As the Los Angeles City Council approved Mayor Garcetti’s $8.5-billion budget for fiscal year 2015-2016, Councilmember Huizar fought for and a supported a number of items that benefit the constituents of Council District 14.
While this year’s budget had a $165 million shortfall, the budget deficit shrunk $80 million compared to last year, and the City Council continues to cut expenses, control payroll costs and create efficiencies toward achieving a structural deficit balance by 2018.
Councilmember Huizar is also proud to report many important investments and services secured in the budget. Some of those include:
Improving City Services, Clean Communities and Park Maintenance
The Council restored $700,000 to continue fully funding graffiti removal, which is a major quality of life issue.
Increase funding from $4 million to $6.5 million. In Council District 14, Councilmember was able to get about 5,000 trees trimmed in Council District 14 the last couple of years. During the Budget hearings, Councilmember Huizar submitted a motion, which drew wide support from the Council, asking the City to create a plan to use in-house Bureau of Street Services’ Urban Forestry experts to do some of the tree trimming, since the move toward using exclusively outside contractors has resulted in delays and, at times, higher costs and shoddy work.
Additional Trash Bins
Council voted to purchase and service 1,200 new trash cans to help keep our streets clean citywide. Through his Clean Communities Initiative, Councilmember Huizar worked with community partners to bring more than 250 trash bins to our main thoroughfares.
Additional Park Rangers and Bathroom Maintenance Coming to Rec & Parks
$1.5 million for 10 park rangers who will help oversee and maintain park safety.
$1 million to clean restrooms twice daily at 35 parks throughout City.
Achieving Safer and Complete Streets
Additional Crossing Guards
Concerned about safety in and around schools, Councilmember Huizar lobbied for and the approved City budget includes adding up to 65 additional Crossing Guards, to bring the total to 475 throughout City.
DASH Routes Could Expand
While DOT is studying a possible expansion of DASH routes, the new budget sets aside more than $15 million for new buses and new routes.
Streamlined Sidewalk Dining Staffer Hired
Based off a motion and planning work by Councilmember Huizar, the Bureau of Engineering (BOE) now has $130,000 to hire staff and administer new streamlined and cost-effective process for sidewalk dining to assists businesses.
Helping Local Programs Stay Open
As federal and state grant funding continues to shrink, local programs have been put at risk. Budget adjustments are protecting programs in CD14, including:
● Health and wellness programs that serve hundreds of Eastside seniors.
● Boyle Heights YouthSource Center
● Boyle Heights FamilySource Center
● Day Laborer sites, which assist day laborers with employment and social services.
As the Chair of the newly formed Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness, addressing Homelessness is one of Councilmember Huizar’s top priorities.
Increased Funds for Clean Streets
While maintaining funding to continue street cleanings and outreach for Operation Healthy Streets in Skid Row, Councilmember Huizar also helped secure additional funding for more Citywide cleanup crews to address homeless encampments and illegal dumping citywide while offering services through the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
More LAHSA Homeless Outreach Workers
Councilmember Huizar called for full funding of the City’s share of the Homeless Services Authority, a joint City/County agency. Additional investments will provide:
● 10 outreach teams dedicated to the City, which is two more teams than LAHSA currently has for the entire County.
● $2 million more will expand regional implementation of the Coordinated Entry System, provide a small amount of additional bridge housing, and support case management to place Veterans in housing.
● Another $1.3 million maintains LAHSA funding for shelter program and DTLA Drop-In Center.
● More police officers will be trained in Mental Health Intervention because additional courses are being funded, and City Council set aside another $1 million to further expand various programs to address homelessness.