In a rousing protest at the state Capitol, a coalition of California Republican lawmakers, business owners, crime victim advocates, and law enforcement officials demanded a stop to policies that, in their opinion, are eroding public safety in communities all throughout the state.
The protest, which was conducted the day before the Appropriations Committee’s “suspense hearing,” aimed to raise awareness of several measures that might have a substantial influence on public safety and to implore lawmakers to act in favor of law-abiding Californians.
James Gallagher, the Assembly Republican Leader, addressed the crowd and said, “Enough is enough — the Legislature needs to stop excusing and enabling the crime wave that is turning people in the state into victims.” Gallagher underlined that the Appropriations Committee members had to make a critical choice between supporting practices that have exacerbated the issue and placing more importance on the security and welfare of the state’s residents.
In order to emphasize the urgent need for legislative reforms to address the serious concerns affecting communities all around California, victims of crime, business owners, and advocates stood up and addressed the audience.
Dominique Brown, a trafficking survivor who spoke on behalf of Breaking the Chains, recommended support for SB 14, which seeks to make the serious crime of human trafficking of a juvenile without weakening its impact via pointless modifications.
California’s Crime Policy Debate
Jaskaran Sahota of JKSD Gas and Mini Marts, one of the attendees, highlighted the viewpoint of company owners who are battling rising crime and retail theft. Sahota eloquently articulated the anger of those who are trying to give back to their communities but are instead met with obstacles brought on by these crimes.
Vern Pierson, the district attorney for El Dorado County, denounced the pattern of bad public policy choices that appear to have decriminalized drug use and property crime, creating a perception of growing lawlessness throughout California.
At the protest, advocates and lawmakers also voiced opposition to numerous measures, including ACA 4, which would let criminals to vote while incarcerated, SB 81, which would promote early release practices, and SB 94, which would allow parole for those serving life sentences.
These measures, according to Nina Salarno Besselman, President of Crime Victims United, give more rights and benefits to people who have committed horrible crimes. The approval of such measures, according to Besselman, would send a depressing message that criminal interests come before the pain of victims.
Josh Hoover (R-Folsom) expressed the emotion shared by many attendees of the protest when he said that he wanted California to be a state where families flourished rather than one where safety was put at risk. He encouraged the legislature to veto any laws that he felt put the public’s safety in danger.