Desperate to stem a rise of gang violence the Los Angeles City Council agreed yesterday to draft a ballot measure that would impose a parcel tax to raise $50 million or more annually for intervention and prevention programs, reports the Los Angeles Times. The proposal likely would not be on the ballot until next year. Also yesterday, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo released an antigang plan that includes a call for required school uniforms all public school students, legal action to shut down the headquarters of the 10 worst gangs, and sending prosecutors to every police station and to neighborhoods around gang-plagued schools.
Delgadillo also will seek to expand his truancy program to more middle schools, obtain stay-away orders for those who do not live in the neighborhoods they terrorize, and push for legislation to increase penalties for gang-related crime. Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who wrote the proposal for a tax to fight gangs, said action was needed because of the 267 gang-related homicides last year and the 14 percent increase in gang crime citywide. The vote to draft the ballot measure was striking given the council’s leeriness of tax hikes after two recent failures, including a 2004 vote against a countywide sales tax increase to pay for more police.