BUDGET ADVOCATES--On Thursday April 20, at 10 a.m., Mayor Garcetti will present the 2017-18 budget at City Hall. Whether you live in East Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley or West Los Angeles, we can no longer afford to live in a bubble. The budget will change how the city operates and you should be there to hear the specifics.
The city budget matters if;
- You work. Some city services may have to be trimmed to balance the budget and your organization may be impacted and have to lay people off.
- Neighborhood safety is a concern. Your neighborhood has had an increase in crime because of lack police patrol and you were placed on hold when you called 911. There are officers, but they are on desk duty.
- You own property or rent. Property taxes will increase and rental rates now consume more than 40% of a person’s paycheck in most cities.
- You feel nothing will change: Things always change. For some neighborhoods the change is positive and for others the change can have a negative impact.
- You don’t trust the system. Some city relationships have been an obvious conflict of interest, while others were cemented before the public was made aware of them. Attend and ask for the transparency needed that will help you support the mayor’s city initiatives and budget.
- Math isn’t your thing. If you have ever purchased something, prepared a cooked meal, received a paycheck, paid bills or voted, you are better at math than you give yourself credit for. In most cases we can all recognize when a number is too big or too small.
By law the mayor has to balance the budget. There is a $224-million deficit, which includes
50-million in lawsuit settlements. Mayor Garcetti’s budget is said to account for critical services, street repair, and homelessness. Attend and hear for yourself how the budget will be balanced.
The great thing about our government is that you can participate in various ways. Remember you can write or email your local council person about neighborhood concerns and join your neighborhood council as a budget representative or budget advocate this coming June.
On Thursday, April 20 the 2017-18 proposed city budget will be posted at http://cao.lacity.org/budget/index.htm, but you can view past budgets now.
To learn more about the roles of budget representative and budget advocate visit http://ncbala.com/responsibilities/.
(Brigette Kidd is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate from Region 9.)