Because it will have to be.
As it says in today’s column, the city will probably have to propose a tax to voters to fund more cops. That’s a tall order given the recession and the poverty, the large number of conservative voters, and the state tax increase Gov. Jerry Brown has put on the November ballot.
It’s a doubly tall order because the county will probably have to put yet another tax on the ballot. The state gave it $80 million with which to build a new jail. But the county must raise money to cover the ongoing operating costs.
Given this climate — not to mention the Marshall Plan’s disastrous rollout and all the skepticism it generated — The Marshall Plan will have to have strong community appeal. When people learn about it, they have to want to support it. And that will only be the case if its a darned good plan that demonstrably gets the whole local criminal justice system to perform better.
There’s apolitical reason, too. The recession is the reverse of a political comfort zone, but it has provided cover for leaders’ agendas. The Marshall Plan is a test of their ability to govern proactively, to demonstrate their competence at more than belt-tightening. People won’t pay a dime for less.