By Jaivon Grant | Guest Commentary

OPINION – Only in California can you swim in the great Pacific Ocean and ski some of the most beautiful mountains in the same day. Only in California can you find such a diverse blend of ethnicity, cultures, and communities. Only in California can you have the smartest minds in technology, and the hardest working people growing food for our country. 

Unfortunately, only in California do you have democrat legislators who just don’t get it, even when it hurts our own democrat governor, Gavin Newsom. 

With crime leading in the polls—and a recall election less than five weeks away—why are California democrats trying to pass legislation that would make California even softer on crime?  

When Newsom and the democrats lowered the charges and penalties for certain offenses, including reducing specific property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, we saw crime spike in every corner of the state. 

We have all seen the video of two men walking out of a TJ Maxx store in Granada Hills full of stolen merchandise.  

We have all read the reports from police officers documenting criminals using a calculator to make sure the amount of stolen goods is under $950.  

And families living in the Bay Area live by having stores close early or shut down permanently, including 17 Walgreens, because of the increase in crime.  

Berkeley State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced Senate Bill 82, which would reclassify a felony robbery to a “misdemeanor of petty theft in the first degree.” SB 82 applies to anyone who takes property worth $950 or less from another person or store and uses force or fear, with no resulting bodily injury including broken bones, bruising, or bloody scrapes.

Think of the criminal who clinches his fist with the threat of violence to steal, or has a fake knife that looks real, and even the criminal who enters a store pretending to have a gun.

What Democrat Senator Skinner of Berkley should be thinking about is her own United States Senator and grandmother, Barbara Boxer, who was attacked and had her cell phone stolen in Jack London Square in broad daylight. That’s one of her constituents. 

Only in California would a politician look at what’s happening in our streets and neighborhoods and say, “This is great, let’s have more.” 

A large coalition of California district attorneys, business leaders, civil rights groups, and law enforcement oppose SB 82.  

“Even if no physical injury occurs, there’s still emotional and psychological pain inflicted on the victims of robbery,” said Citrus Heights Police Chief Ron Lawrence. “There’s no commonsense reason to explain why these physical, violent crimes should be reduced to simple misdemeanors.” 

Based on those words, what is missing with this soft-on-crime legislation is common sense.  

For example, as New York deals with repeat offenders under their no-bail reform, California State Senator Bob Hertzberg introduced Senate Bill 262 to get rid of bail in California.  

The New York Post editorial board wrote

Per cops and prosecutors, Jonathan Desir, 26, was picked up Tuesday after cops said he walked into a Midtown TD Bank on Ninth Avenue and handed the teller a note reading “Give me $50,000” and “Hurry up.” But cue the bail-reform revolving door. 

On Wednesday, he was back at it, walking into another Midtown TD Bank on Eighth Avenue and slipping the teller another note demanding $50,000. He made off with just $1,100, so 10 minutes later he strode into a Citibank two blocks away and tried again, getting arrested after the teller set off a silent alarm. 

Closer to home, the Yolo County district attorney reports that “42% of those released on zero bail are rearrested again.”  

ABC30 Fresno found that ”zero-dollar bail is literally giving accused criminals a get out of jail free card. Action News has tracked several of the suspects who have become frequent visitors to the jail without necessarily staying very long. They’ve rebooked the released inmates 73 times, although some of the same people keep coming back and adding to the number.” 

California is experiencing a self-induced crime wave that has put criminals above victims.  

Now the democrats want more. And they want it while Governor Newsom—who supports them every step of the way—is being recalled. 

Only in California.