Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered his 2019 State of the City address on Wednesday, April 17th at Lincoln High School in East Los Angeles. As the site where the Chicano Blowouts of 1968 began – a youth civil rights movement where 22,000 students walked out of LAUSD high schools to protest unequal conditions there – Lincoln High was an aptly symbolic setting for the Mayor’s speech, which focused heavily on the future of Los Angeles education.
Check out our summary below, or visit the Mayor’s website at LAmayor.org/state-city-2019 to read or watch the full speech.
Mayor Garcetti, who played a major role in negotiating the end of the LA teachers’ strike in January, stated that it is time “to stop complaining that our schools are underfunded – and actually fund them.” He detailed the many ways in which Measure EE, which will be on the ballot in June, can make a difference for LA schools, including reducing class sizes; staffing school libraries; providing full-time (rather than visiting) nurses on campus; adding more after-school and tech studies programs; and cutting counselor caseloads, to allow them to more fully support the students in their care. If approved by at least two-thirds of voters, Measure EE – which would add a 16 cents per square foot parcel tax for LA property owners – will annually generate an estimated $500 million for LAUSD revenues, for the 12 years that the tax will be in effect.
The Mayor also discussed a few other education-related proposals. One was to certify 2500 new early childhood educators by 2025, in order to close the school readiness gap for vulnerable students. He also set a goal to double the students participating in the College Promise program – provides tuition, student jobs, internships, and study abroad experiences to LA Community College students – from 5,000 to 10,000 by 2022. And the City has also committed to opening 25 additional Community School Parks by 2025, by providing funds and staffing that would keep school campuses open on weekends to be used as public parks.
Homelessness, Affordable Housing & Help for Low-Income Renters
LA’s plans to address its homelessness problem was another central topic in this year’s State of the City address. Mayor Garcetti noted that in the coming year, at least 15 new bridge housing projects would open across the City. And in fall of 2019, the first of the permanent supportive housing developments funded by Proposition HHH will open its doors. A total of 107 HHH-funded developments are in the pipeline, Garcetti said, which will together contain nearly 7,000 units for homeless and low-income Angelenos.
In addition, the City partnered with non-profit PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), to launch a program called LeaseUp with Measure H funds. Landlords can sign up on the program’s website at www.LeaseUpLosAngeles.org, where they will be matched homeless Angelenos (and support from local housing non-profits.)
And to help prevent the displacement that contributes to homelessness, the Mayor announced that the City is starting a new program where low-income LA renters can get free legal representation, if they are in danger of being illegally evicted from rent-controlled properties by landlords trying to get them out in order to raise the rent (please contact the Mayor’s Help Desk for more info about this forthcoming program).
“Plane Train” to LAX
$14 billion has been earmarked to improve infrastructure around LAX airport, the centerpiece of which is an Automated People Mover to take passengers straight to the terminals from surrounding parking lots, rental car agencies, and public transit. The Plane Train is expected to be completed and serving 30 million passengers a year by 2023, according to this project overview on the Mayor’s website.
Community Safety Partnership for LAPD
LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership program keeps officers in a community for five years, to allow them time to develop real relationships with the people they serve. During the coming year this program – which has already proven very successful in three LA neighborhoods – will be expanded to other parts of the City.
LA’s Green New Deal
Mayor Garcetti announced that LA would move ahead to implement its own local version of the Green New Deal that D.C. lawmakers have been considering, by building on the Sustainable City pLAn established four years ago. Points include:
- A zero carbon buildings mandate, to ensure every public and private building in the City is emissions-free by 2050
- A zero emissions transportation network, to provide more local charging stations and more alternatives to cars
- A zero carbon electricity grid, with a goal of reaching 80% clean energy by 2036 and 100% by 2045
- Commitment to a zero waste future, beginning with elimination of all single-use straws and styrofoam containers by 2028 and culminating in no trash being sent to landfills by 2050
- 100% wastewater recycling by 2035 (see an overview)
- A new Jobs Cabinet, to create 300,000 new green jobs over the next 15 years
The Mayor said that his office will release the fully-fleshed out version of LA’s Green New Deal later this month.
Infographics courtesy of the LA Mayor’s Office