Councilman Curren Price is focused on making sure City Hall discusses and advances policy that serves the needs of our community. To that end, he will be working hard on various legislative actions, taking a lead on the issues that he knows will make the greatest impact to our residents, business owners and stakeholders.
The City Council regularly meets on Tuesday and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. In conformity with the Governor's Executive Order N-29-20 (March 17, 2020) and due to concerns over COVID-19, the City Council meeting will be conducted entirely telephonically. City Council meetings are broadcast LIVE on cable television Channel 35 and on the internet here. Live Council meetings can also be heard at: (213) 621-CITY (metro), (818) 904-9450 (valley), (310) 471-CITY (westside) AND (310) 547-CITY (San Pedro area).
Below you can find summaries from "This Week in Council."
Tuesday, Sept. 22
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and approved a series of motions focusing on opportunities to provide more supportive and affordable housing, exploring how to better handle service calls that involve individuals dealing with mental health concerns, and receiving clarity on the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).
The City Council adopted a Homelessness and Poverty Committee report that instructs LAHSA to report on the discrepancy between their count and the LA Times’ analysis in regards to the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count conducted at the end of 2019. Within the same report, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is asked to report on the current status of the Mental Evaluation Unit (MEU) and the Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team (SMART) in regards to how these two resources are used when dealing with calls that involve mental health concerns. There is concern that the discrepancy in data between LAHSA’s report and the LA Times’ analysis may cause these two units to be underfunded leading to further issues as many individuals who are homeless deal with mental health problems. Read more here.
Further, the City Council approved reports from the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, as well as from the Housing Committee, exploring ways to incentivize construction of affordable housing units and matching people who are unhoused with new affordable housing units. The goal of exploring these options is to combat the rising prices in rent along with getting more individuals who live on the street housed. To read more about both click here and here.
Finally, Councilmember Curren Price had a motion approved by the City Council that allows for a site located at 6800 S. Avalon Blvd. to be evaluated and considered for development as a homeless shelter. If the location is found to be suitable, an additional 350 shelter beds and safe parking spaces will be provided for those who are unhoused. Councilmember Price also introduced a motion exploring ways to provide additional funding for two construction projects in his District that would provide housing for veterans experiencing homelessness. To read more about the proposals click here and here.
Wednesday, Sept. 23
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved a series of motions and reports to provide relief to Angelenos who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City Council approved two reports from the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment. The first report is relative to addressing the practice of patient dumping by nursing homes in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second establishes a COVID-19 Street Vending Recovery Fund, which would set aside $6 million to assist street vendors in obtaining permits and equipment to comply with City and County guidelines regarding street vending. The grants will be distributed through the Los Angeles Regional COVID Fund. The motion that initiated this report was seconded by Councilmember Price.To read more about each respectively, click here and here.
The City Council also adopted recommendations from the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) to create a COVID-19 Emergency Eviction Defense Program. The Defense Program will provide just over $7 million throughout a one year period, and options to extend the program if necessary, to provide legal services to renters who are facing or may potentially face eviction due to the inability to pay rent because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Defense program also amends contracts with eight FamilySource Centers (FSC) to expand services for families within Los Angeles. All Peoples Community Center, who works extensively with constituents in Council District 9, was awarded additional funding bringing their total to just under $500,000 to extend additional services. Click here and here for more.
Tuesday, Sept. 15
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and approved motions to provide economic relief and meal assistance to Angelenos during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the City Council introduced motions exploring best practices when responding to calls that involve individuals dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues. The Council also approved a motion to implement diversity and equity training for all Neighborhood Councils. To read more about this motion, click here.
Councilmember Curren Price introduced a resolution that calls on the LA Times to diversify its staff to reflect the demographics of the City, including its Editorial Board, and meet all the demands listed in the respective letters by the Black and Latino Caucuses of the LA Times Guild that were addressed to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong on June 23, 2020 and July 21, 2020. Like many other organizations, the Los Angeles Times has begun to conduct internal reviews of their staff makeup, as well as how their employees are compensated in order to ensure equity across all employees. This call follows numerous protests demanding racial justice across the country.
