A Budget that Puts Neighborhoods FIRST
Posted by Councilmember Englander on May 25, 2018 at 2:35 PM
This week the City Council finalized the City budget for the fiscal year 2018/19. As Vice Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, I spent over 33 hours deliberating with my colleagues to ensure the approved budget reflects the values of the Twelfth District. This budget addresses many things but what sets it apart is its historic commitment to resolving the homelessness crisis in our city.
Homelessness has reached level unprecedented in the history of our city and likewise will require an unprecedented response if we are to address the crisis. This Budget has the necessary oversight to help ensure there are resources for both enforcement and treatment. It also aims to create more local opportunities for housing until permanent housing can be built from Prop HHH funds approved by voters.
The Budget calls for joint administration with the Council and Mayor to oversee the City’s Crisis and Bridge Housing. The Council will review and approve protocols for Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement (HOPE) teams and Clean Streets LA teams. These teams reach out to the homeless in our communities, daily to help place them in services and to mitigate the effects of encampments in our community.
We will continue to enforce codes that preserve the quality of life in our neighborhoods including clean ups and parking enforcement to ensure that public safety and health is maintained throughout our district.
Additionally, this Budget establishes the City’s strongest budgetary reserves. We have gone from a Reserve Fund low point of $127 million (or less than 3% of the City’s General Fund) to allocating $460 million (or more than 7% of the City’s General Fund) for the combined Reserve Fund and Budget Stabilization Funds in the 2018-2019 Budget. These actions will provide significant protection of services during down economic cycles.
As the Councilmember responsible for chairing the City’s Public Safety Committee, I fought for a Budget that prioritizes keeping our neighborhoods safe. Gone are the days of an understaffed Police Department as the force will maintain 10,000 officers. We also appropriated additional resources to LAPD civilian hiring. These funds will free up officers currently doing civilian jobs to patrol our streets.
I have continued to advocate for restoring Fire Department resources from the days of rolling Fire Department Closures. The 2018-2019 Budget includes funding for 200 additional firefighters and increases funding for advanced life support/basic life support ambulance services.
The Budget increases sidewalk funding by $41 million, provides more funding to maintain and clean our City parks, and extends the summer swim season by four weekends for our community.
I am pleased to report that I was also able to double last year’s Budget allocation for the Devonshire PALS Center. This PALS center provides critical programs for thousands of at risk youth in the north San Fernando Valley. For more on the great work Devonshire PALS does for our community, visit www.devonshire-pals.org.
Ten years after the Great Recession, I am pleased to report that the City’s structural deficit has been reduced by more than 85%. Throughout the upcoming fiscal year, you can count on me to fight for a Budget that strengthens our communities by making them safer, cleaner, and better maintained while protecting your hard-earned tax dollars.
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