
Misinformation about Measure J
- "The measure will further challenge the county's essential workers, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic." -- FALSE. Funding for essential workers is not being challenged. The measure would guarantee at least 10 percent of unrestricted funding to address racial injustice, overreliance on police interventions, and health and housing disparities.
- "The measure will raise taxes." -- FALSE. The proposed ballot measure does not involve a tax increase; instead, it redistributes existing local tax revenue.