Supervisor’s Statement on the County Budget

Statement by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on the Los Angeles County Budget for Fiscal Year 2019/2020

“Los Angeles County’s sound fiscal management has afforded us the ability to address a number of quality of life issues for our residents.

“The fact that we have unprecedented resources at our disposal to tackle homelessness is due to voters placing their trust in the County’s action plan for addressing this crisis. With this budget, we will not only uphold that pledge but double down and invest more than ever in solutions such as affordable housing – the twin issue to homelessness. We will also put more resources into supportive services, including expanding street outreach teams. The increased investment means, in no uncertain terms, that we recognize the intractable nature of the homelessness crisis but remain undeterred.

“In the area of public safety, we are working closely with the Inspector General and the Civilian Oversight Commission. We are also investing in body-worn cameras, a fundamental feature of 21st century constitutional policing, and putting more resources into diversion programs to give more people a second chance.

“Recognizing the role that the arts can play in healing and overcoming trauma, in addition to fostering creativity and inspiration, we are establishing the County’s first Department of Arts and Culture.

“I also want to underscore the creation of the County’s Office of Violence Prevention, which will help create conditions that promote peace in communities. We’ve seen the effectiveness of this work at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Healing and Trauma Prevention Center, and are convinced of the need to make such services more widely available.

“Finally, we are creating partnerships and building a investment fund for the bioscience sector, which is booming and creating jobs in Los Angeles – which is just how we like it.

“I thank CEO Sachi Hamai for preparing a budget that reflects the focused multi-year effort needed to elevate our residents’ quality of life, while also directing resources to advance this Board of Supervisors’ ambitious policy agenda.”