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Prop. 1 Succeeded – Barely

Despite our efforts, Prop. 1 secured a narrow victory at the March 5, 2024 election. See our statement here, or our earlier concession statement. 

The vote count on Prop. 1 was extremely close. With 13,125 voters switching from "yes" to "no," Prop. 1 would have been defeated.

On occasion of the April 12 certification of election results, our group issued the following statement: "Prop. 1 Succeeded Thanks to Gov's 'Endless Manipulations.'"

What's Next With Prop. 1 and Our Campaign?

Implementation of Prop. 1 will be rolled out over 2+ years. We'll be watching, and we'll be involved. We hope you will be, too.

If Prop. 1 is not properly implemented, it could be a humanitarian disaster. 

We have to point out that, by the time Prop. 1 fully takes effect, Gavin Newsom will be out of office. 

The voters already showed a lack of enthusiasm for this mess, and its champion will have one foot out the door as most of the big decisions get made. 

There is still a chance for stakeholders at every level to influence how Prop. 1 works. We must be ready for a 58-front battle, county by county, but we must also look for legislative opportunities to improve the system.

We are evaluating legal challenges that could arrest implementation of the worst parts of Prop. 1. 

And we will hold people accountable.

Advocates of Prop. 1 pooh-poohed the risk of cuts to local mental health programs, and now we'll challenge them to make sure cuts don't happen.

Gov. Newsom fatuously deflected concerns about cuts by saying they come from a "scarcity mindset," while he comes from an "abundance mindset." He said this while hiding the reality of a state budget deficit measured in the tens of billions of dollars.

Outgoing Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who has jeopardized his own legacy as a mental health champion by endorsing Prop. 1, said on KQED, "Will existing programs be cut? No, because the world has changed over 20 years… I don't think that's what will happen." 

These are smart leaders who understand how the system works. They should bring their "abundance mindset" to make sure that existing programs don't get cut. That would be leadership.

Look Who's In Charge of Prop. 1 Now

An emerging story relating to Prop. 1 is that State Auditor Grant Parks revealed on April 9 that the state has largely failed to track billions of dollars in spending to reduce homelessness. 

Gov. Newsom dodged a bullet, for if that auditor's report had come out before voters weighed in on Prop. 1, it surely would have influenced the final totals. Was the governor just lucky? Hm, the audit was originally scheduled for October 2023, then February 2024, but somehow it came out a month after the election...

Notable: The state auditor blames a 5-member "Interagency Council on Homelessness" for failing to track data relating to homeless spending, and for failing to track any spending since 2021. One of those 5 members is Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, who was a principal architect of Prop. 1.

Dr. Ghaly's main arguments for a state takeover of local Mental Health Services Act funding through Prop. 1 was that such local spending needs to be tracked better, with more data collected to measure effectiveness and to prescribe best practices. Now, after their robust failure tracking homeless spending, Dr. Ghaly and his agency will take over mental health. 

What could possibly go wrong?

How Close Was the Vote on Prop. 1?

The very first totals posted on Election Night, March 5, showed the "yes" side with 53% of the vote and a large margin of more than 167,000 votes. 

However, the "yes" percentage dropped throughout the evening, ending at 3AM at 50.2% "yes," with a margin just over 14,000 votes.

By the final vote count, the "yes" side was down to 50.2% yes, with over 7.7 million votes counted.

The margin favoring "yes" ended up at 26,242 votes.


Why Did We Oppose Prop. 1 on the Ballot?

Proposition 1 is huge, expensive and destructive. It would cost taxpayers more than $9 billion. It also redirects the spending of at least $30 billion in mental health services money in its first 10 years, cutting existing mental health services that are working. The human cost of this measure is incalculable.

Prop. 1 builds very little housing, despite being offered as a solution to homelessness. There are better solutions that do not require excessive borrowing or cutting local programs that work.

There's so much wrong with this measure, Prop. 1 faces bipartisan opposition:

  • Republican leaders, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and conservative newspapers make up one branch,
  • The League of Women Voters, a trusted, centrist organization, officially opposes, and
  • Mental health groups, disability rights advocates, state ACLU chapters and many more also oppose.


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ACLU California 

League of Women Voters of California

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Disability Rights California

Mental Health America in California

Cal Voices

California ACLUs (ACLU California Action, ACLU of Northern California, ACLU of Southern California, and ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties)

Orange County Register and 10 of its affiliated Southern California newspapers (Los Angeles Daily News, Daily Breeze in Torrance, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Pasadena Star-News, (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, The Sun in San Bernardino and Redlands Facts)

Santa Cruz Sentinel

City of San Clemente

Placer County

and many, many more. 


*Please note, many people and groups who oppose Prop. 1 are not formally working on the campaign. This is a grassroots effort, standing up against the governor's campaign.


Please read: Breathe YOU MATTER Magazine Winter 2024 Special Edition by BreatheYouMatter - Issuu 

Prop. 1 Succeeded – Barely