Opinion

County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar Leads Effort for Self-Determination in Counties

Written by Nicholas Vetrisek

County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar has been leading the effort to put control of quarantine policies back into the hands of individual counties, where it belongs.

Recently, she wrote a letter to Gov. Newsom asking for a change to the “one size fits all” approach to the quarantine which puts counties that are not struggling under the same restrictions of ones that are. This is an important cause because while the coronavirus has not affected everywhere in California equally, the shutdown certainly has.

This approach to the crisis has caused far more problems than the virus ever could. Places like Alpine and Sierra County both have one case each, yet they are under the same restrictions as Los Angeles County, which has over 300,000 cases. There are many other situations just like this all across the state. There has been a Pareto Principle distribution with cases in different counties. Out of 57 counties, 68 percent come from just the top five: Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange County, San Diego, and San Bernardino.

This is not a California problem, but a big city problem. Pretending that it is anything else is not only foolish, it is dangerous. The 52 counties that make up 32 percent of the cases shouldn’t be forced to use the same containment policies as struggling big cities. There is nothing to contain and local economies will be destroyed.

Supervisor Gaspar asking for self-determination in counties is necessary to minimize the economic impact of the shutdown. Decentralized command means that people living in the communities affected know far better how to handle the situation than the state government in Sacramento. Only they truly know how serious the issue is in their community so the power should be given to local leaders.

Decentralized command must be implemented to prevent the second round of business failures and recessions that will inevitably result from further lockdowns. Paraphrasing what I said in a previous article, the coronavirus can’t put 35 percent of California out of work, Newsom did.