The house that Californians built and Democrats cheaply remodeled is on fire. Some of the headlines from this past weekend prove this:
- ABC7: Video shows empty SF Louis Vuitton store ransacked by thieves
- SFC: Union Square leaders vow not to let violent night of looting, vandalism hold them back
- Dozens of looters ransack Walnut Creek Nordstrom store
- SFC: S.F. leaders to limit car access to Union Square after ‘horrible’ night of looting
- LAT $: Record-high California gas prices add to holiday sticker shock
- Police Investigating Shooting in Oakland’s Rockridge Neighborhood
- Carjacking suspect shot by Oakland officer dies, police say
- EXCLUSIVE: 3 Arrested in Connection to Shootout Involving Retired OPD Captain, Sources Say
- …gang of EIGHTY with crowbars and ski masks fill 25 cars in lighting raid
- SFC: San Francisco police fatally shoot man they say was wielding a knife
- SJMN: S.F. police respond to reports of looting, vandalism of Union Square stores
- SFC: S.F. police arrest suspects in Union Square looting; videos show chaos
- SFC: As S.F. pursues drug-use sites, people battling addiction weigh in
- 2 teachers hurt after Sacramento school brawl between students
This crime wave is also reflected in recent Globe articles about Walgreens announcing that five additional outlets in San Francisco would be closing on top of the 17 already shuttered just since 2019, as well as serious daily theft and crime troubles at the iconic Target on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets. “This store loses $25,000 a day to shoplifting,” an SFPD officer recently told the Globe in lengthy, taped interviews. “That’s $25,000 that walks out the door on average between 9 and 6 every day.”
California was once the land of opportunity and innovation. There was a time when nearly anyone with a good idea and work ethic could open a business. California led the nation in manufacturing – today there isn’t much manufacturing left in the state. California’s schools were once envied by the nation – today they rank at the bottom of the list of states. California agriculture has always provided for more than just our state, but even that is under attack. What made California great is systematically being destroyed.
Prison Realignment and Props. 47 & 57 – A Premeditated Crushing of California
The chickens have come home to roost.
“California has implemented an alarming cocktail of criminal justice ‘reforms’ that are likely to lead to a major crime wave into 2016,” I wrote in the chapter on crime in James Lacy‘s Taxifornia 2016, for which I interviewed Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. She was instrumental in providing confirmation about the rising crime rate in Sacramento and California. I wrote:
“In 2014, California voters were sold on reforming the state’s drug laws with Proposition 47. However, the measure covered more crimes than non-violent drug offenders. Moreover, drug addicts are likely to get less treatment in the state’s drug courts because prosecutors have lost a bargaining chip in the plea process. Add to it the court-ordered prisoner releases as a part of the state’s prison realignment under the 2011 AB 109 law, and you have a state ripe for a surge in crime; such as what is already underway in Oakland, which even after Jerry Brown’s eight years on-the-scene as Mayor, the FBI still considers one of the most dangerous cities in America.”
As the Globe has consistently and repeatedly reported, there were three big legal changes that fostered the anarchy, violence and chaos in California today.
Assembly Bill 109, in 2011, was then-Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature legislation he sold as “prison realignment.” However, AB 109 only served to overwhelm county jails by re-housing “nonviolent” state offenders from prison. AB 109 has been a failure. “Governor Brown had a choice. He could have built more prisons, but instead he reduced the population by releasing or pushing inmates to local county jails, which are not designed to house someone past a year and prevents law enforcement from taking low-level offenders in,” Ronald A. Lawrence, the Citrus Heights Chief of Police and President of the California Police Chiefs Association, told the Globe in 2020.
Proposition 47, passed by misinformed voters in 2014, flagrantly titled “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” decriminalized drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor, removing law enforcement’s ability to make an arrest in most circumstances, as well as removing judges’ ability to order drug rehabilitation programs rather than incarceration. And perhaps the most obvious aspect of Prop. 47 on display today raised the theft threshold to $950 per location, and bumped theft down to a misdemeanor from a felony.
Notably, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) opposed Prop. 47, concerned that it would reclassify a wide range of crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor, and would result in the re-sentencing and release of thousands of individuals already convicted of these crimes. She was correct, as her concerns came to fruition.
Proposition 57, shamelessly titled “the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act,” now allows nonviolent felons to qualify for early release, and parole boards can now only consider an inmate’s most recent charge, and not their entire history because of this proposition. Notably, both Prop. 47 and 57 were given their ballot titles by then-Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Crimes now considered “nonviolent” under Proposition 57 in California include:
- human trafficking of a child
- rape of an unconscious person or by intoxication
- drive by shooting at inhabited dwelling or vehicle
- assault with a firearm or deadly weapon
- assault on a police officer
- serial arson
- exploding a bomb to injure people
- solicitation to commit murder
- assault from a caregiver to a child under eight years old that could result in a coma or death
- felony domestic violence.
Democrats even killed six real criminal justice reform bills in the California Legislature in 2019, which would have addressed Prop. 57’s flaws and expanded the definition of violent crime to include human trafficking, elder and dependent adult abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, rape, and other crimes most Californians consider violent.
Is it any wonder we see these headlines today?
Nearly all Democrat politicians in California supported Props. 47 and 57, and AB 109, despite the warnings from law enforcement, judges, parole boards, police and sheriffs, District Attorneys and Assistant DA’s.
California Officials who supported 2014 Proposition 47
- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D)
- Sen. Loni Hancock (D-9)
- Sen. Mark Leno (D-11)
- Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-6)
- Asm. Nancy Skinner (D-15)
- San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón (D)
- Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools
- Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen
- AFSCME 3299
- California Federation of Teachers
- California Labor Federation
- California Teachers Association
- SEIU California
- United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)
Remember these politicians: Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Senate President and current Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, former Oakland Mayor, California Attorney General and Gov. Jerry Brown, former Sen. President Don Perata, former Sen. President Kevin de Leon, former Senator and current Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, former Assembly Speaker John Perez, former Assembly Speaker and current Rep. Karen Bass, former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Sen. President Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Sen. Nancy Skinner, Sen. Scott Wiener, former Sen. Mark Leno, and former California Attorney General, former U.S. Senator and current Vice President Kamala Harris, all have a recent hand in destabilizing California with their felonious legislation and policies.
How can any of these politicians claim their criminal justice “reforms” are successful, unless today’s violent crime and anarchy was always the end goal?