Mayor Karen Bass outlines her vision before the crowd in L.A. City Council chambers on April 15. (Courtesy photo)

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass delivered the 2024 State of the City address on April 15. Audience members witnessing her presentation included the city controller, city attorney, L.A. City Councilmembers and L.A. County Supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Holly J. Mitchell.

During her address, Mayor Bass said that while there is still much work to be done, the state of our city is stronger because of work done to disrupt the status quo and work to lock arms with all levels of government.

“Let me say right here at the beginning – the state of our city is stronger today because we have made change and disrupted the status quo,” said Bass.

“Over the last year, we have done big things together. Thousands more unhoused Angelenos came inside, and homicides and violent crime came down last year. We weathered tropical storm Hilary — and we rebuilt the 10 freeway in 10 days. And most importantly, we are turning away from the status quo – we are looking forward and making change – we have changed how Los Angeles works so the City works better for you, the people of Los Angeles and we are just getting started.”

Bass highlighted how her new approach has impacted how the city addresses homelessness, public safety, and responds to service requests from the public. She noted that in 2023, thousands more unhoused people came inside, homicides and violent crime decreased, and 100,000 more service requests were completed.

Regarding homelessness, the mayor insisted, “We will not hide people – instead, we will house people. This means committing to the goal of preventing and ending homelessness — not hiding — not managing — but ending homelessness — with a new strategy and a new system that urgently lifts people from the street, and that surrounds them with the support and housing they need to never go back.

“Inside Safe is our proactive rejection of a status quo that left unhoused Angelenos to wait – and die – outside, in encampments until permanent housing was built.”

Mayor Bass also highlighted how her budget proposal for the next year will preserve core services and will serve as a “reset” to improve future budgets.

“Vacant positions do not fill potholes, sweep streets or staff parks,” she said. “This year, we will eliminate these ghost positions, while we preserve core services – now we will continue to hire, but we will continue to strategically hire based on real life.”

Mayor Bass also discussed how she hopes City Hall will continue to work together to set a budget that works for all Angelenos.

“Locking arms doesn’t mean we’ll always agree. But how we handle those differences and conflicts is key. Are we focused on outcomes? Are we focused on the people’s business? Are we addressing our differences in person or are we resorting to Twitter Wars? I know we are better than that.”

Mayor Bass said to boost downtown and the citywide economy, she supports exploring the modernization of the Los Angeles Convention Center and called on the private sector and philanthropy to join a new capital campaign to house the homeless called LA4LA. She also announced new climate action on the way to 100% clean energy city by 2035.

Also, the mayor charted progress in the LAPD hiring and retention effort, protecting the City’s animals and improving the Department of Animal Services, creating a new cabinet to address climate change, and supporting initiatives to boost downtown and bring business back to L.A.

With the Olympic Games coming in the next four years, Bass assured that Los Angeles will be ready.

“The Games will mean more than 5 million visitors pumping billions of dollars into our economy — staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants, visiting our museums, and exploring our neighborhoods,” she said.

“And my administration will create a focused initiative to make sure the Games will mean hundreds of small businesses winning contracts and hiring Angelenos.”

City News Service contributed to this article.