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Retail Theft Initiative Has 900,000 Signatures

Theft prevention lock cases in a retail store.

The Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act claims they have the necessary signatures to be on the November ballot. 

The campaign coalition claims to have 900,000 signatures from voters. County and state officials will now go through the process of validating signatures.

The campaign needs 546,651 signatures to qualify for the November statewide ballot.

Getting to Know the Initiative 

The initiative is commonly called the "retail theft initiative," but it addresses more than just theft. 

The initiative's highlights include the following: 

  • Creation of a new felony class for drug convictions known as "treatment-mandated felony." Those convicted multiple times of hard drug use would be required to seek treatment.  
  • The measure would allow targeting of drug dealers dealing in "hard drugs" and adding fentanyl as a hard drug. Should someone die because of fentanyl, the dealer of the fentanyl could face a murder charge.  
  • Regardless of the amount, someone with two prior convictions for theft would be eligible for felony charges. 

The initiative's goal is to amend Prop. 47 to allow more tools for law enforcement. It's asking voters to acknowledge the Proposition they passed needs changes. 

Why it's important

Crime and drug abuse have contributed to a feeling of unease in cities. Additionally, it cannot be denied that drug abuse is making homelessness worse. 

This sentiment is harming our communities and, by extension, our buildings. 

Many of us have tenants directly harmed by retail theft. Customers may also steer clear because they want to avoid dealing with theft prevention measures. 

It's hard to attract customers when a quick visit for toothpaste requires customer service to unlock it. 

The state recognizes this issue and the Governor has called on lawmakers to send him proposals. 

This initiative is unlikely to be the only idea we see in 2024. However it may be the only one seeking to amend Prop. 47. 

We will continue evaluating these proposals and consider supporting the best solution to our member's challenges with crime.

If you are reading the exact language, you can visit the campaign website here: 

And continue to follow BOMA on the Frontline for updates. 

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