Mayor Bass Delivers 2024 State of the City Address

 

April 18, 2024

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass tonight delivered the 2024 State of the City address. 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. Watch the speech here.

"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 Mayor 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."

Mayor Bass highlighted how her new approach has impacted how the city addresses homelessness (thousands more unhoused Angelenos came inside in 2023 compared to 2022), how the city approaches public safety (homicides and violent crime were down in 2023 compared to 2022), and how the city operates (100,000 more service requests were completed in 2023 compared to 2022).

On homelessness, the Mayor recommitted to unprecedented urgency to address this crisis, describing the transition from the rescue phase to the recovery phase of an emergency. The Mayor also highlighted her efforts to address LAPD hiring and retention.

"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," said Mayor Bass. "And too many of these vacant positions have been there for years and years because of flawed budgeting that does not reflect how departments should actually operate. So 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 our economy citywide, 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.

More information about the speech is below:

BUSINESS:

Mayor Bass highlighted work to bring business back to Los Angeles, including the Banc of California relocating to L.A, and her support to boost Downtown and our economy citywide by exploring the modernization of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"And we're continuing to see the benefits of my Executive Directive to make businesses boom – doubling permit help for business owners, accelerating our restaurant and small business express program, a new walk-in counter in Van Nuys for street vendors; and same-day sanitation inspection times," said Mayor Bass. "Council has been a key partner in this progress and we will continue to act for businesses, especially in Downtown, on exciting new initiatives like the potential modernization of the Convention Center – to attract tourists and business travelers; to fill our restaurants, arenas and museums; and to support jobs in Downtown and beyond for decades to come."

LA4LA CAPITAL CAMPAIGN:

"We are asking the most fortunate Angelenos to participate in this effort, with personal, private sector and philanthropic funds – to help us acquire more properties, lower the cost of capital and speed up housing. This is the mission of our new capital campaign: LA4LA. We have brought the public sector together – and now we must prevail on the humanity and generosity of the private sector. LA4LA can be a Sea Change for Los Angeles – an unprecedented partnership to confront this emergency... an example of disrupting the status quo to build a new system to save lives."

CLIMATE:

"I am proud to continue Los Angeles' global leadership on climate change. And to advance our work, I am announcing the creation of a new climate cabinet, new climate plans at key city departments, stakeholder engagement, and action on climate justice to make sure our city continues to lead - and that includes making Los Angeles a 100% clean energy city by 2035."

LAFD TRAGEDY:

Mayor Bass recognized this morning's tragic passing of LAFD Fire Recruit Jacob Fuerte.

"Just this morning we were tragically reminded of the sacred debt we owe to our first responders. Earlier, I met with the family of Jacob Fuerte -- the fire recruit who passed away... His father is an active-duty firefighter. My heart goes out to the family during this difficult time, and I've ordered City flags to be flown at half-staff in Jacob's honor and I thank all first responders, especially today.

LAPD HIRING AND RETENTION:

Mayor Bass highlighted progress to address LAPD hiring and retention efforts.

"Amidst a national and local police hiring and retention crisis, together with the Council, we forged a new contract specifically designed to reduce the downward trend in officers. As a result, we're attracting record numbers of applicants to the police academy – and my budget for next year maintains our LAPD staffing goals. We are sending a signal to our current officers and our community partners that we support them – that public safety is a priority for this administration."

CHIEF OF POLICE SEARCH:

Mayor Bass discussed the ongoing search for Chief of LAPD.

"We have focused on change and strategic investments – and as a result, violent crime and homicides were down in 2023. But these cycles can reverse – so the search for the next LAPD chief is critical. And this isn't a closed-door conversation... I've been meeting with rank and file officers, business organizations, community leaders and community members to ask them directly what they want to see in the next chief. My number one job is to keep Angelenos safe – and that's what we will do, and we will do it together."

COMPREHENSIVE EFFORT TO KEEP ANGELENOS SAFE:

Mayor Bass highlighted her comprehensive approach to keep Angelenos safe.

"To accomplish this, we have strengthened our community violence intervention programs and Summer Night Lights. And we've expanded the CIRCLE mental health response program to more neighborhoods throughout the city. And we must recognize the many factors that go into community safety."

COST:

Mayor Bass highlighted the urgent effort to bring Angelenos inside and the cost associated.

"The rescue phase of an emergency is always expensive – there is no way around it – motel rooms rented by the night are expensive. But it is far, far more expensive to leave people unhoused on our streets. Beyond the human toll, we all pay the cost of the thousands and thousands of fire, paramedic and police calls. The cost of each overdose, of each emergency room visit, of each night in county jail – each of which is a human tragedy. The cost to shops and restaurants whose customers stay away out of fear. The cost when tourists don't come to visit. The cost when offices and their employees leave downtown. I just will not accept this – and our city cannot afford to accept this. That is why we are disrupting, challenging and rebuilding the system. Inside Safe and our overall approach is evolving and will continue to evolve."

ANIMAL SERVICES:

Mayor Bass highlighted work done to protect the City's animals and improve the Department of Animal Services.

"And we cannot forget our animals – We've brought in a new leader of the department, we've nearly doubled the number of volunteers, we're extending hours into the evening, and earlier today, I was proud to sign Councilmember Hernandez's moratorium on dog breeding permits in Los Angeles. Thank you Councilwoman for your leadership"

FUTURE GENERATIONS:

"Three weeks ago, I welcomed my third grandchild – his name is Oliver... And while I've spoken tonight about the 4 million Angelenos I work for every day, a huge part of my heart is with him and my other grandchildren right now. And I know City Hall can do big, bold things for L.A... For today, and for the future that my grandchildren will inherit. Thousands more people moved inside... We've lowered crime. Think about it – we weathered a tropical storm and an earthquake on the same day! I will never accept that we have to settle for the way things have always been... And if we keep challenging the status quo – through the budget and across the board – we will make sure Los Angeles is a City that puts the people's business first.... that puts results first and that builds a new Los Angeles we can all be proud of."

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