In many ways, Election 2020 is a referendum on policing in our country. The death of George Floyd was a watershed moment in American culture and has instigated the rise of radical Anti-Police rhetoric by many ideologically driven politicians across the country. Leftist Progressive Politicians in states like Oregon, Washington, and California are pushing policies which will install politically motivated review boards, turn Law Enforcement positions into political appointments, and leave the decisions of policing budgets and staffing levels to local politicians. In light of this radical divergence away from traditional policing there are several measures on the ballot this November to pay attention to.
Portland, Oregon, has become a bastion of Leftist Anarchist violence and Anti-Law Enforcement practices in the United States. For 100 days and counting, local politicians have been complicit in non-stop rioting and political violence in Downtown Portland. Now citizens voting in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties will be voting on ballot measure 26-217, a proposition to install a Police Oversight Board into the Portland City Charter. If this initiative is to succeed, Police Officers in the city will be subject to independent and arbitrary reviews by an unelected board in the event of: death in police custody, the use of deadly force, all complaints of force resulting in injury or discrimination of a protected class, or simply “other complaints or incidents of misconduct as they see fit.” Will ANTIFA be considered a protected class in Portland? In a city where the Mayor routinely ties the hands of Police behind their backs as rioters run rampant in his streets, this measure may have incredibly dangerous repercussions for local Law & Order, should it pass.
In Washington this summer, local politicians in Seattle had the dubious distinction of overseeing the overthrow of their Capitol Hill District into a failed state/occupied zone, formerly known as CHAZ. While the city’s mayor, Jennie Durkan hailed the experience as “The Summer of Love,” it was in fact weeks of rapes, thefts, assaults, murders, and the general degradation of society into Anarchist madness. Still, the Leftist majority City Council voted to drastically defund their police, leading to the resignation of Police Chief, Carmen Best following the end of the occupied zone. Now citizens voting in Washington’s King County (home to Seattle) are being offered the chance to vote on Charter Amendment 5. The passage of Charter Amendment 5 will turn the position of County Sheriff into an appointed position, not an elected one. Taking this vote away from the people of King County would result in the further politicization of Law Enforcement in King County, and provide even greater power to local leaders who are dangerously inept after outright instigating the destruction of their own Police Department.
San Francisco, California, is one of the most expensive cities in the country to live in. Home to Silicon Valley millionaires and Nancy Pelosi alike. It is also a city awash with homelessness, streets littered with drug paraphernalia, and human waste piling on the sidewalks. Now voters will have the opportunity to eliminate mandatory minimums for the funding of their city’s Police Department. Proposition E, otherwise known as the Police Staffing Charter Amendment, would eliminate the requirements enacted by Proposition D in 1994 which legislated that the city must always maintain a minimum 1,971 full time Police Officers on the payroll. Instead of maintaining minimum levels, the Police Department would have to submit reports and recommendations on staffing needs to be decided on a bi-annual basis by the city’s Police Commission. If this measure were to pass, the city would also usurp the control of civilian appointments to vacant “sworn” positions. In other words, the current Charter requires that the Police Department must jointly certify with the city that filling a sworn position with a civilian employee will not interfere with the ability of Law Enforcement to effectively police their jurisdiction, this amendment would place the burden on the Department to prove that a civilian appointment would interfere with their mission.
These are three pressing ballot initiatives in major cities in this country which are increasingly under Progressive control. However, there are dozens of ballot measures which aim to accomplish similar results. They are representative of the greater strategy being implemented by Progressives wherever the question of Law Enforcement is on the ballot. This strategy abandons the current model of policing in these cities and counties, replacing it with laws designed to gather as much power into the hands of political ideologies as possible. If given the power they seek through these measures, Leftist politicians will continue their assault on Law & Enforcement and replace it with the Bureaucratic tyranny unfolding in cities all across this country.
Across the country, former police officers are making the leap into running for elected office, hoping to bring the concerns of police officers to the halls of Congress and beyond. At a time when there seem to be more anti-police politicians than ever, their voices are desperately needed. Read more here.