November 02, 2017

LAWT News Service


Recently, Councilmember Mar­queece Harris-Dawson introduced the most aggressive social equity program in the nation. Building from the release of the Social Equity analysis commissioned by City Council, Harris- Dawson’s motion will establish a program that incorporates the data collected and feedback from hundreds of Angelenos.

“This is the most aggressive social equity program that we’ve seen anywhere,” said Council­member Harris-Dawson. “Voters overwhelmingly supported legalization and explicitly voted to end policies that have arrested 15 million African Americans across the nation. Now, we can make sure communities most impacted by targeting are not edged out of this newly decriminalized industry.”

The equity analysis, released on October 18, demonstrated the decades-long impact of the War on Drugs in communities of color in Los Angeles. The analysis demonstrates that despite the fact that all races sell and consume cannabis at relatively similar rates:

• African Americans are more likely to be arrested and more likely to be charged with a felony (instead of a misdemeanor) that Whites,

• 21% of all people arrested for cannabis possession reside in Council Districts 8 and 9,  although the African American population only accounts for 9% of the City, and

• Neighborhoods most impacted by the War on Drugs include: Florence, Vermont Square, Broad­way-Manchester, Green Meadows, Watts, Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw, and Central Alameda.

The motion to create the Social Equity Program utilizes the recommendations of the social equity analysis, feedback from hundreds of residents during committee hearing and community meetings, and the experiences in Oakland, CA who has the only other social equity program in the nation. The program will:

• One-to One match of all new cannabis licenses and permits for social equity applicants after Prop D compliant businesses,

• Training and pipeline program and revolving loan for social equity applicants, and the

• Creation of a Social Equity Community Reinvestment Fund.

Los Angeles City Council­member Marqueece Harris-Dawson chairs the Homelessness and Poverty Committee and represents the 8th Council District in South LA. You can connect with the Council­member at, and on social media @mhdcd8. 

Category: News