City of Long Beach, County Clash on Measure B Enforcement • Long Beach Post

condoms

The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Initiative, commonly known as Measure B, was overwhelmingly passed by voters across L.A. County Tuesday, ensuring the enforcement of condom use during the filming of adult films countywide. Well, almost countywide.


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L.A. County officials say that Long Beach is one of three of the county’s 88 cities that operates their own health department and is therefore exempt from enforcing the ordinance.

Despite residents having voted on the measure, the initiative is not applicable to Pasadena, Vernon and Long Beach since each respective city has its own health department. The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services enforces both State and municipal health codes, opting out of contracts with the county’s Department of Public Health (DPH).

This “loophole” of sorts has prompted adult film advocates and media outlets to point out that these cities could be the future homes of the adult film industry in order circumvent the forced condom rule.

Tom Modica, Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at the City of Long Beach, told the Post that the City was not informed by the County of the impact of the ordinance on cities with their own health departments prior to the passage of Measure B.

“Now that Measure B has passed, we will be discussing the implementation and County Counsel’s opinion with the County and with our attorneys,” said Modica. “From our read of the ordinance, it appears to apply throughout the entire County, including Long Beach. The impartial analysis that was written by the County Counsel stated that this measure applied Countywide, and nothing in the text of the measure itself mentions an exclusion for any city.”

The City is further confused as to why voters in Long Beach would vote on a measure that doesn’t apply to itself. Even Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard told the Los Angeles Times the he felt the exemption of cities with their own health departments presented a “new gap” in which he would enforce regulations.

However, the County holds an altogether different perspective. Not only did the County specifically point out in a memorandum dated July 23 of this year that indeed Long Beach, Pasadena and Vernon are exempt from the measure, the County is required to have everyone in the county—regardless of whether it applies to them or not—vote on countywide measures since the measure could impact general fund monies as well as revenues collected by and services provided by the County DPH.

{loadposition latestnews}”The One-Person, One-Vote Rule strongly suggests that when County general funds, available for Countywide services are at issue, or when there is a public interest in the matter affecting all the citizens of the County, then no one segment of the electorate is entitled to more input in an election than another group,” said David Sommers, Director of Public Affairs for the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office (CEO). “All voters in the County must have the opportunity to vote.”

Given that only one adult film has been shot in Long Beach over the past decade and no current film permits for such productions exist, it is unclear as to how the City will handle the implications of Measure B or if they will even enforce it.

Ultimately, enforcement of Measure B will undoubtedly present a stiff challenge to both Long Beach and the County of Los Angeles. While the County DPH is beginning to work up a regulatory approach, they are also working with those in the CEO and with County Counsel on issues regarding implementation, compliance and creation of the infrastructure required to fulfill the law in the cities where it applies.

It is still unclear how these issues will affect Long Beach’s approach to the measure, but it remains clear that from the county’s perspective Measure B does not apply to the City of Long Beach. 

“We are currently considering our options and will be sitting down to discuss our interpretation of the law with the County,” said Modica.

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