(Bloomberg) -- A coalition seeking to revamp California’s landmark criminal justice law says it’s collected enough signatures to qualify for November’s ballot.

The group said Thursday it had collected 900,000 signatures for the initiative, indicating strong support. A little more than 500,000 names are required for the measure to appear on the statewide ballot.

The proposed Homeless, Drug Addiction and Theft Reduction Act seeks to roll back parts of Proposition 47, a law passed in 2014 that reduced punishments for some lower-level crimes, like petty theft and drug possession. 

“Unfortunately, Prop 47 has had the worst unintended consequences, which is hurting many, many people,” said Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, as he stood with lawmakers, advocates and community leaders on a street corner in downtown San Francisco. “Our businesses are being attacked every single day, and many of them are being forced to be closed.”

The initiative is backed by a coalition spanning Republican legislators, law enforcement, district attorneys, big-box retailers and even liberal-city mayors like San Francisco’s London Breed, reflecting a broader shift toward more stringent crime policy.

Advocates for the campaign cite a spike in retail theft and the visibility of open-air drug markets as evidence that Prop 47 has failed to effectively address the state’s crime issues. Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. are among the top funders of the initiative, with US retailers saying they’re losing more stock to theft, in part due to organized crime.

Read More: Walmart, Target Push for New Shoplifting Crackdown in California

The proposed measure would allow prosecutors to classify some thefts as felonies, mandate treatment for drug users or impose jail time, and enact stricter penalties for drug dealers, especially those selling fentanyl. In 2023, San Francisco recorded more than 800 deaths from drug overdoses, the deadliest year on record.

However, opponents of the ballot drive, such as Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, say the current law is working. They credit Prop 47 for reducing incarceration rates, addressing racial disparities in the justice system and funding crime-prevention efforts. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has suggested that the lack of prosecution is to blame for the rise in retail thefts, rather than the law itself. He emphasizes that there is a disparity between public perception and the reality of crime.

“There’s also a big gap between the facts, the evidence, the truth and perception and fear and emotion,” Bonta said in an interview last month. “A lot of people think by increasing penalties, that’s how you stop crime. The criminal justice data does not show that.” 

But business owners who support the initiative say it’s sorely needed.

“I’ve had customers robbed at gunpoint,” said Derrick Johnson, owner of Oakland-based Home of Chicken and Waffles. “I’ve had cars broken into, our businesses have been robbed and we just can’t afford that.”

(Updates with comments from event starting in second paragraph)

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