Momentum continues with about 400,000 California voters signing the petition to place the measure on the ballot

Sacramento, Calif., February 14, 2024 — Today, Hope Street Coalition, Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), the state’s largest law enforcement union, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County (LA ADDA), and crime survivor Patricia Wenskunas who is the founder of Crime Survivors announced their endorsement of the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, Retail Theft Reduction Act. The measure will increase community safety by holding those who repeatedly steal or traffic hard drugs accountable. The measure has collected over 400,000 signatures from California voters to place it on the November ballot.

Hope Street Coalition advocates to change public policies in order to help people who are unhoused and untreated, and improve communities that are impacted by homelessness.

“People living on the street are the fastest growing homeless population and overwhelmingly experience issues of mental health and substance abuse.  Because of the potency of street drugs like meth and fentanyl, addicts often resort to crime to sustain their habits.  In addition, it is easier to stay addicted than it is to receive treatment in most California communities. This needs to change,” said Paul Webster, Founder and Director for Hope Street Coalition. “The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act provides significant improvements to state law that would provide more treatment, reduce the availability of deadly drugs like meth and fentanyl, and create accountability for thieves and drug dealers who prey on the vulnerable.  This Act protects individuals experiencing homelessness and communities suffering from the negative impacts of crime and homeless encampments.”

PORAC represents over 80,000 public safety members and over 950 associations, making it the largest law enforcement organization in California and the largest statewide association in the nation.

“Too many career criminals are cycling in and out of the system without facing real consequences for their actions. Repeat thieves and drug dealers are not being held accountable for victimizing our neighborhoods. This measure will ensure that those who commit serious repeat offenses receive mandatory drug treatment programs and serve real time, so they can get the help they need to turn their lives around without endangering others,” said PORAC President Brian Marvel.

Crime Survivors is focused on supporting leaders to public office who support putting the needs of survivors of crime first, including the families who also experience the consequences of a serious, dangerous, violent or sexual crime committed against their loved one.

“I am supporting this initiative because we need to improve safety in our communities and reduce crimes. As a leader and voice for the many victims across the state, this initiative will help curb crime with consequences coupled with mandatory drug treatment programs.” Patricia Wenskunas, Founder CEO for Crime Survivors.

A survey of likely California voters found that 70% of voters support the title and summary of the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, Retail Theft Reduction Act. The overwhelming support was consistent across every demographic and geography including the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Furthermore, 89% of likely voters support amending Proposition 47 for stronger penalties for those engaged in repeated retail theft and trafficking hard drugs like fentanyl. The measure also includes incentives to complete drug and mental health treatment for people who are addicted to hard drugs.

To qualify the measure for the November 2024 ballot, the law requires 546,651 valid signatures.

For more information, go to www.CASafeCommunities.com.

For media inquiries, contact Sydney Kovach at sydney@elevatepublicaffairs.com or 480-392-7978.

Interested in supporting the ballot measure:

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Paid for by Californians to Reduce Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft, sponsored by Golden State Communities. Committee Top Funders Walmart, Target, and California Correctional Peace Officers Association.