Garcetti outlines spending priorities in latest State of the Town address – Daily News


Days before presenting his budget proposal for the next fiscal year to City Council, Mayor Eric Garcetti used his final State of the City address today to outline some of the programs and investments Angelenos can expect, including programs aimed at public safety and homelessness.

The mayor, speaking from the soon-to-be-completed Sixth Street Overpass, said his budget proposal will include new and expanded programs aimed at making the city cleaner and safer, as well as housing people living on the streets and helping people who are most affected by climate change and pollution.

The new fiscal year begins on July 1.

“My goal is to deliver next week a stronger-than-ever municipal budget, an infrastructure program unmatched in America, and a pathway to house our people and save our planet with the urgency this moment demands,” the mayor said. .

The city charter requires the mayor to submit his budget proposal to the council by April 20. The council will be able to make changes before sending its version back to the mayor by June 1. The current fiscal year budget, which includes federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, was over $11 billion.

Exact details of the budget Garcetti will propose were not available, but he did discuss some highlights during his speech Thursday, including a $21 million climate equity fund focused on “mitigation efforts and resilience in low-income neighborhoods that bear a disproportionate amount of environmental damage”. harm.”

The $21 million fund will be used to hire and train “underrepresented and displaced” workers to retrofit buildings to be more energy efficient, Garcetti said. It will also be used to monitor the air at oil drilling sites — which the city is phasing out — and the resulting data will be made public. The fund will also be used to distribute air purifiers to people who live in the most polluted areas and to provide new insulation and cool roofs for people who live in low-income neighborhoods with the highest heat indices. .

The proposal will also include funding for a new program to facilitate housing development in Los Angeles, he said. Modeled after a program for secondary suites, the program will seek to accelerate the transition from single-family zoned lots to four-unit properties, a change now permitted under new state law. The new Low-Rise Design Lab program will begin with a $500,000 budget within the planning department to create “off the shelf” designs pre-approved by local architects and engineers.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivers his final State of the City address on Thursday, April 14. Photo: Screenshot of the mayor’s video live stream

The mayor said the program will help the city meet its state-mandated goal of building nearly 457,000 new units by 2029, a significant increase from the past eight years, when the city built only 150,000 units.

To address the homelessness crisis, Garcetti said his budget proposal will match this fiscal year’s historic $1 billion investment.

Garcetti also said his budget would build on the Clean LA Jobs program, which hired 100 young people who were previously incarcerated or homeless. The program will be expanded this year to include 800 new sanitation workers.

“It will be our neighbors, hired to look after our neighborhoods, so that a third-grader walking to school doesn’t have to see a town full of trash or an off-ramp clogged with litter” , said Garcetti.

The mayor said the budget will allow the city to reduce the time it takes to process requests to clean up illegal landfills from seven days to three days.

City Council on Wednesday passed motions in preparation for budget discussions on expanding Office of Sanitation teams that deal with illegal landfills. Based on motions from city council, the expansion will cost approximately $15 million.

Garcetti said public safety was at the forefront of Angelenos’ concerns. Its proposed budget would double the number of CIRCLE (Crisis and Incident Response Through Community-Led Engagement) teams, as part of a pilot program to divert non-emergency 911 calls related to homelessness to mental health care and emergency workers. The program began in November and teams fielded more than 1,200 calls in Hollywood and Venice.

The mayor said the new budget would build on the city’s partnership with LA County to dispatch mental health response teams to mental health-related 911 calls.

“Our budget funds these two vans and will add three more to South LA and the Valley, giving us the combined capacity to respond to 9,000 calls by the end of the year for the trauma we see on our streets” , did he declare.

The mayor did not reveal how much the city would invest in its police department.

Garcetti, who may leave office early pending a decision on his uncertain Senate confirmation for an ambassadorial appointment, is expected to complete his term in December, midway through the next fiscal year.

He ended his State of the City address with advice for his successor.

“Achieving energy independence. Recycle 100% of our water. Complete these 15 Transit Lines. Complete those 12,000 supportive housing units and make 12,000 more in half the time. Host the best Olympics this world has ever seen and leave behind a legacy of opportunity. Continue to lower crime and poverty and increase graduation rates and housing numbers. Don’t forget to balance that budget, build that reserve, and watch your bond ratings. Respond to those calls quickly, push your GMs to do more, and hire the kind of leaders who push our city beyond its limits,” Garcetti said.

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