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Democratic U.S. Representative Karen Bass at a Get Out The Vote rally for 2016 Hillary Clinton in Leimert Park Village Plaza a day before the California Primary. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock)

LA Mayor Karen Bass Gives State Of The City Address

Bass proposes more LAPD, LAFD hirings; stands behind homeless motel housing initiatives

By Evan Symon, April 18, 2023 2:30 am

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass gave her first State of the City address on Monday, unveiling her plans for the city for the next year on issues ranging from homelessness to public safety to infrastructure issues.

Speaking from LA City Hall, Mayor Bass focused a large part of her speech on homelessness. After being inaugurated in December 2022, Mayor Bass’ first directive was to reduce the homeless population in LA significantly by her first 100 days in office. Specifically, she launched the Inside Safe initiative to house the homeless in hotels and motels. In total, the LA City Council had approved $50 million for an emergency fund to address the homeless crisis in the city.

However, the program soon turned out to be something of a disaster with many motel owners and homeless speaking out against the plan. While her goal is to house 17,000 people within her first year, current figures show that the city is far from being on track. While 4,000 have been housed through different efforts, her keystone Inside Safe measure has only housed 1,000 Angelinos – with those figures not counting the many who have left the program.

Despite this, Bass spun her initiatives in a positive light on Monday, even proposing $250 million be added to the Inside Safe program.

“My top priority from day one to day 100 of my administration has been confronting the homelessness crisis with the urgency it requires, and that won’t stop,” Mayor Bass said. “Together, we will work to make Los Angeles safer and more livable in every neighborhood. This new era of LA City and County cooperation is essential to our success. Especially when it comes to Inside Safe, our new approach to moving people inside from encampments. And so today, more than one-thousand Angelenos are living inside and safe through this initiative.”

Public safety was also a main issue in her speech, with Bass proposing more hires for both the LAPD and the LAFD, more training for mental health crises’, an expansion of crime reduction measures, a new office of Community Safety with social workers and interventionists, and the hiring of more 911 operators.

“As your Mayor, my number one job is to keep Angelenos safe,” the Mayor said. “My budget proposal calls for urgent action to hire more officers and also for community-based strategies to decrease violence and crime in our neighborhoods. Currently, paramedics must complete the fire academy before taking a seat in an ambulance. My plan still requires all paramedics to become firefighters—but for qualified paramedics, we’ll immediately put you to work and then you can complete your firefighter training.”

Bass also briefly highlighted economic areas she would be touching on, including expanding outdoor dining in the city as well as more investment into the port of Los Angeles.

Finally, the Mayor went into infrastructure, an issue that was front and center of critical LA issues following the series of atmospheric river storm events earlier this year, resulting in the need for flood prevention and pothole filling.

In response, Bass announced new efforts to fill potholes throughout the city, maximize water collection from storms and rain events, and generally improving transit in the city.

“I am serious about the physical condition of our city,” noted Bass. “A city that is clean and in good repair is safer, prosperous and provides Angelenos with a better life.”

Despite this, the Mayor also conceded that Los Angeles is still far from where it needs to, stating, “I am 127 days into my Administration, and I can not declare that the State of our City is where it needs to be. But I am proud to report that together, we have brought change to the city of Los Angeles. The public can see a clearer path to a New Los Angeles where the state of our city will be stronger, healthier, happier and safer.”

The reaction to her speech was mixed, with some praising her dedication to efforts such as expanding the LAPD, while others lamented her keeping failed policies, like her homeless initiatives, still in place.

“Bass is already fretting about a lot, and you can clearly see a lot of these initiatives are being put into place for the Olympics and other big events in the next 5 years,” Julius Mendoza, a public policy consultant in LA, told the Globe Monday. “A lot of people don’t like how she wants to re-expand the LAPD, but it is obviously needed. But then again, she keeps pushing these homeless plans that just aren’t working, especially when more tenable options are available.”

“There’s a lot to love about LA, and, love her or hate her, she obviously wants to do something about it. But not all of it can really be classified as ‘good for the city’. Time will tell though.”

Bass is due to release the city budget on Tuesday, which will shed more light on where funding will go for the new and continued projects.

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Evan Symon
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2 thoughts on “LA Mayor Karen Bass Gives State Of The City Address

  1. Our real estate market has been flooded with US dollars pouring back in to our country, looking for a safe harbor or a return that beats other kinds of investments. There is nothing the mayor of Los Angeles can do to stop the tsunami of cheap cash that is spurring on this homeless crisis.

    HOWEVER the city’s Systematic Code Encorfcement Program has been divesting property owners of their real estate and kicking tenants out of housing since 2013 – well into the 1,000’s of units permanently removed from the market, fortunes and lives shattered. A similar process has taken place using the REAP program against rental property owners. The COVID eviction moratoriums have exacerbated the issue as well, as landlords now understand they are what is for lunch in the marketplace of parasites.

    The mayor can issue executive orders and alter or amend every single one of these housing destroying policies. Today. Right away.

    The mayor could try and build something, ANYTHING, in the city of Los Angeles and see what a #$%^&ing joke the process is – you can’t even fix a house until you’ve ponied up $20k in “as built” plans and a structural engineer’s sign off and historic preservation notices and “radius map” mailings and postings.

    She is a dope, and her staff are dopes, and this state is run by checked out morons. Myself included. I wish we were up for it, but it is clear we are not. The flip side of despairing about the situation is that, as the chaos and dysfunction increases, so does liberty for people who decide that,” if the crooks can do what they want then so can I.”

  2. With some of the wealthiest people in the nation living in LA, Bass & her city council could implement an income tax similar to New York City and get that $1.3B pretty fast. Would be much faster than trying to get funds from the Republican House or from through the CA legislature.

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