The Los Angeles City Council approved two motions referred from the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment that provide pathways in assisting seniors and individuals with disabilities citywide to continue to receive meals during the coronavirus pandemic. The motions provide recommendations for the City Administrative Officer (CAO) and the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging to expand existing programs and partnerships with local organizations that have helped in delivering meals throughout the Safer-at-Home Order. Read more here and here.
In an effort to provide more economic relief to Angelenos, the City Council approved a motion by Council President Nury Martinez that was seconded by Councilman Price that directs the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to report with a proposal for a debt relief and forgiveness program for low-income ratepayers who have fallen behind on their bills due to circumstances caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The motion also provides instruction to include bill stabilization efforts for low-income taxpayers to prevent new debt from being accumulated. Read more here.
Additionally, the City Council approved a motion that instructs the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), with assistance from the City Attorney and the City’s domestic violence partners, to report on ways to provide resources for domestic violence victims who work at essential businesses. The Safer-at-Home Order, which was implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, has unintentionally exacerbated the already fragile dynamic for victims of domestic violence as many have to shelter with their abusers. By providing resources for victims at work, the hope is that domestic violence victims will be given an outlet to report abuse without fear of retaliation. Read more here.
Finally, multiple councilmembers, including Councilmember Price, introduced a motion instructing the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) with assistance from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and LAPD to report on the pending agreement between the LAFD and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) for the Therapeutic Van Pilot Program, as well as a Mental Health Services Pilot Program. These programs might be a component of the unarmed crisis response that would divert non-violent service calls away from the LAPD and to appropriate non-law enforcement agencies, which is something the City Council has discussed previously. Read the motion here.
Wednesday, Sept. 16
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council received a report from the CAO detailing the status and occupancy of the Project Roomkey Program. The report indicated that as of Aug. 18, just under 4,000 rooms were operational in 37 hotels that were under contract with the City or the County. Over 95 percent of the hotel and motel rooms within City boundaries were occupied. To read the full report click here.
Tuesday, Sept. 8
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and approved a series of motions and resolutions related to sidewalk vending, park improvements, as well as continued promotion of small businesses within the City of Los Angeles. Details below:
The LA City Council approved a proposal by Councilmember Curren Price that extends the reduced fee of $291 for a City Sidewalk and Park Vending Permit through July 1, 2021. Originally, the reduced fee was scheduled to end on June 30, 2020 and increase to $541. This change was made in response to the devastating economic hardships many vendors have faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fee deferral will allow legal vendors time to recover from the economic loss they have suffered through during the stay-at-home order and give them an opportunity to get back on their feet before having to pay the full permit fee next year. “We worked so hard to bring our sidewalk vendors out of the shadows only to have COVID-19 pose a new threat to their livelihoods,” added Councilmember Price. “The street vendor community includes some of the most economically vulnerable groups in Los Angeles- undocumented workers, women and the elderly. An extension of time to pay a reduced permit fee brings some relief as they navigate through these challenging times with limited help.” Click here to read the full ordinance.
Additionally, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a report from the Economic Development Committee to encourage and incentivize women-owned and minority-owned businesses to bid on City Contracts. The report requests the City Attorney, with help from the Department of General Services, to report on steps the City can take to ensure that qualified women-owned and minority-owned businesses are awarded contracts with the City. The original motion, which the report is based off, was introduced as there is a perception that large entities are regularly awarded City contracts, and with it these smaller businesses become discouraged from applying. Read the motion here.
Finally, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion by Councilmember Price that will transfer over $450,000 for park improvements at Vermont Square Park and South Park. The funding will be used to install new lighting, security cameras, and other enhancements at each park. Read the motion here.
Tuesday, Sept. 1
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and adopted various motions and resolutions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, legal services, as well as street improvements within Council District 9.
