LA Mayor Bass Announces Increased Funding For Homelessness Initiative
It’s been 128 days since Karen Bass took the helm as the mayor of Los Angeles. Last night, she delivered her first State of the City address and brought up issues including homelessness, housing affordability, and public safety.
State of the City with LA Mayor Karen Bass
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One of the highlights of her speech was an announcement of increased funding for her signature motel shelter program, Inside Safe. She said her proposed budget would put $250 million toward the initiative to buy motels and hotels to help house people now living on the streets — an increase from the $50 million L.A. city councilmembers previously authorized.
In her speech, Bass said her administration has helped more than 1,000 unhoused people secure shelter so far.
“To build a stronger, healthier, happier, and safer new L.A., we must make life easier for every Angeleno — especially those who are most vulnerable,” Bass told a crowd Monday night.
My colleague Nick Gerda, LAist's Unhoused Communities Reporter, has been reporting on the homelessness crisis here. He said there’s been some controversy around the Inside Safe program.
“People were being shuffled around and separated from the communities that they had developed on the streets and in encampments, so she has not gone without criticism or concern, even from fellow progressives,” Nick told me. “But on the whole, she's been getting pretty widespread support in the city.”
Nick and our other LAist colleagues have more from the State of the City here.
Bass also talked about how she plans to build back the city’s police force to 9,500 officers — a drop from the number she campaigned on. The LAPD has shrunk by nearly 10% over the last three years.
The police killings of Takar Smith, Keenan Anderson, and Oscar Leon Sanchez — all within the first week of January — has brought up growing concerns about how the LAPD responds to different situations, especially when a person is experiencing a mental health crisis. There have been increased calls for more unarmed response units.
Read more about what was said in the State of the City address here.
Bass will release her proposed budget today.
As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.
(After you stop hitting snooze)
- The Writers Guild of America voted to authorize a strike against film and television producers, which could lead to a work stoppage in Hollywood if a deal is not reached before May 1. The last time the WGA went on strike was in 2007 and it lasted 100 days.
- Only a quarter of all bus stops in Los Angeles have a shade cover, which makes waiting for the bus during a typical SoCal heat wave pretty uncomfortable. So, as the days heat up, a non-profit is working to map L.A.’s hottest bus stops and get input from community members on how to improve the situation.
- Some mosquitoes can be found starting as early as this month. Once the mosquitoes season begins, it can last up to November. Here's what you need to know.
- Before Hollywood became our main industry, oil fields dotted the landscape. A number of the wells are still in L.A. County (Orange and Kern Counties, too) and new research shows that Black, Latino and low income residents have disproportionately high exposure to them and any pollutants they emit.
- Tonight, listen to actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo talk about his Angeleno childhood along with his new book at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Arts Station. Are you ready for a WILD spring fling? Attend LAist Studios’ WILD Spring Fling on Wednesday at the Crawford Family Forum and hear stories about the BOLD things people did for love. Snap your fingers to some poetry during Third Thursdays: Locals’ Night at the Santa Monica Pier. You can check out all of these weekday events and more here.
- You’ve no doubt heard plenty about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Well, researchers have found that some of our discarded plastic floating out there has a good amount of life clinging to it. About a dozen marine species that usually stick close to the U.S. coasts – worms, barnacles, anemones – have been found in the open sea, which is not exactly a good thing.
*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding!
Wait! One More Thing...
What Do You Know About YOUR Neighborhood Council?
It’s that time of the year, my friend. It’s time to vote for who will represent you on your neighborhood council. There are different election dates for each council. Check it all out here and make sure you don’t miss out!
Pause…maybe you don’t know what a neighborhood council even is. Well, school is now in session.
There are 99 neighborhood councils across the city of L.A. and each serves about 40,000 residents. The councilmembers are all volunteers who live, work or have a vested interest or concern in what’s going on in the neighborhood. The councils range in size but members have their eyes and ears close to the ground, and serve as community advocates within the City Hall structure. These hyperlocal elected public city officials have a say in things like community improvement efforts, homelessness and emergency preparedness issues. If you want to make a change on your street, your neighborhood council is a good place to start.
Here’s how to find out which neighborhood council represents you and the neighborhood council candidates running in your area.
These elections aren’t like others. Why? You can vote even if you’re undocumented. And in many scenarios, you can vote if you’re at least 16 years old.
My colleague Brianna Lee spoke to How to LA host Brian De Los Santos about how these councils work and has a comprehensive guide on LAist that includes how to vote, why you should vote and how you can still be involved even if you missed your chance to cast a ballot.
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