Mayor Karen Bass gave her State of the City address Tuesday, 127 days into her administration.
She pointed to the changes that have occurred during her term, saying that she cannot declare that the state of the city is where it needs to be, but, “Together we have brought change.”
Bass addressed safety and homelessness as residents’ major concerns.
She lauded her “Inside Safe” program, initiated after she declared a state of emergency about the homeless on her very first day in office.
She identified 1,000 people moved off the streets through Inside Safe, and Valley News Group asked how many of those were from the valley.
“The new Inside Safe initiative has been a pilot program during these first few months of the administration and has not yet been deployed Citywide. Through the pilot, Inside Safe has been activated at Victory and Vineland in the East Valley and along the LA River (including parts of the West Valley and Sepulveda Basin).”
Her plan to house 17,000 during her first year includes a $250 million investment in her newly released budget to scale Inside Safe citywide, with some funds designated to purchasing hotels and motels across Los Angeles. “Inside Safe is a citywide initiative to address unhoused Angelenos in all parts of the City, including the San Fernando Valley. We have plans to address more Valley locations, including the North Valley,” Bass told the paper.
“We are working to secure long-term interim housing resources distributed throughout the City. These housing resources will be a combination of nightly leases, long-term agreements and purchases.”
Bass urged local landlords to participate in housing the homeless, and said, “We need Angelenos to welcome housing on their communities.”
Acknowledging that mental illness is a large component of homelessness, Bass said she will use funds from opioid and tobacco settlement to pay for substance abuse treatment.
Valley residents and business owners are increasingly concerned about security – protection from homeless and home invasion robberies. Bass said her number one job is to “Keep L.A. Safe.” To that end her goal is to launch a recruitment campaign for LAPD new officers, hire civilians to handle non-emergency cases and hire more 911 operators.
She also addressed concerns about wildfires and pledged to be “prepared for fire season” by budgeting funds to hire hundreds of new firefighters.
Bass talked about the “new L.A. we are building together.”
“It’s about the state of your neighborhood, your household, your mind. Do you look over your shoulder walking after dark? Do you have pride in your local parks? Do you have peace of mind because you can actually pay the rent? When the answer is ‘yes’ then we can say the state of the city is strong.”