This week the City Council finalized the City budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020. The approved budget reflects the values and priorities of Council District 12, and continues the City’s commitment to resolving the homelessness crisis in our city.
Homelessness has reached unprecedented levels in the city. This Budget increases funding for Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement (HOPE) teams and Clean Streets LA teams. These teams often have the first and most frequent contact with the homeless in our communities and work daily to help connect them with services and shelter, as well as ensure that public health and safety is maintained.
The budget also continues support for following initiatives to resolve the crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles:
- Investment in homeless services, Bridge Housing, Prop HHH funds to build supportive housing and Safe Parking.
- Resources for eviction prevention and homeless prevention services pending development of a policy and plan, to help people from falling into homelessness in the first place.
Altogether, the City has increased its investment for homeless services by 11.5% over the previous fiscal year.
As a member of the Budget and Finance Committee during my original tenure as Councilmember, I established a Budget Stabilization Fund in the 2009-2010 Budget when the City was in the midst of extremely difficult financial times. To be maintained apart from the Reserve Fund, the Budget Stabilization Fund established a way to save during times of growing revenues to help reduce the impact on City services during years of slow revenue growth or declining revenue. The City’s Reserve Fund and Budget Stabilization Fund combined, this Budget establishes the City’s strongest budgetary reserves to date with an unprecedented figure of $530 million (or more than 8.12% of the budget). This ensures that if and when our city enters a recession, we will be able to maintain city services without risking fiscal instability.
This budget also makes important investments in our public safety and maintenance services, including:
- Adds LAFD Fast Response Vehicles and Basic Life Support ambulances.
- Technology upgrades for LAPD and LAFD including a multi-year investment with long term benefits of making our public safety departments more efficient so that more time can be spent out in the field assisting residents.
- Transportation traffic signals and safety improvements
- Street Services, street reconstruction and resurfacing, and dedicated funding for alley paving
- Implementation of a failed street program so that we can dedicate resources to the City’s most damaged streets that are the most expensive to repair
- Significant new investment toward tree trimming to prevent dead and dying trees from endangering people, property, and infrastructure
- Creation of an Urban Forestry Management Plan and Tree Inventory Study so that we are taking a holistic look at ways to preserve and expand our urban forest.
- Increased programming for seniors and youth through our Recreation & Parks Department as well as universal play facilities, and dedicated funding to ensure parks are clean.
- Maintains funding for City Planning’s Community Plan Update program, and expands resources to maintain Specific Plans.
- Four additional Neighborhood Prosecutors to help address quality of life issues in the City.
In summary, this FY 2019-2020 budget is prudent and responsible and positions Los Angeles to make progress on some of its biggest challenges while preserving our fiscal solvency both today and in the years to come.