May 29, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Delivers 2024 State of the City Address Monday Evening

Mayor Highlights Achievements and Outlines Future Plans in Annual Speech

Mayor Karen Bass delivered the annual State of the City address on Monday night, highlighting accomplishments and outlining plans for the future. In her speech, Mayor Bass emphasized the city’s progress and its ongoing commitment to change.

“The state of our city is stronger today because we have made change and disrupted the status quo,” stated Mayor Bass. She pointed out achievements such as increased housing for the unhoused and reduced crime rates.

Mayor Bass recognized this morning’s tragic passing of LAFD Fire Recruit Jacob Fuerte.

“Just this morning, we were tragically reminded of the sacred debt we owe to our first responders. Earlier, I met with the family of Jacob Fuerte, the fire recruit who passed away… His father is an active-duty firefighter. My heart goes out to the family during this difficult time. I’ve ordered City flags to be flown at half-staff in Jacob’s honor, and I thank all first responders, especially today.

Mayor Bass highlighted how her new approach has impacted how the city addresses homelessness (thousands more unhoused Angelenos came inside in 2023 compared to 2022), how the city approaches public safety (homicides and violent crime were down in 2023 compared to 2022), and how the city operates (100,000 more service requests were completed in 2023 compared to 2022). 

Bass addressed several key issues during her speech, including homelessness and public safety. She emphasized a transition from managing homelessness to actively preventing and ending it. 

Mayor Bass said, “We will not hide people – instead, we will house people. This means committing to the goal of preventing and ending homelessness — not hiding —  not managing — but ending homelessness — with a new strategy and a new system that urgently lifts people from the street and that surrounds them with the support and housing they need to never go back… Inside Safe is our proactive rejection of a status quo that left unhoused Angelenos to wait – and die – outside, in encampments until permanent housing was built.”

Mayor Bass also highlighted how her budget proposal for the next year will preserve core services and will serve as a “reset” to improve future budgets. 

“Vacant positions do not fill potholes, sweep streets, or staff parks,” said Mayor Bass. “And too many of these vacant positions have been there for years and years because of flawed budgeting that does not reflect how departments should actually operate. So this year, we will eliminate these ghost positions while we preserve core services – now we will continue to hire, but we will continue to strategically hire based on real life.” 

Mayor Bass also discussed how she hopes City Hall will continue to work together to set a budget that works for all Angelenos. 

“Locking arms doesn’t mean we’ll always agree. But how we handle those differences and conflicts is key. Are we focused on outcomes? Are we focused on the people’s business? Are we addressing our differences in person, or are we resorting to Twitter Wars? I know we are better than that.”

Additionally, the Mayor discussed efforts to address hiring and retention within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). “Amidst a national and local police hiring and retention crisis, together with the Council, we forged a new contract specifically designed to reduce the downward trend in officers. As a result, we’re attracting record numbers of applicants to the police academy – and my budget for next year maintains our LAPD staffing goals. We are sending a signal to our current officers and our community partners that we support them – that public safety is a priority for this administration.”

The Mayor also unveiled plans for the city’s economic growth, including exploring the modernization of the Los Angeles Convention Center and launching a capital campaign called LA4LA to address homelessness. Mayor Bass expressed pride in the city’s climate action initiatives and announced plans to make Los Angeles a 100% clean energy city by 2035. 

The speech touched on various other topics, including the search for a new LAPD chief and comprehensive efforts to keep Angelenos safe. “We have focused on change and strategic investments – and as a result, violent crime and homicides were down in 2023. But these cycles can reverse – so the search for the next LAPD chief is critical. And this isn’t a closed-door conversation… I’ve been meeting with rank-and-file officers, business organizations, community leaders, and community members to ask them directly what they want to see in the next chief. My number one job is to keep Angelenos safe – and that’s what we will do, and we will do it together.”

“To accomplish this, we have strengthened our community violence intervention programs and Summer Night Lights. We’ve expanded the CIRCLE mental health response program to more neighborhoods throughout the city. We must recognize the many factors that go into community safety.”

Mayor Bass underscored the urgency of bringing people indoors and highlighted the costs associated with leaving individuals unhoused. “The rescue phase of an emergency is always expensive – there is no way around it – motel rooms rented by the night are expensive. But it is far, far more expensive to leave people unhoused on our streets. Beyond the human toll, we all pay the cost of the thousands and thousands of fire, paramedic, and police calls. The cost of each overdose, of each emergency room visit, of each night in county jail – each of which is a human tragedy. The cost to shops and restaurants whose customers stay away out of fear. The cost when tourists don’t come to visit. The cost when offices and their employees leave downtown. I just will not accept this – and our city cannot afford to accept this. That is why we are disrupting, challenging, and rebuilding the system. Inside Safe and our overall approach is evolving and will continue to evolve.”

In concluding remarks, the Mayor reflected on her hopes for future generations and reiterated her commitment to challenging the status quo.

The full State of the City address can be viewed here.

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