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Mayor Karen Bass Talks Budget With Valley News Group

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Karen Bass

The City of Los Angeles is in the midst of its annual budgeting process, where we are working to build on the progress that we began together last year. Over the last year, and in partnership with the City Council, thousands more people came inside from the streets than the year before, violent crime trended down and 2.5 million city services were delivered – 100,000 more than the year before.

It’s no secret that the City is entering a tough budget year like other cities and the state and there is still so much work to be done. We absolutely will not slow down.

The budget continues funding for Inside Safe to bring people inside from encampments, tents, and RVs because we need to continue to act with urgency to save lives and end encampments. Operations in Chatsworth and Canoga Park have seen nearly 100 individuals moved indoors. That’s just the beginning. We are planning to bring many more people inside who are living on the streets of the Valley this year. 

During this next phase of Inside Safe, we will be laser-focused on bringing down the costs associated with renting hotels and motels and also improving services for people such as mental health assistance and support with getting job opportunities. Addressing RV encampments will also be prioritized. 

 The proposed budget also invests in the LAPD to recruit more police officers and retain existing officers. We know that many people are not feeling safe, especially on Metro. I am introducing a motion that will surge law enforcement presence on Metro’s buses, trains and stations to make sure riders feel safe. While we’ve seen a record number of applicants to the department, we must continue to do more to grow the police department. Strong recruitment of new officers and ensuring our existing officers stay in Los Angeles will be important priorities for the next chief of police. More must be done, and I will continue pushing to keep Angelenos safe.

You may have heard that the budget proposes elimination of some vacant positions. This budget prioritizes people over empty desks, and we will also continue hiring to fill needed positions for sanitation workers, police officers and street repair workers. We hired more than 3,500 new employees since I took office and hiring will absolutely continue as we work to serve you better and deliver critical city services while paying workers fairly. 

As the new budget is finalized and implemented, we will look forward to continuing to serve you and to build on the progress we began together last year with a focus on continuing to deliver core city services to every neighborhood in the Valley and beyond.

I will continue to work with Council leaders like Council President Paul Krekorian and Council Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield to ensure that our budget reflects the values and priorities of our great city. 

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