Safe Neighborhood Act will be decided by voters.
Our state Senator George Runner was joined by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in announcing that Secretary of State Debra Bowen has qualified a statewide anti-gang initiative for the November ballot.
"Californians are fed up with gangs and the violence and destruction they inflict on our neighborhoods," said Runner, one of the measure's authors. "Now California voters have a chance to do what the liberal Legislature has failed to do: Pass true gang reform."
In order to qualify for the ballot, the initiative needed 433,971 valid petition signatures, which is equal to 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2006 General Election. The initiative proponents submitted 789,668 signatures in late April.
"Gang violence has compromised our criminal justice system and overwhelmed our communities," Baca said. "The Safe Neighborhoods Act will allow local leaders and the state to join forces to combat this growing epidemic."
The Safe Neighborhoods Act is an anti-gang and crime reduction measure that hopes to bring more cops and increased safety to California communities and greater efficiency and accountability to public safety programs and agencies that spend taxpayer money.
Some of the provisions of the initiative would do the following:
- Increase penalties for felons and gang members with guns;
- Create the Early Intervention & Rehabilitation Commission;
- Prohibit bail for illegal aliens charged with violent or gang crimes;
- Heighten penalties for criminal accomplices;
- Strengthen Section 8 Housing compliance;
- Protect witness testimony;
- Create a statewide gang registry;
- Punish smugglers of prison contraband
- Toughen laws for methamphetamine distribution and sales;
- Establish the "Use a gun and lose a car" law;
- Allow counties (that are under federal court order to release jail inmates) to operate temporary jail facilities;
- Impose felony penalties on serial graffiti offenders.
The Safe Neighborhoods Act is supported by every elected California sheriff, the California Police Chiefs' Association, the California District Attorneys Association, Chief Probation Officers' of California and nearly every other law enforcement group including rank and file law enforcement organizations like the Peace Officers Research Association of California. It also has the support of former Gov. Pete Wilson.
The initiative is co-authored by Mike Reynolds (father of Three Strikes) and San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt.
You can learn more about the act at www.safeneighborhoodsact.com