With motions and resolutions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles City Council approved a report from the Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee to instill a temporary waiver of redemption fees for low-income City of Los Angeles residents who have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. By doing this, residents will not have to worry about paying this fee if they recover their pet from an animal shelter. Click here for more.
Additionally, the City Council approved a $1 million allocation in the FY 2020-2021 Adopted Budget for the Los Angeles Justice Fund (LAJF). The LAJF helps provide legal assistance for immigrants within Los Angeles. The allocation covers from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. Click here for more.
Further, the City Council authorized the General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) to accept over $9 million in 2020-2022 Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Cares Act funding for various services, which include the City’s 16 FamilySource Centers (FSC), as well as the City’s 10 Domestic Violence/Human Trafficking Shelters. The FSCs help provide services like social, educational, and family and wellness services to low-income residents within the City of Los Angeles. The Domestic Violence shelters help provide services to those individuals who have been victims of domestic violence. Click here for more.
The Los Angeles City Council also approved a motion that was seconded by Councilmember Curren Price that allocates $50 million of the COVID-19 Federal Relief Fund for a paycheck assistance program and right-to-recover program. The right-to-recover program would help supplement low-wage workers who test positive for COVID-19 and need financial assistance as many workers are unable to telecommute and have no paid sick leave or health insurance. This includes housekeepers, gardeners, laborers, bus drivers, and gig workers, for example. Additionally, the motion explores the feasibility of extending these benefits to low-income households, particularly those left out of federal assistance. Click here for more.
Adding on, the Los Angeles City Council approved an additional $30 million allocation from the COVID-19 Federal Relief funds for the Small Business Emergency Loan Program. This motion was co-presented by Councilmember Price. Click here for more. Link to application click here.
The Los Angeles City Council considered a motion that instructs HCIDLA to develop a COVID-19 Eviction Defense Program and report back on their findings during the week of Sept. 7. The motion gives instructions to allocate up to $8 million from the Community Development Block Grant to HCIDLA for a one-year emergency program. At the conclusion of the year, HCID will report on the outcome of the program and return any unspent funds. Click here for more.
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion instructing the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety along with the City Attorney to present an ordinance that suspends all citation enforcement for temporary signs for businesses until the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Many businesses have used these temporary signs during the COVID-19 pandemic to communicate with customers their hours of business, as well as clarifying if they are open for take-out or dine-in when looking at restaurants. Click here for more.
Lastly, Councilmember Price introduced a motion relative to installing speed humps on Budlong Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets, as well as on 47th Street between Budlong and Raymond Avenues. The goal of the speed humps is to slow cars from speeding and provide a safer environment for pedestrians within Council District 9. Click here for more.
Wednesday, Sept. 2
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and approved a series of motions and resolutions related to affordable housing, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the road to recovery for the City of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles City Council approved a Homelessness and Poverty Committee Report and a resolution relative to funding for the Marcella Gardens Project on Main Street within Council District 9. The Marcella Gardens project is new construction that will provide 59 units of supportive housing for Transition-Age Youth, homeless individuals, and veterans. Click here to read more.
The Los Angeles City Council also approved a report from the Health, Education, Neighborhoods, Parks, Arts, and River Committee relative to the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) grant funds for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP). RAP has received JJCPA grant funding over the last 19 years to continue programs designed to serve at-risk youth through RAP’s Clean and Safe Spaces (CLASS) Parks Youth Employment Internship Program. Click here for more.
Councilmember Price also introduced a motion that reprograms $450,000 from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the 2019-2020 program year for improvements to Vermont Square Park and South Park. Click here for more.
Finally, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a resolution declaring a fiscal emergency within Los Angeles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to make up for the budget shortfalls, the City will furlough thousands of City employees beginning on Oct. 11, 2020 through June 20, 2021. The projected savings in doing this will be over $100 million dollars. Click here and here for more.
