California Proposition 6 (2008)

California Proposition 6 (2008)

California Proposition 6, also known as the Safe Neighborhoods Act and The Runner Initiative, is a statutory initiative that will appear on the November 2008 ballot in California.

Proposition 6 places additional penalties on gang related and drug crime.

Provisions of Prop 6

Proposition 6 would:

* Require new state spending on various criminal justice programs, as well as for increased costs for prison and parole operations. This funding would come from California's General Fund, reallocating funds currently spent on K-12 Education, Higher Education, Health and Human Services, Business, Transportation and Housing, and Environmental Protection [ Governor's Budget - Summary Charts ]
* Deems any youth 14 years or older who is convicted of a gang-related felony as unfit for trial in a juvenile court and prosecuting these youths as adults.
* Necessitate that all occupants who are recipients of public housing subsidies submit to annual criminal background checks and lose housing if convicted of a recent crime.
* Increase penalties for several crimes, including violating gang injunctions, using or possessing to sell methamphetamine, or carrying loaded or concealed firearms by certain felons.
* Eliminate bail for illegal aliens charged with violent or gang-related felonies.
* Establish as a crime the act of removing or disabling a monitoring device affixed as part of a criminal sentence.
* Change evidence rules to allow use of certain hearsay statements as evidence when witnesses are unavailable. [ [ Legislative Analyst's Office's Report] ]
* Requires a majority vote to add
* Require a 3/4 vote to amend.

Estimated fiscal impact

The non partisan California Legislative Analyst's Office has arrived at the following summary of Prop. 6's estimated costs:
* Net state costs likely to exceed a half billion dollars annually primarily for increased funding of criminal justice programs, as well as for increased costs for prison and parole operations.
* Unknown one-time state capital outlay costs potentially exceeding a half billion dollars for prison facilities.
* Unknown net fiscal impact for state trial courts, county jails, and other local criminal justice agencies. [ [ Legislative Analyst's Office's Report] ]

Funds to pay for these costs, should Prop. 6 pass, will come from California's general fund. [ "California's Budget 2008" California Department of Finance]

In the current California state budget, $600 million dollars is set aside to assist with local law enforcement. If the initiative passes, an additional $350 million will be required to enforce some of its provisions. [ [ "Runners support initiative against gender law", Daily Press, Dec. 30, 2007] ]

upporters of Prop. 6

The name of the official campaign committee supporting Proposition 6 is the Committee to Take Back Our Neighborhoods. [ [ Prop 6] ]

* Mike Reynolds [ [ "Safe Neighborhood supporters"] ] ,
* San Bernardino Fourth District Supervisor Gary Ovitt [ [ "Gary Ovitt biography"] ] and
* California State Senator George Runner. [ [ "State Senator George C. Runner, R-District 17"] ] , [ [ "A Message From Senator George Runner", Oct. 27, 2008] ] , [ [ "Safe Neighborhoods Statistics and Facts"] ]
* The California State Sheriffs’ Association,
* The California District Attorneys Association,
* The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs

Arguments in favor of Prop. 6

* Creates tougher punishment for gang crimes, drive-by shootings, meth distribution and victim intimidation
* Creates more effective and accountable intervention programs to stop young kids from joining gangs.
* Helps victims who have been intimidated by gang criminals
* It provides additional funds for victim-witness protection programs in our communities.
* Prohibits bail for illegal aliens who are charged with violent or gang crimes.
* Ensures additional funding for local police, sheriff, district attorneys and probation officers. [ [ Prop 6] ]

Path to the ballot

The petition drive to place the measure on the ballot was conducted by National Petition Management, at a cost of $1.022 million. [ [ "Campaign expenditure details"] ]

Supporters turned in over 750,000 signatures on April 25 to qualify the measure for the November 2008 ballot, and the measure was subsequently approved for the ballot. [The Appeal Democrat, [ "Crime initiative could hit ballot"] , April 30, 2008] , [ [ "KHTS-AM", "Runners Looking To Target Gangs In Ballot Initiative", March 18, 2008] ]

