Garcetti vetoes, sends again LA Metropolis Council’s spending plan for reimagining public security – Day by day Information
Mayor Eric Garcetti vetoed Los Angeles City Council’s plan to reinvest Los Angeles Police Department funds in black communities and other groups with racial inequalities, saying the proposals did not match the “call of history.” .
The council earlier this year approved a $ 150 million cut in the proposed police department budget, sparked by protests against police brutality that ravaged the nation – including Los Angeles – for months.
The cut meant the elimination of an intended increase in the LAPD budget in a particularly difficult financial year. However, some thought this was a turning point that could inspire leaders to reconsider their priorities for spending the city.
There were passionate calls from protesters to shift the traditionally heavy budget focus to LAPD spending and to invest dollars in the needs of communities facing racial injustices.
After a spending plan for the $ 88 million use was quietly released last month, local activists calling for the reinvestment raised concerns that the public had no chance to complain.
In his veto letter, Garcetti said that while he endorsed the “equity formula” used to create the plan, he believes that “far too much of the proposed spending does not meet the needs of the moment or the reputation of history”.
City officials had recommended dividing $ 88 million into numerous projects related to park beautification, defending evictions, sweeping streets, cutting trees, repairing sidewalks, and other more traditional urban services.
Garcetti noted that “Angelenos wanted a voice in making decisions” on how the funds would be reinvested, adding that “our constituents expect … a strong demonstration of our commitment to researching fundamental change”.
Garcetti instead asked the Council to come up with a new proposal that followed a set of four principles, including:
- Community engagement and funding for pilots, including local organizations;
- Protect the jobs of city workers exposed to layoffs, especially those recruited through the targeted local recruitment program;
- Expansion of violence prevention and intervention programs; and
- Creation of a pilot project to “redesign police work and public safety”, starting with a 24-hour team for unarmed crisis reactions, through which psychiatric workers are dispatched as an alternative to sending police officers to non-violent emergency calls.
“I think that is what the community deserves when they (the city council) call to return to the drawing board to do better,” said Isaac Bryan, director of the UCLA Black Policy Project.
The veto appears to mean that the mayor has responded to “calls to look at those dollars and bring them to the communities hardest hit by LAPD and urban violence,” said Bryan.
In a virtual press conference from his desk, LAPD chief Michel Moore criticized city officials who intended to divert funds towards other efforts rather than more police patrols.
Moore said he agrees with future plans to “fund capital improvements that will undoubtedly make this city safer”. But it is a mistake to divert money away from the police when the city is dealing with spikes in street violence, he said.
“To invest in this now, instead of investing now in simply filling this organization,” he said, “I do not agree with that.”
As of December 12, there had been 322 murders in LA, 85 more than in 2019, and for the first time since 2009 the number of killings exceeded 300. Most of those additional killings were the result of gang shootings, Moore said.
The chief said the funding cuts have affected the LAPD’s ability to get more officials onto the streets in areas where they expect more violence. And the pandemic conditions keeping gang intervention workers away from hospitals and from the bedside of shooting victims have made preventing further violence even more difficult, he said.
The veto also came after Garcetti himself endured the heat of weeks of protests outside his home, led by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and supported by other groups. Protesters called on President-elect Joe Biden to exclude the mayor from all cabinet positions in his new administration, saying that Garcetti had poorly managed the homelessness crisis and other problems.
It also came after Pete Buttigieg was named Transportation Secretary, a post some experts called Garcetti’s most likely ticket to the Cabinet.
However, Garcetti said last week that he was no longer interested in a position in the Biden administration and wanted to remain as mayor for the remaining two years of his tenure.