Tuesday, Aug. 25
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and approved various motions to update the structure of Neighborhood Councils, promote the creation of jobs, improve transportation infrastructure within the City, exploration of a new City legal holiday and help establish Los Angeles as a Fair Trade City.
The City Council adopted a resolution that establishes a uniform minimum voting age, minimum board member service age, and optional youth board seat for Neighborhood Councils. The ordinance also revises a definition of a Community Interest Stakeholder for Neighborhood Councils. The City Council requested these changes presented in the ordinance in an effort to make Neighborhood Councils more uniform throughout the City. Read more here.
Additionally, the City Council approved requests from the Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee that asks the Personnel Department to draft a report of City and County jobs that have a legal status requirement and to draft an additional report on the feasibility of creating a program that would provide a pathway to citizenship through City Jobs. In many instances an individual’s citizenship status can be limiting in their ability to find gainful employment. These reports are an attempt to make it easier for Angelenos who are undocumented as they are integral in making Los Angeles the city that it is. Click here and here.
Further, the Los Angeles City Council advanced two motions authored by Councilmember Curren Price:
The City Council approved a report by the Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee in relation to a motion by Councilmember Price that would establish Juneteenth as a City legal holiday. The Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA), with assistance from the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and the Civil and Human Rights Commission, are to report on the historical importance and cultural impact of Juneteenth, and options for establishing Juneteenth as a legal holiday in the City of Los Angeles. Read more here.
The Council also approved a motion authorizing the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to apply for up to $16 million from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to expand the City’s efforts to install BlueLA electric vehicle car share stations and charging facilities, subsidize micromobilty and electric bicycle access, implement an electric vehicle neighborhood shuttle, and develop a Mobility Wallet to distribute sustainable transportation subsidies, throughout South Los Angeles. The goal of the project is to address community residents’ transportation needs, increase access to key destinations, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by funding clean transportation. Read the full motion here.
Continuing, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion that directs the Personnel Department and the CAO to explore the opportunity of adding new or additional Targeted Local Hire (TLH) eligible positions within various City departments. The Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Adopted Budget set aside $90 million for various services, including the TLH program. The TLH program was exempt from the hiring freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic and because of this there may be an opportunity to add more positions, which will help reinvest into underserved communities. Read more here.
The City Council approved a resolution to establish Los Angeles a Fair Trade City and help establish World Fair Trade Day in the City of Los Angeles. With the adoption of this resolution, Los Angeles is dedicated to supporting decent and ethical labor standards through means that sustain the Earth, as well as economic fairness and rights for women and children. Read the full resolution here.
Councilmember Price introduced a motion to initiate the process of changing the name of Figueroa Street from Olympic Boulevard to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to “Kobe Bryant Boulevard.” The renaming of Figueroa is in honor of the late Kobe Bryant who died tragically on January 26, 2020 in a helicopter crash with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others. The City of Los Angeles and the world lost a sports legend who was only beginning his second act, an act devoted to lifting up and inspiring others. Although he is gone physically, his legacy will forever be commemorated in the heart of Los Angeles. Read the full motion here.
Lastly, during the the Economic Development Committee meeting, chaired by Councilmember Price, they approved a report and ordinance from the City Attorney to extend the reduced cost of a vending operating permit until July 1, 2021. Originally, the deadline for vendors to get a reduced cost vending operating permit was July 1, 2020. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, and corresponding State and local “stay-at-home” orders have had severe public health, social, and economic impact on the City’s street vendors. Additionally, this community has largely been ineligible to receive any form of federal financial assistance. The ordinance will now go before the full City Council in the upcoming weeks. Read the report here.
Wednesday, Aug. 26
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and approved a series of motions, reports and resolutions to promote more affordable and supportive housing and funding related to relief programs in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City Council approved two motions that instructs various City departments to look into the feasibility of utilizing unused Airbnb units for affordable housing, as well as having the Department of General Services, with the assistance of the Department of City Planning, to create a list of publicly owned properties that are suitable for the development of supportive housing. These actions are another step in trying to mitigate the homelessness crisis within the City. Click here and here.
