Last year, we made a down payment on reinvesting within disenfranchised communities of color, and I believe the proposed LA City budget for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year affords us the opportunity to continue on that promise.
During a recent Budget and Finance Committee meeting on Friday, May 14, we stood up for justice and equity and we are well on our way to deliver a City budget that will benefit and invest in communities that have for far too long been brushed aside in the process.
As a member of the Budget and Finance committee, I am proud to be part of the leadership that fought for more than $165 million in additional funding that will positively impact marginalized communities by supporting programs like a Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI), expansion of senior meals, business assistance programs, strengthening broadband access, and alternative learning centers and childcare centers. All of these programs will be designed specifically to put the needs of Angelenos (women, families and their children) first and uplift disadvantaged communities.
Here is a breakdown of what we championed for during the budget process on behalf of poor and working-class families that have been hit hardest by COVID-19 and for a more inclusive and equitable LA:
-$10 Million for Utility Assistance Programs
-$10 Million for Expanding Broadband Access for Disadvantaged Communities
-$20 Million for Alternative Learning Centers/Child Care Centers in Disadvantaged Communities
-$10 Million for Childcare Assistance for Parents
-$75 Million for Deferred Maintenance at Recreation and Parks
-$5 Million addition to Guaranteed Basic Income Program (bringing the total to $40 MILLION)
-$10 Million for the expansion of Senior Meals in Partnership with Restaurants in Disadvantaged Communities
-$25 Million for Business Assistance Programs in Disadvantaged Communities including $5 Million for the implementation of Good Food Zones and Jobs and Economic Development Incentive (JEDI) Zones
Within the mayor’s proposed budget there was also nearly $1 billion to combat homelessness and more than $300 million in equity and justice initiatives like a citywide Guaranteed Basic Income program, which I am proud to have contributed the initial $6 million towards a targeted CD 9 program that would provide 500 single-parent households $1,000 a month for a year. Additionally, there is dedicated funding for direct relief to small businesses in low-income communities, expanding the Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) program, eviction defense and much more.
We are making progress towards racial equity because we realize that it can’t be business as usual at City Hall. Equity does not mean splitting resources by 15 districts, but splitting resources based on need and we look forward to finalizing a budget that puts family’s needs first.
On Thursday, May 20, the full City Council will discuss the proposed budget brought forward by the Council’s Budget Committee. If approved, the proposed budget will go into effect on July 1 for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Curren D. Price, Jr., serves as the L.A. City Council for the 9th District