ONE BIG THING: BREAKING DOWN LA’S $13 BILLION BUDGET
Next week, the City Council will vote on the 2023-24 budget, which will inform how we tackle the top issues in our city like homelessness, affordable housing, and public safety.
It’s absolutely critical that the city passes a progressive budget that reflects our values and acts as a bridge to a more sustainable and equitable future.
Homelessness and Housing
About $1.3 billion of the budget is expected to be dedicated to address the housing and homelessness crisis – an unprecedented investment to keep folks in their homes and bring people off the street and into housing.
As recently as 2015, LA was spending less than one-tenth of this amount of money on homelessness. With a government reluctant to invest in resources and services, it’s no wonder this crisis has worsened. But it’s extremely promising that we are now in a place where we’re putting real money into real solutions instead of shuffling people from block to block and expecting the problem to magically disappear.
Here are some of the key programs that we’ve been pushing for in the budget:
- Building affordable housing on public land.
- Buying motels/hotels to serve as temporary housing.
- Drastically expanding mental health/drug addiction services.
- More homelessness outreach providers and caseworkers.
- Emergency rental assistance for vulnerable renters like seniors and people with disabilities.
- Legal assistance to prevent illegal evictions.
This just scratches the surface of what we’ll need to fix our housing and homelessness issues – 3,000 people are living on the street in our district, meanwhile there are only 700 beds for them. But if we can effectively implement these programs and bring housing online faster, we will start seeing positive results and tangible changes in our neighborhoods.
We know that our city’s budget is a moral document that reflects our values and priorities. That’s why we asked for real solutions that will make our city safer and better for everyone, like:
- Expanding the CIRCLE unarmed response pilot program citywide.
- An increase in therapeutic vans, with EMTs and mental health clinicians to respond to mental health crises.
- Hiring more 911 operators and alternative crisis response teams to decrease response times.
- Money originally earmarked for armed patrols of homeless shelters to be reallocated to other homeless services.
- Funding community safety and the Office of Unarmed Response.
- Recruiting and training more mental health professionals, social workers, EMTs, and paramedics.
- Tackling the root causes of crime like poverty, the lack of after-school programs for teens, and the shortage of good-paying union jobs.
We don’t want fewer resources to address public safety, we’re talking about being realistic and spending more wisely to actually make us safer.
What Comes Next?
Next week, City Council will hold a special meeting to finalize and vote on the budget, which, if approved, will then go to the Mayor’s desk for her to sign.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a more detailed look at what got passed, and what we were able to fight for and get in the budget.
Two More Quick Hits!
Check out our weekly recap video
1. Feliz Día de las Madres, mama
This Mother’s Day, I have so much to celebrate and be grateful for.
First, I want to appreciate my incredible, loving mom, who just became an American citizen on Monday. My mom always fought to provide for our family, no matter how hard things got. I’m so proud and appreciative of her.
2. Happy Mother’s Day to the Moms of the CD13 Team!
I also want to shout out the moms on the CD13 team. These remarkable women work to make our city a better place every day while caring for their kids and being all-around great moms.
I am beyond grateful for everything you all do – thank you!