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Harmful legislation alert: California’s Proposition 1

Hoca

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A legislative measure known as Proposition 1 will soon be up for vote in California in the US on the state’s March 5th, 2024 ballot. We at MindFreedom International stand with Cal Voices and Disability Rights California in opposing this proposition on the grounds that it facilitates coercive psychiatric treatment and fails to adequately address Californians’ needs for housing and humane, effective mental health care.

Consisting of two bills signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in October 2023 (Senate Bill 326 and Assembly Bill 531), Proposition 1 would change how money from California’s Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) can be used, and it would approve a $6.38 billion bond to build mental health care facilities as well as housing for unhoused people with mental health disabilities. The governor’s office seems to present this as part of a groundbreaking solution to California’s mental health crisis and housing crisis.

In reality, Proposition 1 would build only up to 4,350 new housing units, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), partially by diverting 35% of annual MHSA money to such purposes and prescribing how counties must spend approximately half of that remaining money. This would improve statewide homelessness only marginally while drastically cutting funds for voluntary, effective, community-based mental health care services that already exist under the MHSA (programs for under-served populations such as people of color and LGBTQ+ people would be especially at risk), and requiring counties to implement more forced psychiatric treatment instead.

Additionally, the state government estimates that Proposition 1 would build new places “for 6,800 people to receive mental health care and drug or alcohol treatment at any one time.” However, Disability Rights California has observed in a public statement on January 3rd that “Proposition 1, like CARE Court the year before, was released without meaningful engagement of the people most affected – those with mental health disabilities,” and that “the disturbing consequences will be more people subjected to involuntary detention and treatment without any evidence to support this approach.”

If you can, we hope that you will join us in taking a stand against the destructive potential of Proposition 1. For more information about the dangerous shortcomings of this measure and how you can help oppose it, please refer to this comprehensive fact sheet compiled by Cal Voices and the website of Californians Against Proposition 1, a nonpartisan coalition and the proposition’s official opposition committee.

Regardless of location, anyone whose own area of residence is currently being threatened by similar legislative initiatives is welcome to contact our office at [email protected] to request that we issue a mass notification such as this one in order to help raise awareness of the situation and promote peaceful opposition movements.

The post Harmful legislation alert: California’s Proposition 1 appeared first on MindFreedom International (MFI).
 
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