As leftist California descends into bankruptcy and despair, the leftist-run city governments of the state are getting more radical with their liberal schemes to solve the many problems they helped to create in the first place.
The latest mind-boggling trend in California cities plagued with crime is actually paying gang members not to commit violent crimes.
After a 3-2 vote at Thursday’s city council meeting, the local government of Fresno is set to authorize city leaders such as Mayor Lee Brand and Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer to determine whether the Advance Peace program should be implemented.
If city officials determine that the program is viable, they could be budgeted up to $200,000 in taxpayer dollars to dole out to gang members as a supposed deterrent against committing shootings and other violent crimes. They hope to raise private funding as well to further pay off these thugs.
“I don’t think we should be spending $200,000 or $300,000 over the next five years on a program that certainly has value, but we have a lot of needs in the city of Fresno, it always comes down to priorities,” said Councilmember Garry Bredefeld, who voted against the proposal.
This measure was proposed by Councilmember Miguel Arias, who believes that tax revenue from the increased “cannabis activity” going on within the city following the legalization of marijuana would help pay for the costs of the program.
“In essence, Advanced Peace identifies the most active shooters in Fresno and enrolls them into a prevention program to help them with mentorship and job placement,” Arias said.
Chief Dyer points to the Mayor’s Gang Prevention Initiative and Operation Ceasefire as initiatives that are already in place that make this program unnecessary.
“I am philosophically opposed to giving money to any gang member,” Dyer said.
Fresno would not be the first city in California to implement such a program. The city of Richmond is where the Advance Peace program debuted, and it has since spread to Sacramento and Stockton.
Richmond gives gang members who claim they have given up violence stipends ranging from $300 to $1,000 per month. Sacramento is pumping $1.5 million into their version of the program, with Advance Peace matching that total in privately raised capital.
There is no data showing these programs are effective in combating crime, but that hasn’t stopped liberal cities throughout California from pushing them anyway. Fresno may be the latest city to initiate a program that very well may subsidize violent gang activity in their communities.