The City Council also approved a report from the Housing committee exploring the feasibility of allowing the installation or use of air condition units by tenants in apartments without air conditioning, and classifying air condition as a service requiring urgent repair and incentives for property owners. This report was approved in light of the recent heat wave that Southern California has been experiencing over the last few weeks, which has been one of the worst in California’s history. Read more here.
Further, the City Council amended an ordinance that placed a cap on Third-Party Food Delivery Service Fees, which makes it unlawful for a third-party food delivery service to charge a restaurant a fee per online order more than 15 percent of the purchase price of the order. The amendment extends the current sunset date on the ordinance of August 31, 2020 to 90 days after restaurants are able to resume indoor dining capacity at 100 percent and the ordinance would be in effect at any point if the restaurants are required to reduce their indoor capacity due to the COVID-19 virus. Read more here.
Additionally, the City Council passed a series of resolutions supporting a 1 percent income tax on individuals who make more than $1 million annually to fund affordable housing (link); supporting legislation that would implement ethnic studies or social justice class requirements in the State UC and any other college system California has control over (link); support for a House resolution that would allocate $120 billion in relief to the food and drink service industry through the end of 2020 (link); and a resolution in support of a state bill that would establish a direct allocation to provide upgrades to broadband infrastructure in low-income census blocks to enable distance learning and telehealth and telemedicine (link).
The Los Angeles City Council approved a series of reports from the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment to authorize the use of over $50 million of the CARES Act Federal funding to help with various programs, including the LA Regional COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, the COVID-19 Childcare Relief and Recovery Fund (link), funding for Alternative Learning Centers and the Childcare Voucher Program (link), and services for victims of domestic violence, including undocumented immigrants, during the Safer at Home Order (link). As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, this funding is essential in supporting Angelenos stay afloat until individuals can return to work and school when the COVID-19 virus is mitigated.
Along the lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council approved an additional report from the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment relative to a motion that requests the City Attorney to prepare and present an ordinance, which would require all employers to report to the City and the County when three or more of its employees test positive for COVID-19 in a two-week period. As Los Angeles begins to re-open, it is critical that new cases are reported to avoid another large outbreak similar to what the City has seen in the past few months. Read the motion here.
Finally, the City Council considered motions in exploring options to continue the ability for both City employees and businesses within Los Angeles to continue to telework following the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a belief that if Angelenos have the ability to continue to telework following the pandemic, the City’s air quality will benefit in ways similar to the beginning of the Safer at Home Order when travel was severely limited. Click here and here.
Wednesday, Aug. 19
On Wednesday, the LA City Council introduced and approved a series of motions and resolutions related to youth justice, transportation, police oversight and coronavirus relief efforts.
The City Council approved a report from the Budget and Finance Committee and communication from the Chair of the Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights, and Equity Committee to request the Mayor include a $1 million allocation for the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget for a one-year extension to the Los Angeles Justice Fund (LAJF), from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, allowing grantees to continue to provide legal representation services to new and existing cases. The LAJF has existed since 2017, and is an innovative public-private partnership between the County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, California Community Foundation (CCF), and Weingart Foundation. The partnership has provided a critical safety net for local immigrant residents and their families through LAJF. The report will now be sent back to the Budget and Finance and Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights, and Equity committees to request the Mayor include a $1 million allocation for the committees for further discussion. To read the full report and motion click here.
Additionally, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion by Councilmember Curren Price that instructs the Chief Legislative Analyst to request the California Attorney General to conduct an independent review of an officer-involved shooting in South LA on April 22 that resulted in the death of Daniel Hernandez. Consistent with the demands being heard across the nation for greater accountability, transparency, and fairness within police departments, Councilman Price introduced this motion to ensure that the investigation is done in a fair and impartial manner. Read the full motion here.
