Council District 9 is one of the city’s most underfunded communities. The Councilman has made drastic strides to improve the quality of life for his constituents and all of Los Angeles’s most underserved.
Councilmember Curren Price is excited about the opportunities that have been created in the City’s latest budget, which re-allocates over $165 million to those in Los Angeles who are and have historically been underserved and under-resourced. While the councilman is quick to point out that he did not do this alone, he says he was only able to make these drastic budget changes with the support of his allies on the city council, including Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (CD 8), Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas (CD 10), and Council President Nury Martinez (CD 6), along with all of his fellow council colleagues. But Price has been the leading and the loudest voice for guiding the resources to council District 9 and those communities of color who need these resources the most.
“This was a collective effort. Almost one year after the death of George Floyd, we have not seen the dramatic changes we needed to see. But we are hopeful that we are moving in the right direction and the re-allocation of resources is just the beginning,” stated Councilmember Price. He says that the city is still being impacted by the murder of George Floyd and the year Angelenos have endured because of the pandemic. He says that living through this past year has brought about a refocus of his priorities and re-doubling down on his commitment to affectively representing those in his district and throughout the city who have been historically underserved.
One hundred and sixty-five million dollars of re-allocated funding is a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in his district. Price sees this re-allocation of City resources as a drastic step in providing adequate assistance to those most in need of City services. He says that in allocating services around the city, you cannot just divide the City’s budget by 15 (there are 15 council districts in the City of Los Angeles). “Some areas deserve more, and when we talk about equity, we have to make sure that resources are available where they have been neglected in the past.”
Price says that he and his colleagues on the council identified a number of areas that were very important to improving the quality of life in the community. Those priorities included senior meal programs, business assistance programs, broadband access to communities of color who are often the last to receive the upgraded services that are constantly changing, as well as alternative learning centers for our youth.
Under the new budget re-allocation, there are $10 million targeted to those who need utility assistance, $10 million for expanding broadband access especially in communities of color, $20 million for alternative learning centers, and for those who operate childcare centers in our community. Price says that he fought to not only support the local schools but also secured an additional $10 million in childcare assistance for parents. Price has also been able to secure $75 million to address the deferred maintenance for parks and recreation centers and to upgrade many of the parks in the 9th district so that the residents of the community can enjoy the public space and recreation facilities that the city offers. But the public benefits of this re-allocation don’t just stop there. Councilmember points out that because of the pandemic the businesses in his district have suffered at a disproportionate level to other businesses within the city. Therefore, he has secured as part of this new budget $25 million in small business assistance designated for business programs in disadvantaged areas. These are the kinds of resources and investments in families, kids, small businesses, micro business, and seniors all across the board that he has committed to. When types of investments are made across the city, everyone benefits in some way.
Council District 9 has one of the largest homeless encampment population in the city. However, Price says that the recent court decisions regarding housing for those on skid row will not impact the resources allocated in the budget realignment. He says that the City has designated significant dollars to address the un-housed here in Los Angeles, particularly in the 9th district. He points out that in the past two weeks, they have opened up to new affordable housing developments to help deal with the un-housed in his district and says there are several more in the pipeline that will be coming on line soon. “CD 9 has the second highest number of homeless encampments in the city, but we have opened two new housing programs to address housing for seniors, veterans, and families in the past week. And we intend to provide more,” said Councilmember Price.
Price has also been working furiously to bring forth a new guaranteed income program to the city. He says that in the $165 million budget, he has also allocated $5 million towards the guaranteed income program. He says that over 500 CD-9 residents will receive an additional $1000 per month to help deal with some of their basic life’s needs and believes that this program will have a dramatic effect on improving the quality of life for the residents in his district. Price points out that all of the details of the program have not been worked out yet, but that City staff is fine-tuning the application and qualification process and that people should be on the lookout for more information to come as the City gets closer to releasing the program.
Curren Price is a councilman who has rededicated himself to trying to drastically improve the quality of life for the residents of Council District 9. He says that while we are making strides, there is still so much more to do and he intends to continue to provide resources for his district and the people he serves.