In the wake of passage of LA County’s “Reimagine LA” Charter Amendment (Measure J), the Board of Supervisors voted to adopt an inclusive process for guiding the allocation of funding mandated by the measure which will guarantee a 10% baseline threshold of locally generated, flexible revenue for housing, diversion, jobs and wellness.
Prior to the election, the County CEO’s office estimated that the reallocation could amount to between $360m and $490m annually of flexible, locally generated revenue, although advocates for the Measure have suggested that the amount could be higher.
The motion calls for establishment of a 17-member Re-Imagine LA Advisory Committee comprised of County department leadership, justice system impacted individuals, labor representatives and community-based organizations and advocates.
A large portion of the Measure J annual allocation will be distributed across five programmatic areas of community investment:
- Community-based youth development programs;
- Job training and jobs to low-income residents focusing on jobs, especially construction jobs for the expansion of affordable and supportive housing, restorative care villages, and a decentralized system of care;
- Access to capital for small minority-owned businesses with a focus on Black-owned businesses;
- Rent assistance, housing vouchers and accompanying supportive services to those at-risk of losing their housing or without stable housing; and
- Capital funding for transitional housing, affordable housing, supportive housing and restorative care villages with priority for shovel-ready projects.
The balance of the funds are to be utilized for additional investments in alternatives to incarceration including community-based restorative justice programs; pre-trial non-custody services and treatment; community-based health services, health promotion, counseling, wellness and prevention programs, and mental health and substance use disorder services; and non-custodial diversion and reentry programs including housing and services.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion, said, “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. Today’s 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. Measure J and the process outlined in today’s 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.”
“The passage of today’s 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 who co-authored the motion to develop the Charter Amendment. “Shifting our budget priorities into community investments and alternatives to incarceration, is a significant milestone in addressing systemic racism and confronting longstanding 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.”
In an amendment to the motion approved during the meeting and authored by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, the Supervisors also agreed to allocate $1 million of Second District monies to fund research, evaluation, and analysis of aspects of African American life in Los Angeles County in order to inform the work of the Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative as well as the County’s recently-adopted Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.
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Read the Measure J process motion here.