It is time for Los Angeles voters to come out on Tuesday the 16th again and vote Yes or No on the ballot measure C which can change the police discipline boards of the city.
Namely, by voting YES, you vote in favor of adopting a charter amendment that would give the city council the possibility to allow police officers accused of misconduct the option to choose between appearing before a Board of Rights composed of two police officers and a civilian, or three civilians only.
By voting NO on the ballot measure it means you are against giving the city council the possibility to allow police officers to choose between appearing before a Board of Rights composed of two police officers and a civilian, or three civilians. This further means maintaining the current board composition of two command-level police officers and one civilian.
Measure C explained: If the majority of Angelenos vote in favor for this measure, the Board of Rights consisted of three civilians won’t have the power to increase a punishment—just to uphold or reduce what has already been recommended by the chief officer. The new ordinance would provide for the qualifications, selection process, and compensation for civilian board members. The ordinance has not been drafted prior to the election, so those provisions of the ordinance have yet to be determined by the city council.
This change will not speed or slow down the process of trials. The only reason why there is such measure to change the system is because the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the police officers’ union, believes there should be more citizen participation. On the other hand, the union itself once strongly resisted civilian participation.
So partially, the reason why people are expressing reservations about removing sworn officers from the board of rights is because of “civilian oversight”. In their opinion the civilians tend to be more lenient towards officers, then their sworn counterparts which can often result in lesser punishments.
Another reason why the opposition is skeptical is because the qualification requirements for the civilians who sit on the disciplinary boards unfairly exclude the vast majority of Angelenos. To be eligible to sit on a panel, a civilian must have spent seven years as a professional mediator or arbitrator, or have a similar experience in another job, such as human relations.
Besides the measure C to be voted on, there are candidates in the runoffs, two in City Council and two in Los Angeles Unified School Board that voters have to choose from.
CITY COUNCIL RUN-OFFS
To find out which council district you fall into, please check the district maps, located here.
Council District 1: Gil Cedillo
In May 2013, Cedillo was elected as a Los Angeles City Councilmember in the first district. Gil Cedillo has 14 years of legislative experience, having served in the California State Assembly and the State Senate. He advocates for equity for all residents, promoting an increase in housing stock while supporting smart growth as a way to help revitalize the neighborhoods and to create jobs.
Council District 1: Joe Bray-Ali
As a small-business owner Joseph Bray-Ali is a Community Advocate. If elected he stands for restoring basic municipal services and opening a responsive council office. He advocates for safer streets in District 1, for over a decade now in North East Los Angeles
Council District 7: Monica Rodriguez
Los Angeles Commissioner and Businesswoman, Monica worked on community affairs for former Mayor Richard Riordan, then handled policy and constituent services for Councilmen Mike Hernandez and Richard Alarcon. In her campaign, she stands for working with residents, building affordable housing in their community.
Council District 7: Karo Torossian
Chief Environmental Planner, an expert in the development and land-use issues. Since 2009, he has served as City Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s Director of Planning and the Environment, overseeing policy and planning matters affecting land use, the environment, economic development and community revitalization.
Los Angeles Unified School District
To find out which LAUSD school district you live in, check the LAUSD district maps located .
District 4: Nick Melvoin
District 4 covers Westside and western San Fernando Valley. Here Nick is one of the candidates with a background as Educator/Children’s Advocate. As such he has worked for various school-reform groups and is backed by charter-school advocates. During his candidacy, he talks about the importance of creating a more engaging curriculum to improve achievement, and he proposes appealing to the city’s many arts organizations to bring arts instruction back to schools.
District 4: Steven Zimmer
As a teacher and School Board member, Steven stands for improving the life and education of the students. He is the founder of Student Recovery Day, first launched in 2009, a District-wide event to encourage students with excessive absences to return to school by visiting these students at their homes and in their communities.
District 6: Kelly Gonez-Fitzpatrick
Public School Teacher of mathematics and science, Kelly Gonez has also worked in the U.S. Department of Education on matters concerning vulnerable students. This means she is well-versed in both classroom realities and big-picture policies. Gonez states that tying students’ scores on standardized tests to evaluate teachers is a wrong policy.
District 6: Imelda Padilla
Community Youth Advocate Imelda Padilla stands for bringing education to every child. The goal is to reach 100% graduation rates in youth and has experience in working in the field through her non-profit called Together We Do More, which aims to help middle and high school students to think about higher education and professional development at a young age.
Where to vote:
So what’s next? Go vote! Head on over to https://www.lavote.net/locator to find your polling location, and then head on over Tuesday May 16th and let your voice be heard.
If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.