L.A. County voters to decide whether to divert millions to social services and racial justice

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L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl is seen in an undated photo. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl is seen in an undated photo. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a measure Tuesday to let voters decide whether to boost spending on social services, in an initiative dubbed “Re-Imagine L.A. County” that has drawn strong opposition from labor unions and Sheriff Alex Villaneuva, who called it a veiled attempt to reduce funding for law enforcement.

The measure, slated for the November election, would amend the county’s charter, requiring that 10% of locally generated, unrestricted county money — about $400 million — be spent on housing, mental health, jail diversion, employment opportunities and social services. The county would be prohibited from using the money on prisons, jails or law enforcement agencies.

“For far too long our locally generated tax dollars have been given to reinforce the legal injustice system that has failed to make our communities safer, torn apart our families and caused generational trauma,” said Eunisses Hernandez, a Re-Imagine L.A. County coalition co-chair.

To many in the coalition of almost 100 organizations — among them, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and the United Way of Greater L.A. — the proposal is a continuation of the board’s recent reform initiatives, which include continued efforts to create alternatives to jail and prison and last month’s passage of an antiracist policy framework pushed by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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