On Thursday, June 25, Councilmember Curren Price joined Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Council President Emeritus Herb Wesson and Black Lives Matter LA organizers for a conversation presented to more than 250 members of the South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils. Participants were able to hear a special presentation on the “People’s Budget LA” and take part in a question and answer session.
“I am encouraged that the conversation is continuing to grow,” added Councilman Price. “I am committed to collaborating with Black Lives Matter LA and partners, our Neighborhood Councils, as well as building new partnerships that will advance equity, increase access to opportunity and improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable.”
On Thursday, June 25, Councilman Curren Price was joined by Maria de la Luz Garcia, Director of the Census 2020 Initiative, in a virtual presentation titled “Census 101: Making South LA Count.”
The live event was broadcast on LA Cityview channel 35 and the Councilman’s Facebook page @CurrenDPriceJr. The 30-minute program addressed questions like “Why is South LA hard to count?” and “Why should residents care about getting counted?”
Councilman Price cohosted the virtual conversation because in order for South LA to get its fair share of federal dollars, as well as determining the number of representatives the state gets and how congressional and City Council lines are drawn, getting counted is key. There is a lot on the line for local families- funds for education, healthcare, housing, and other social safety net programs, to name a few.
On Tuesday, June 23, the Office of Councilmember Curren Price, in association with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and partners, organized a community food distribution at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC), serving more than 200 boxes of food to local neighbors.
“During a time when people are feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders, we want the community to know that they are not going through this alone,” said Councilman Price. “The efforts being made to support the South LA community amid the current crisis is primed and will continue to be for the long run.”
If you need any resources or information, please contact Councilman Price's District Office at (323) 846-2651.
On Tuesday, June 23, Councilman Curren Price joined Mayor Eric Garcetti to announce a unique partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD), and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), that deploys mobile testing units to all 15 HACLA housing developments to provide free on-site testing for COVID-19.
"It’s paramount that all levels of government work together to bring COVID-19 testing into underserved communities considering the health disparities communities of color face at the hands of this pandemic," said Councilman Price. "Initiatives like this will help keep our friends, family and loved ones healthy and our communities going strong."
The first of the pop ups arrived at the public housing community Pueblo Del Rio in District 9 where hundreds of residents were able to get tested during the span of two days. With the coronavirus ravaging Black and Brown communities there is an urgent need that these resources are brought directly to the people that need it the most.
“Testing saves lives. That’s why we’ve worked to scale up testing and provide critical resources to the Angelenos who are most vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This partnership with HACLA, LAFD, and CORE builds on that work, bringing critical testing resources to the doorsteps of many who have limited access to transportation and are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus.”
HACLA residents may sign up in advance for a testing appointment by visiting coronavirus.lacity.org/HACLAtesting. Members of the general public can visit coronavirus.lacity.org/testing to schedule a testing appointment.
Tuesday, June 23
$100 Million Rental Assistance Program
On Tuesday, June 23, the Los Angeles City Council established the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Subsidy (ERAS) Program by allocating $100 million from the CARES Act Federal Relief Funds. This program is the first in the nation; its goal is to assist those who are unable to meet their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect them from becoming unhoused.
Under the program, eligible individuals can receive up to $2,000 a month for qualified renters and renting households. Additionally, Los Angeles’ 16 Family Source Centers (FSC) will have $1 million to help families who have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Further, there are protections that do not allow a landlord to evict tenants for six months following the lifting of the emergency declaration if they accept funds from the Relief program.
Los Angeles Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion by Councilmember Curren Price to have the City of Los Angeles participate in the Los Angeles Regional Relief and Recovery Fund in participation with the County of Los Angeles. The purpose of the fund is to provide loan and grant capital to Los Angeles small businesses, micro-entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations. The program also has goals to ensure equitable access to capital across geography, demographics and borrower type and undertake a coordinated and strategic fundraising approach to maximize resources for the Regional Recovery Fund.
This Fund was championed by Councilmember Price as a critical lifeline for the City’s economy. The coronavirus has caused significant disruption to the Food and Beverage, and leisure and hospitality industries, especially within the region’s small businesses, which provide the majority of employment for residents within Los Angeles.
City Council Votes to Suspend Councilman Jose Huizar
The City Council voted to suspend Councilmember Jose Huizar, who represents the 14th Council District, after he was arrested and charged with racketeering.
Wednesday, June 24
911 Motion Advances
On Wednesday, June 24, Councilman Price’s motion that would make it illegal to use the 911 emergency system to file a report, or cause a report to be made to law enforcement agencies, that an “emergency or threat” exists when the call is based on racial bias, and the caller knows that the report is false or frivolous was approved in the Ad Hoc Committee on Police Reform. It now comes back to Council for a final vote.
Council Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis
The Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis that affects all of Los Angeles. The resolution also calls for an assessment of internal City policies and procedures, beginning with the budget process, to ensure racial justice is a core element of city government. In addition, the resolution takes steps to support community efforts to combat systemic racism against Black and Brown communities within Los Angeles by examining how policies affect delivery of human and social services, economic development, and public safety. The resolution was drafted by Councilmembers Price, Herb Wesson and Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
On Monday, June 22, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) launched its Slow Street program in the Ninth District. This new initiative, which was led by T.R.U.S.T South L.A., encourages individuals and their families who live in close proximity to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Main Street to remain active during the COVID-19 Safer at Home restrictions while practicing social distancing.
