Governing with God in mind works perfectly for Monique Earl. As Deputy Mayor of Budget and Financial Policy, she declared, “I rely on my faith every day, every hour and every minute when performing my job.”
Earl’s position makes her the highest-ranking African American budget official in city government as well as in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s administration. She advises the Mayor on the economic and fiscal impact of the various policy and operational decisions he must make on a daily basis.
“My primary responsibility is leading a team of incredibly talented and seasoned professionals in developing the annual budget,” said Earl, who interacts with the city’s elected officials, department general managers, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst and their staffs.
“This responsibility directly impacts L.A. citizens because it involves the funding and overall management of programs and services they rely upon.
“I remind myself that, at its core, the City’s budget is a moral document that reflects the values and priorities that the City holds dear.
“I try to always ensure that the advice I give is reflective of that truth and therefore, reflective of God.”
A member of Prosperity Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, Earl learned from her pastor, the Rev. Terrance L. Phillips, about ongoing communication with God.
“The Mayor’s office has a prayer team and I joined when I first came on board. These ladies of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds are definitely prayer warriors.
“We pray for the Mayor, this City and each other. It is extremely powerful and necessary,” insisted the deputy mayor.
While the environment can be intense, Earl has enjoyed working with Mayor Villaraigosa on addressing the needs of vulnerable citizens.
“As a result of the Mayor’s leadership, I’ve worked on projects such as transitional housing for the homeless, Watts and South LA park equipment and pools, and youth employment initiatives,” she said.
Earl’s public service career began 11 years ago as assistant manager of Visitor Services for the J. Paul Getty Museum followed by a stint as senior field deputy for Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski. Next, she attended graduate school in Washington, DC, where she worked for Richmond, Virginia Mayor (and former Governor) L. Douglas Wilder.
After earning a master’s degree at American University, Earl returned to L.A. and served as budget and finance deputy for Councilman Bernard Parks before being appointed by the Mayor to her current position.
Her decision to pursue this line of work stems from watching her parents who were business owners and community leaders in the San Fernando Valley.
“I always remember my mom and dad helping people in life changing ways, with a job, or food, or a place to stay,” recalled Earl.
“I remember the emotional response they would get from those individuals and I always felt good about that.”
Earl credits the Los Angeles African-American Women’s Public Policy Institute with aiding her career in government along with mentors such as Councilman Parks, Public Works Commissioner Valerie Shaw, former Councilwoman Miscikowski, and Assemblyman Mike Roos.
In addition to outside work, Earl is a wife and mother and laughingly shared, “The concept of home and work balance almost seems like an oxymoron, especially when teenagers and a three year old are involved.
“But, I am blessed to have an incredible husband that is truly a partner. Some of the traditional domestic roles are tossed out of the window and we just pitch in to get things done.”
Looking towards the future, Earl desires to continue working in public service. She said, “There is no better job in the City than working on the budget. It is my hope to continue in this arena for some time to come.”