Donors who support Prop. 6

As of July 14, 2008, eight of the largest donors to Prop. 6 included:

* Henry Nicholas, $1,000,000
* Larry Rasmussen, $200,000
* Taxpayers for George Runner and George Runner for Senate 2008, together, $89,000
* Committee to Elect Gary Ovitt, $50,000
* The Golden State Bail Agents Association for Public Safety, $40,000
* California Association of Healthcare Underwriters, $35,000
* The Pechanga Band of Mission Indians, $25,000
* The Peace Officer Research Association, $25,000 [ [ Details of donations to the Yes on 6 committee] ]

Nicholas, who was arraigned on June 16, 2008 and pleaded not guilty on charges that included drug use, security fraud and conspiracy and has withdrawn from active support of the initiative, though the campaign has stated they will not return his $1,000,000 contribution. Ironically he is also charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, meaning he himself would receive the tougher penalties of this initiative. [ "Henry Nicholas charged with, among other things, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute">] [ "Indicted billionaire Henry Nicholas III crusaded for tough penalties for criminals" ] [,0,119616.story "The Two Henry Nicholases" ] [,1,1689098.story "Initiative sponsor in spotlight" ] [ "Nicholas pleads not guilty" ]

Opposition to Prop. 6

The officially committee opposing Proposition 6 is known as No on Propositions 6 & 9, Communities for Safe Neighborhoods and Fiscal Responsibility.

* California Democratic Party
* The California Professional Firefighters,
* The California Labor Federation,
* Former Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks,
* The California Teachers Association,
* The California National Organization for Women,
* The Los Angeles City Council,
* The League of Women Voters,
* California Church IMPACT
* The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. [ [ List of Prop 6 opponents] ]

Arguments against Prop. 6

* It diverts billions from California's schools, hospitals and childcare centers by funding failed prison and policing policies, deepening the state's ongoing budget crisis. [] .
* It targets youth for adult incarceration by deeming any youth 14 years or older who is convicted of a "gang-related" felony must be tried as an adult.
* It Targets poor people by requiring recipients of public housing subsidies to submit to annual criminal background checks and withdrawing the housing subsidies of people with recent criminal convictions.
* It Targets illegal aliens by denying bail to those that are charged with violent or gang-related crimes and requires local sheriffs to inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the arrests.
* Individuals who are not affiliated with gangs are listed in gang databases and may be falsely prosecuted under this provision. [ [ Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies, Loren Siegel, 2003] ] .

Donors who oppose Prop. 6

The name of the official campaign committee opposing Prop. 6 is No on Propositions 6 & 9, Communities for Safe Neighborhoods. [ [ Defeat the Runner Initiative] ]

As of September 5, 2008, the five largest donors against Prop. 6 consisted of the Ella Baker Center and four labor unions:

* California Teachers Association (Labor Union), $72,805
* California State Council of Service Employees/Service Employees International Union (Labor Union), $47,805
* California Federation of Teachers (Labor Union), $25,000
* Ella Baker Center, $25,000
* California Professional Firefighters (Labor Union), $1,950 [ [ Details of donations to the No on 6 & 9 committee] ]

Newspaper endorsements

Editorial boards opposed

The Los Angeles Times [ [,0,186375.story "Los Angeles Times", "No on Proposition 6", September 26, 2008] ]

External links

* [ Yes on Prop 6] , supporters of Prop. 6
* [ Defeat the Runner Initiative] , opponents of Prop. 6.

Basic information

* [ California Voter's Guide for Proposition 6]
* [ Official language]
* [ California Voter Online guide to Proposition 6]
* [ Smart Voter Guide to Proposition 6]


Additional reading

* [ State Sen. Runner throws support behind anti-gang proposition] , June 27, 2008.
* [ Ella Baker Center contributes to campaigns against two propositions] , July 9, 2008.

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