Further, Councilmember Curren Price introduced a motion asking the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to apply for up to $16 million from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to expand the City’s efforts to install BlueLA electric vehicle car share stations and charging facilities, subsidize micromobilty and electric bicycle access, implement an electric vehicle neighborhood shuttle, and develop a Mobility Wallet to distribute sustainable transportation subsidies, throughout South Los Angeles. The goal of the project is to address community residents’ transportation needs, increase access to key destinations, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by funding clean transportation. Read the full motion here.
Finally, Councilmember Price alongside Council President Nury Martinez approved releasing approximately $175 million in Federal CARES Act funds to assist Angelenos during the Ad-Hoc COVID-19 Recovery & Neighborhood Investment Committee on Wednesday. The recommendations from the committee will go before the full City Council for approval in the near future. They include:
- $100 million ($200 million total approved to date) to address homelessness. Read more here.
- $40 million to award non-repayable grants to assist small businesses, and non-profits, including $4 million to assist low-income workers, such as street vendors. Click on the following links to read more 1, 2
- $30 million in childcare support, including childcare stipends dedicated to low-income families, and establishing Alternative Learning Sites at Recreation and Park facilities so children have a place to go and learn while their parents are at work, and assistance to keep childcare providers operational. Read more here.
- $5 million for domestic violence and human trafficking victims assistance through Project Safe Haven. Read more here.
Wednesday, Aug. 12
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and approved a series of motions, resolutions, and reports regarding efforts to mitigate homelessness and provide relief for working families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City Council approved reports from the Health, Education, Neighborhoods, Parks, Arts, and River Committee, as well as the Planning and Land Use Management Committee regarding a motion on the Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs and approval for childcare facilities within the City of Los Angeles. ECE programs are critical for promoting cognitive, social and emotional development of children between the ages of 0-5. During the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous child care centers and in-home daycares have shut down, which exacerbates the child care shortage in California. Approval of these reports in response to the motion introduced will attempt to make it easier for more of these facilities to open in an effort to provide relief to working families and promote the social well-being of young children. The motion provides a series of recommendations to various departments outlining best practices for ECEs. Read them here.
Further, Councilmember Price introduced a motion instructing the CAO, CLA, the Bureau of Engineering, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), and any other affected City stakeholders, to evaluate the possibility of adding a combined additional 350 shelter beds and safe parking spots at the site located at 6800 S. Avalon Blvd., which is currently in development through two separate projects approved under the Proposition HHH Permanent Supportive Housing Loan Program 2018-2019 Project Expenditure Plan. This motion is in response to the 2020 Point-In-Time count of homeless individuals report by LASHA released in June. The goal of the additional beds and safe parking spaces is to continue to provide shelter to those experiencing homelessness and help with the homelessness crisis Los Angeles is facing. Read the full motion here.
Tuesday, Aug. 11
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council introduced and approved a series of motions, resolutions, and reports regarding efforts to mitigate homelessness, promote a productive legislative body and continue to push for a more equal society.
The City Council approved reports from the Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee regarding the development of an Office of Anti-Corruption and Transparency (LA ACT), as well as a report regarding the 2020 Redistricting Process. The creation of the LA ACT is in response to an effort to reign in quid pro quo activity amongst Los Angeles elected officials over the last several years that has resulted in officials stepping down and in some cases being charged with various crimes. To read more about the LA ACT, click here.
