A Los Angeles parcel tax to fund gang prevention and intervention programs was falling short of the two-thirds vote it needs to pass, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. Measure A, funded by a $36-a-year tax on all property in Los Angeles, would provide $30 million a year to pay for programs designed to keep kids out of gangs. The measure was developed and pushed by City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose district includes some of the most violent gangs in the city.
In the last two years, after anti-gang efforts were beefed up, gang crime has been reduced to levels not seen since 1967. “We do a great job with suppression. We arrest gang members. We prosecute them. We have gang injunctions, but we aren’t doing enough to work to keep them out of gangs,” Hahn said. Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said the city should use a recent increase in trash fees as a source of anti-gang funding. “Two years ago, the city nearly tripled the trash bill, saying the money was needed to hire more police,” he said. “Now we are told by City Hall that to fight gangs, we need to raise more taxes.”