George Larsen Shares Rare Opinion Piece on Why Prop 205 is Bad for Tucson

George Larsen, CCIM, CEO Larsen Baker of Tucson

OPED by George Larsen, CCIM, CEO Larsen Baker of Tucson

“Your vote counts. I have seldom worried much about an election issue. This one is concerning because it could quite seriously damage Tucson’s economy.”

TUCSON, ARIZONA — Neither the Larsen family nor Larsen Baker LLC are involved in politics. Larsen Baker does not ask its employees to vote for any politician. Margaret and I think it’s best that we treat local politics with benign neglect.

However, there is a proposition that will be on City of Tucson ballot this November that I think needs some explanation. The reason for this exception to our non intervention policy is that this proposition might have a profound effect on Tucson’s economy and public safety.

Proposition 205 is the “Tucson Families Free and Together” initiative. If approved by City voters in November, Tucson will become a Sanctuary City.

While many of the goals of this initiative are worthy, if passed this law would result in the City and its police force losing tens of millions of dollars in State and Federal funding.

This is not rightwing crazies saying this. I just heard it from Chris Magnus the (very progressive) Chief of Police in Tucson. The City police force gets $11,600,000 year in Federal law enforcement grants.  All or most of that money would be withheld if the initiative passes.

Just as important, the Sanctuary City Initiative will prevent the police from working with the FBI, DPS, Homeland Security, DNA Labs, Arizona Violent Crime Control Commission and others on all types of crime solving.

And if the conservatives in the State Legislature have their way, the State may withhold 30% of the City’s annual budget as a penalty for Tucson becoming a Sanctuary City.

This information comes from the Chief of Police, not talk radio. Chief Magnus believes he can best protect all of us if the Sanctuary City initiative is voted down. He and his department have
implemented policies that protect undocumented residents. He is sensitive to their status, unless a crime was committed.

Only about 30% of City voters actually vote. Polling so far shows that Proposition 205 has a 50-50 chance of passing.

Your vote counts. I have seldom worried much about an election issue. This one is concerning because it could quite seriously damage Tucson’s economy.

Of course, that’s my opinion. Yours may be different. I have the police chief’s official position paper on this subject if you would like to read it.  Thanks!


George Larsen, is a co-founder of Larsen Baker since 1994, Larsen Baker has become the largest independent retail-commercial property owner in Tucson. The firm owns and manages over 2.5 million-square-feet of commercial space in 44 locations with 350 tenants throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona. The Larsen Baker executives are members of the National CCIM Network, The Southern Arizona CCIM Chapter, Pima County Real Estate Research Council, Real Estate Allied Professionals (REAP), The National Association of Realtors (NAR), The Tucson Association of Realtors (TAR), The Tucson Metro Chamber, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Metropolitan Pima Association (MPA). They are also active in the community, serving on many nonprofit boards, including Angel Charity for Children, The D-M 50, The Rotary Club, The Gregory School, Social Venture Partners, La Frontera and other organizations. George can be contacted by email  at



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