Newsom tries to stop Prop 47 from being on ballot amid rise in CA crime


California Gov. Gavin Newsom is advocating to maintain a decade-old initiative that eased penalties for certain crimes off the November ballot in favor of other safety measures as burglaries and other offenses increase throughout the state.

Proposition 47, which was implemented in 2014, has been criticized for making it easier for individuals who commit crimes, such as theft. Newsom, a Democrat, has been taking a tougher stance on crimes recently in response to rising crime rates across California.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, homicides have increased by 10.6% year-to-date as of June 4. Robberies have also surged by 17.6% compared to 2023. Particularly, robberies at Los Angeles businesses, restaurants, liquor stores, and clothing stores have totaled 894 robberies this year, showing a 43.6% increase from the previous year.

The rise in crime is not limited to Los Angeles, as other California cities are also experiencing an increase in criminal activities. Homicides in Long Beach have risen by 83% and by 133% in Fresno compared to 2023. Additionally, car thefts have increased by 52% in Long Beach and shoplifting is up by 79% in San Bernardino, according to law enforcement data.

California has drawn attention for smash-and-grab crimes that have gone viral, leading to recent efforts to combat crime more aggressively.

In addition to relaxing rules on certain thefts and burglaries, Prop 47 reduced simple drug possession to a misdemeanor in California when it was implemented in 2014. Critics argue that the voter-approved initiative has emboldened criminals and encouraged them to commit more crimes.

Despite acknowledging the surge in crime, Newsom is persisting in his attempts to keep reforms to Prop 47 off the ballot this fall. A bipartisan initiative in Sacramento aims to strengthen the ballot initiative and impose harsher penalties on criminals, especially repeat offenders.

While Newsom is promoting his own safety bills to combat crime, he prefers to present them to the state’s voters instead of proposing reforms to the existing legislation. Newsom stated to reporters that he believes there is no need to include something on the ballot if it is not achieving its intended goals.

Newsom is currently focused on presenting a solution to the state’s crime rate to voters through ongoing negotiations and discussions. “There’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of negotiations concurrently happening,” Newsom mentioned to reporters this month. “Prop 47 is included.”

Nancy Loo
Nancy Loo
Digital Reporter. Nancy Loo is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who brings an extensive background of international reporting to Truth Voices. Nancy’s career took her on news assignments to England, China, Japan, Taiwan, North and South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Northern California, Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Oregon.

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