The report related to the 2020 Redistricting Process authorizes the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA), the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the City Council Redistricting Commission, and the LAUSD Redistricting Commission, to coordinate the best process to redraw district boundaries for both the City Council and LAUSD School Board. This process is required following the decennial U.S. Census, which began this year on April 1. This process must be completed before the next City election in March 2022. The Council also introduced an amendment to help ensure the redistricting process remains fair and ethical as all commissioners must participate in a series of trainings before they begin. To read more about the process and the amendments, click the following links: 1 and 2
Additionally, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion that authorizes the CAO with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to apply on behalf of the City to the State’s Homekey Program for the maximum award of $250 million. The goal of this program is to build upon Project Roomkey by facilitating the acquisition of properties for interim and permanent housing for individuals experiencing homelessness or at-risk of experiencing homelessness and who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be prioritized for properties that can be occupied within 90 days and interim housing that leads to permanent housing or placements. Additionally, the Council requested that a status update be provided to the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment on the grant process every two weeks and a monthly report on site acquisitions, occupancy and operations. For more information, click on the following links: 1, 2, 3
Further, Councilmember Curren Price co-presented a resolution in support of H.R. 35 (Rush), the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, that would make lynching a Federal Crime. Emmett Till was a 14-year-old African American boy who was brutally murdered after a white woman alleged that he flirted and harassed her. The woman later recanted her testimony. Over 200 pieces of Federal legislation have been introduced to make lynching a Federal crime, but none have passed. Read more about the resolution here.
Councilmember Price introduced a motion instructing the Bureau of Street Services, Bureau of Sanitation, the Department of Building and Safety, and any other departments as needed, to report to the Council on recommendations to mitigate public safety and right-of-way accessibility issues originating from the illegal storage of wooden pallets, including recommendations for any necessary code changes, public signage, and any other enhanced enforcement capabilities. This motion is in response to a fire that erupted in the Central Alameda neighborhood in May 2020 at a yard used for storing wooden pallets. The fire forced the evacuation of residents who lived nearby. Over 100 firefighters were deployed to control the blaze, which destroyed surrounding power lines, causing the explosion of several transformers. Read more about the motion here.
Finally, the Public Safety Committee approved a motion introduced by Councilman Price calling for an independent investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Daniel Hernandez on April 22, 2020. The LAPD is conducting their own investigation; however, an independent investigation is a needed step as the officer, who was involved, is the daughter of a senior Los Angeles Police Protective League board member. The matter will now return to the full City Council for a decision in the coming weeks. Read the motion here.
Wednesday, Aug. 5
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved and introduced a series of motions and resolutions related to homelessness, prison labor, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Target Local Hire program.
Councilman Price along with Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Paul Krekorian introduced a motion that would transfer $20 million from the set aside $90 million in the Unappropriated Balance in the 2020-21 Fiscal Year Budget for a new line item entitled: “Targeted Local Hire Program-Disadvantaged Communities” in order to better focus on the needs of disadvantaged communities. Many individuals included in these communities suffer from the same injustices that were highlighted by the protests following the killing of George Floyd in May. This includes formerly incarcerated individuals, disconnected youth, current and formerly homeless individuals, transgender individuals, and individuals with disabilities.
Additionally, the Los Angeles City Council approved a report from the Homelessness and Poverty Committee that instructs the CLA with help from other agencies to make recommendations to the City Council on the most effective way to establish a Commission on Lived Experiences with Homelessness, which would be composed entirely of people who are currently, or have been in the recent past, homeless in Los Angeles. The Commission will be required to reflect the demographic of the City’s homeless population accounting for the dramatic over-representation of African-Americans in our homelessness population, and including proper representation for seniors, veterans, women, immigrants, youth, and transgender communities, among others. The establishment of this Commission will be significant as it will help inform the City on how to best serve the City’s homeless population when looking at how to get them the necessary resources in order to get them housed. Councilmember Price was supportive of this action.
Further, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion that instructs the CLA with help from the CAO and the City Attorney to report on the process to prohibit the City from procuring goods and services derived from prison labor; and, to report on how to implement a disclosure requirement for all products, supplies, food, equipment, goods, and services that are made with prison labor. This is significant as those who are incarcerated are not normally given proper protections while on the job and they are compensated well under the federal and state minimum wage. Councilmember Price was supportive of the motion.
