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Prop 47: How I'm voting on this controversial issue


This fall, as usual, California voters will consider a number of initiatives on the ballot.

One of them, Prop 47, is controversial - but it shouldn't be. Here's why.

Prop 47 will change the way we sentence people in California for non-violent, low-level crimes like drug possession and petty theft. Today, those offenses often carry felony charges, but Prop 47 will change them to misdemeanors.

That's a good thing. It's a common sense rebalancing of our criminal justice system so that it prioritizes violent and dangerous crimes.

Even better, by reducing prison costs, Prop 47 will save hundreds of millions of dollars every year - and use those savings to break the crime cycle. The money will be used to treat mental illness and drug addiction, fund anti-truancy programs in K-12 schools, and help victims of crime recover from their trauma.

That's how you fight crime - not by simply building more and more prisons, but by investing in proven crime prevention. Some people refer to prison as "crime college" - a place where petty offenders turn into hardened criminals. Not to mention, it makes no sense to use prisons to warehouse people with mental illness.

Prop 47 is forward thinking, it's innovative, and it's a serious, fact-based approach to reducing crime. And that's why it has my support.

Sure, it's controversial. But it's the right thing to do. Time and again, we've seen hot-button issues ultimately become widely accepted as simple common sense.

That's happening on marriage equality, it's happening on paid sick leave, and it's even starting to happen with issues like universal healthcare and the regulation and legalization of marijuana for adults. Prop 47 is both radical and common sense, and it won't be long before states across the country are looking to California, once again, as the leader.

Join me. Vote YES on Prop 47.


Posted on October 8, 2014.

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