Watch Back: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti's Final State Of The City Address
Touching on mental health crisis response teams, affordable housing, climate change, and other pressing issues, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his final State of the City address Thursday. He timed his remarks to coincide with the release of his proposed budget, which was submitted to the L.A. City Council Thursday.
Garcetti's term ends in December. He has been nominated by President Joe Biden to be the U.S. ambassador to India, though that process has been stalled for months and his confirmation is in jeopardy over an investigation into whether he ignored alleged sexual misconduct by a former top advisor.
Garcetti has also endured significant criticism for failing to do enough to deal with homelessness.
Here are some highlights from the mayor's nearly hour-long speech:
- The mayor noted that two of L.A.'s "most pressing needs" are ensuring that "this is the safest and the cleanest city it can be," and building "a Los Angeles that is prosperous and protected by doubling down on our work to build more housing and address our climate emergency."
- Garcetti highlighted the L.A. Clean Jobs program, noting that 100 people were hired into the program last year, some of whom were reentering society from incarceration or were formerly unhoused. He proposes hiring 800 new sanitation workers this year.
- On public safety, he said LAPD's gun buyback program brought in over 9,000 firearms, and more than 700,000 patrol hours were added.
- Teams devoted to domestic abuse response, gang reduction and youth development were expanded.
- Delving into the city's work to replace armed officers with mental health professionals on crisis calls, Garcetti noted that L.A.'s two therapeutic vans were deployed 278 times, resulting in over 90% of the people reached being treated on the scene or transported to mental health care facilities rather than taken to the hospital.
- This year, he hopes to add three more therapeutic vans in South L.A. and the San Fernando Valley.
- Calling affordable housing a "failure" on the part of L.A. and California, Garcetti highlighted the use of accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, noting that the city's 10,000th ADU was recently completed in North Hollywood.
- "But ... if we don't keep it up, if we don't double down on our housing momentum, the California dream will be an old chapter in a distant history book," he said.
- Vaguely pointing fingers, Garcetti called on "neighborhood gatekeepers" to "say goodbye to an outdated zoning vision," on developers to "share in the profits to make sure that the working poor and the forgotten middle have options," and on state government to "make the abuse of environmental laws a thing of the past and fund even more housing affordability."
- Announcing what he called his "next goal for housing," the mayor hopes to begin the process of building nearly 457,000 new units by the year 2029.
- Garcetti called for the next mayor to focus on transit-oriented communities, and to lean into adaptive reuse laws and building multiple dwellings on single family lots.
- He highlighted his free Metro programs for LAUSD and community college students, as well as his guaranteed basic income program.
- Turning his focus to environmental concerns, Garcetti announced a two-phase $21 million climate equity fund that will focus on low-income neighborhoods that "bear a disproportionate amount of environmental harm."