This week, the L.A. City Council voted —11 to 4 —to override the Mayor’s veto of a proposal they backed in December to reallocate $88 million from the Los Angeles Police Department to programs targeting communities of color, reimagining public safety and the city’s Targeted Local Hire Program.
“If we’re going to address the systemic racism that lies in our society and if we’re going to address the fact that the children of color are placed yards behind the starting line, it starts with reinvesting in communities that they come from,” stated City Council President Nury Martinez.
Garcetti has maintained that he initially vetoed the plan because he felt it didn’t go far enough in addressing racial inequities, but this revamped proposal—including many of the revisions he requested—has his approval.
The new plan will direct the money to the “highest need census tracts” and includes funding for employment development programs, eviction defense services, community beautification projects, recreation and youth programming, groups providing assistance to the homeless and a 24-hour, unarmed crisis response pilot program to dispatch mental health workers to certain nonviolent 9-1-1 calls instead of police.
Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Curren Price, Mark Ridley-Thomas joined with three other councilmembers in a statement that read as follows: “Too often there is resistance when it comes to providing funds, services and assistance to low income communities. From the start, our plan laid out clear intentions to meet the needs of our communities. We will continue the work we started this past summer and while this $88 million will not undo decades of neglect, the commitment we are making today is only the beginning.”
Many of the councilmembers submitted ideas on how they felt the $88.8 million should be reimagined.
Said Ridley-Thomas, “As I considered how to reinvest these resources in the 10th District, I’ve appreciated the work of a range of community organizations, convened by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, who developed the proposed “People’s Budget LA”, based on a survey of over 24,000 respondents. This survey indicated that residents overwhelmingly support “Universal Aid and Crisis Management”, and under this category, addressing housing security – defined as ensuring people have housing and can stay in housing – was the top priority of Angelenos.”
To that end, his proposed allocations include an “Encampment to Home” Initiatives to transition the homeless from the streets into housing in Koreatown, Mid-City and Leimert Park/Crenshaw Corridor; a city-wide effort to study unarmed traffic enforcement models, hiring and training community intervention workers, and eviction defense services.
Part of Councilmember Price’s vision for District 9 includes a $6 million Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program, which would provide $1,000 a month for 500-single parent households during the span of a year.
Other programs that District 9 will be pursuing, contingent on the outcome of Tuesday’s vote, include but are not limited to: an unarmed crisis response team, community intervention workers helping to reduce violence in neighborhoods, homelessness prevention, and other community-based initiatives that address economic inequality and prevent poverty.
“The programs I’ve outlined will provide meaningful investments in our communities that aim to combat social inequities and racial injustices while uplifting our Black and Brown neighbors,” added Councilmember Curren Price. “I’m especially excited about implementing a Guaranteed Basic Income program, which will give single-parent households stability and provide them a much-needed lifeline to get through these extraordinary times.”