The program designates several residential streets for "active use" that includes walking, jogging and biking. Though not completely closing traffic, the initiative uses a mix of barriers and signage to alert drivers to decrease their speed and be mindful of recreational use. While in place, residents participating in the program are expected to keep at least six feet apart at all times and are required to wear a face covering while engaging in active recreation.
During the week of June 16, Councilman Curren Price led efforts on ways to reform the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as he introduced a collection of motions and resolutions, which focused on re-imagining how police interact with the communities they serve.
On Tuesday, the City Council approved a motion, which was co-presented by Councilmember Price, that directed the City Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst, with help from the Mayor, to identify ways to cut $100 to $150 million from the LAPD’s budget for the new fiscal year starting on July 1. The money would be reallocated to underrepresented communities and communities of color within the City of Los Angeles. Read the full motion here
Additionally, Councilman Price co-presented a motion with six other Councilmembers that requests for the development of an unarmed model of crisis response that would divert non-violent calls for service, which includes calls related to mental health, substance abuse, and neighbor disputes, away from the LAPD to the appropriate non-law enforcement agencies. This proposed model is based off of the CAHOOTS program in Eugene, Oregon. Read the full motion here
Further, Councilman Price co-presented a motion instructing the LAPD to report its use of COMPSTAT – a tracking tool that gathers information of crime trends across the City. This motion is significant because there have been critics that claim the use of COMPSTAT promotes biased policing by rewarding officers for meeting enforcement quotas. The motion calls for looking into ways that COMPSTAT can be updated to ensure that it is being used to promote public safety while also ensuring equitable treatment, accountability, transparency, and community trust. Read the full motion here
Additionally, Councilman Price co-introduced a motion that requests information on how the LAPD will handle reports of misconduct by officers at the recent protests that called for justice for George Floyd who was killed by police in Minneapolis at the end of May. There have been numerous reports that many peaceful protesters were injured by tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and other “less lethal” devices. The motion calls for LAPD to explain what disciplinary actions will be used against officers who were found to have used excessive force. Read the full motion here
Councilmember Price along with Councilmembers Herb Wesson and Marqueece Harris-Dawson introduced a motion instructing the LAPD to report on the resources needed to expand the Department’s Mental Evaluation Unit (MEU) and its System wide Mental Assessment Response Teams (SMART) in order to ensure officers can call these units when dealing with individuals with mental health issues. The motion is significant because there have been times where these resources are unavailable to officers in these situations. Read the full motion here
Councilmember Price introduced a resolution in support of AB 1196 (Gipson), which would make it illegal for any law enforcement officer within California to use a Carotid hold when subduing a suspect. This was the method officers used when interacting with George Floyd, who died as a result of this maneuver. Currently, the LAPD bans the use of this method; however it is important for this measure to be in place statewide. Read the full resolution here
On Wednesday, Councilmember Price introduced two motions related to further reform related to the LAPD. In one motion, Councilmember Price requested for the LAPD, with assistance from the Personnel Department, to report on its efforts to diversify its sworn workforce, especially with respect to African American officers. In addition, the motion requests the LAPD to report on ways to ensure that its recruitment initiatives target local residents, and the feasibility of implementing preferential hiring status for graduates of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Read the full motion here
Councilman Price also introduced a motion that would make it illegal to use the 911 emergency system to file a report, or cause a report to be made to law enforcement agencies, that an “emergency or threat” exists when the call is based on racial bias, and the caller knows that the report is false or frivolous. While it is illegal to make a false 911 report, the current law does not address 911 calls used in a racially motivated way. The motion asks for the City Attorney and the LAPD to report back on options to prevent the reporting of false accusations based on racially-biased complaints. Options include criminal penalties, as well as giving the victims the right to bring private civil actions against the perpetrator. Read the full motion here
On Sunday, June 14, Councilman Curren Price joined thousands of demonstrators in the heart of Hollywood for a peaceful protest in honor of the message "All Black Lives Matter," in an act of unity to condemn racism and support LGBTQ rights.
“Looking out into a sea of people joined together in a common thread of inclusion gave me hope in the direction we are going as a people,” said Councilman Price. “Every person has the right to live their truth and I stand as an ally in the name of respect, equality, acceptance and love.”
Councilman Curren Price was featured in the most recent episode of Into America, a podcast by NBC News. The piece entitled “Into Defunding the LAPD” examines the issue of police funding and reform.
The podcast also features Black Lives Matter leader Melina Abdullah, and historian Max Felker-Kantor, author of Policing Los Angeles.
Councilman Curren Price was featured in the June 11 edition of the Los Angeles Sentinel, highlighting the virtual event "Protest and Unrest," a livestream discussion with South LA youth to talk about the social unrest and massive demonstrations occurring throughout the country.