Each spring, I lead the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee in discussions on the budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. Although it may seem far removed from your daily life, the city budget is probably the piece of public policy that will impact you most this year.
By passing our budget, we make sure your trash gets picked up, your trees get trimmed, your sidewalks get fixed, your broken streets get repaired, the medians in your neighborhood get maintained, the traffic signals work and that your public parks are clean and open to everyone.
That’s just a snapshot of what this budget will deliver for Angelenos in the coming fiscal year. On its face, it is a fiscal plan that sets out our revenue and expenditures, but it is also an expression of our city’s values and priorities.
The budget process is a collaboration between the Mayor, the City Council and the people of Los Angeles. This year, we heard more than 100 comments during 35 hours of budget meetings, discussed the budget with 44 departments and heard presentations from the city’s workforce and the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates. At the meetings, we made changes to the budget and then took it to the full City Council for a vote. It was adopted unanimously in late May.
I’m happy to report that our city’s budget is solid and goes the extra mile to provide resources to neighborhoods across Los Angeles. Our revenues continue to grow, putting the overall budget at $9.2 billion. And at $298 million, we have a Reserve Fund that is higher than it was a decade ago. While maintaining our responsible posture, we have also started the process of restoring neighborhood services and even made funding commitments to infrastructure and service-oriented programs that will improve the lives of Angelenos today and into the future.
The budget puts 10,000 sworn police officers on our streets, adds 150 officers to patrol the Metro system and expands funding to combat domestic violence. It also will result in the hiring of nearly 200 more firefighters with a focus on recruiting young women to the force. As homelessness continues to grow, we are doubling down on finding ways to reduce it. This budget puts $176 million toward housing and services for the homeless, including $89 million from Measure HHH, which was passed by voters last November. More than $24 million will go to eliminate traffic fatalities and increase bike and pedestrian safety measures through Vision Zero.
These are more than just numbers, they are measureable ways we are improving your neighborhood. Of course, there is still work to do, and reducing our liability claims and eliminating the structural deficit top my list. I am confident that we’ll get there if we stay disciplined with our money, and continue to collaborate closely with neighborhood leaders throughout Los Angeles.
If you have questions or comments please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Job Creation, represents Council District 2, which includes North Hollywood, Studio City, Valley Village and other communities in the East Valley.