The Governor stressed his commitment to the concept of “subsidiarity,” or local control, indicating that we all need to get more comfortable with more than just social or ethnic diversity but also geographic diversity. He said repeatedly that in a state as big and diverse as California that we must try to let priorities be set differently in various areas of the state — with less state involvement. Commenting on the hundreds of bills that reach his desk each year through this lens, he indicated that he has vetoed many in order to prevent unnecessary state intrusion into local affairs.
Several board members expressed concerns about the growth in property crimes in their cities since criminal justice realignment went into effect. The Governor stressed that since realignment began not one person has been let out of prison early and that probation should be as effective as parole. He added that because it is local, local programs should be developed to support the people who are released. He also stressed that he is confronting an even bigger threat in that, by next Thursday, he needs to find a way to release 10,000 more state prisoners to comply with a court order. He indicated he is working closely with law enforcement in order to address the problem but that it is a serious dilemma because he does not think the Legislature wants to build more prisons.
The Governor expressed:
Disinterest in any Proposition 13 reforms;
Possible openness to potential economic development ideas that do not tax the state budget;
A desire for more focus on individual duties and less on creating new individual rights;
Support for giving teachers and school boards more discretion to decide how to educate kids; and
Adequately funding our infrastructure needs — provided voters have to approve any tax increases.
José Cisneros, League first vice president resident and San Francisco treasurer, and the board thanked the Governor for attending and sharing his views.