After the passage of Measure J, Los Angeles County’s “Reimagine L.A.” charter amendment, the board of supervisors adopted an inclusive process on Nov. 10 for guiding the allocation of funding mandated by the measure. It will guarantee a 10% baseline threshold of locally generated, flexible revenue for housing, diversion, jobs and wellness.
Prior to the election, the county estimated that the reallocation could amount to $360 million to $490 million annually of locally generated revenue, although the amount could be higher. The motion calls for establishment of a 17-member Reimagine L.A. Advisory Committee comprised of county department leadership, individuals impacted by the justice system, labor representatives, community-based organizations and advocates.
A large portion of the Measure J annual allocation will be distributed across five areas: community-based youth development programs, job training, rent assistance, housing assistance and capital funding. The balance of the funds will be used for additional investments in alternatives to incarceration including community-based restorative justice programs; pre-trial non-custody services and treatment; community-based health services; mental health and substance use disorder services; and non-custodial diversion and reentry programs.
“We are reimagining the ways in which Los Angeles County can meet the health and safety needs of our residents and can build a ‘care first, jails last’ system. [This] motion outlines an inclusive, transparent and data-driven process for guiding the allocation of Measure J funding by establishing an advisory leadership body as well as multiple provisions for community and labor participation,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, 3rd District. “Measure J and the process outlined in [the] motion represent a significant shift in the allocation of resources and smart long-term policymaking which will take root, grow and flourish in the years to come.”
In an amendment to the motion approved during the meeting and authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, 2nd District, the supervisors also agreed to allocate $1 million in 2nd District funds for research, evaluation and analysis of aspects of life for Black individuals in the county to better inform the work of the Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative.
“The passage of [the] motion means that the board of supervisors is enacting the will of the people by establishing an inclusive and transparent process for the allocation of Measure J funding,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, 1st District, who co-authored the motion to create the charter amendment. “Shifting our budget priorities into community investments and alternatives to incarceration is a significant milestone in addressing systemic racism and confronting long standing economic inequality across underserved communities. Guidance by advocates from local community-based organizations, justice-involved individuals with firsthand experience and labor representatives, along with county departmental leadership, will help build up a reimagined Los Angeles County.”
For information, visit supervisorkuehl.com.