The Los Angeles City Council also approved a motion to support AB 1436 (David Chiu), which would prevent landlords from applying security deposits or monthly rental payments to any obligation incurred during the COVID-19 state of emergency and defers those rental obligations to 15 months following termination of the state of emergency. The bill is significant as it would help ease the financial burden many individuals have faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Councilmember Price supported the resolution.
Finally, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the Department of Water and Power is authorized to shut off water and power at residences that are hosts to large parties and gatherings in defiance of the Safer at Home order. This is in response to numerous reports regarding LAPD getting noise complaints in regards to a series of large house parties that have been taking place throughout the City. This announcement is an effort to discourage these large gatherings in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Tuesday, Aug. 4
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion introduced by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, and seconded by Councilmember Curren Price, that requests the Youth Development Task Force, with assistance from the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), to report to Council on the development of the City of Los Angeles Youth Development Strategy to effectively serve the needs of youth within the City. In addition, the motion asks for a report on the steps necessary to establish a department, commission, or office, including funding options for implementing the youth development strategy.
The motion is significant as nearly 200,000 youth within the City live in poverty, nearly 70,000 are disconnected – meaning they are between the ages of 16 through 24 and are neither in school nor working, and more than 3,000 are homeless. However, no single entity provides fiduciary or inter-agency oversight or coordination, assesses the service landscape at a macro level to identify service gaps, or establishes metrics for data-driven outcomes and evaluations.
Wednesday, July 29
On Wednesday, Councilman Curren Price introduced a motion exploring the possibility of making Juneteenth a legal City holiday. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States dating back to June 19, 1865.
In light of recent protests that demand for racial equity and justice within the country in response to the unarmed killings of Black Americans at the hands of police like those of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black Americans, there has been a heightened call to commemorate, celebrate and acknowledge the historical significance of Juneteenth.
While Juneteenth is widely known within the Black community in the American South, nationally it is not recognized. The motion instructs the Chief Legislative Analyst, with assistance of the City Administrative Officer and the Civil and Human Rights Commission, to report on the historical importance and cultural impact of Juneteenth, and provide options for establishing Juneteenth as a legal holiday in LA.
Additionally, the Los Angeles City Council approved a motion authorizing the Bureau of Sanitation to resume CARE+ (Comprehensive Cleaning and Rapid Engagement Plus) cleanups of homeless encampments around A Bridge Home temporary shelters only. The intensive cleanups will resume following their suspension on March 17 during the beginning of the COVID-19 City declared emergency. The motion also instructs the Bureau of Sanitation to report back in two weeks on a verification process that includes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, report on the level of service being provided by CARE+ cleanups, accommodations provided to unhoused persons identified as self-isolating due to possible exposure of COVID-19, and a sign-off/certification from the Environmental Compliance Inspector and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority that all of these guidelines are verified.
The major cleanups are important in ensuring the area around the bridge housing sites are clean, which is extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Councilmember Price supported the motion.
911 Calls Resolution
Further, Councilmember Price co-presented a resolution in support of AB-1550 (Assemblymember Rob Bonta), which would create a private right of action against a person who makes a 911 call aimed at violating the rights of other persons based upon race, religion, sex, or any other protected class statewide in California.
This resolution is significant as Councilmember Price introduced a motion back in June that would make 911 calls motivated by racial bias illegal within the City of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance, which updates Section 104.19 of Article 4, Chapter X of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) giving new guidelines regarding fees and fines associated with Commercial Cannabis regulations. The ordinance provides various guidelines including for Social Equity program applicants, non-retailer commercial cannabis activity in a business premise, and storefront retailer cannabis activity. To read the full ordinance follow this link: https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2020/20-0782_ORD_186703_07-10-2020.pdf
Wednesday, July 1
On Wednesday, the LA City Council approved Councilman Price’s proposed plan to reduce $150 million from the LAPD 2020-2021 budget and reinvest $100 million of those dollars into communities of color for youth work programs, local hire efforts, and other social programming. Councilmember Price’s motion modifies Mayor Eric Garcetti’s $10.5 billion original proposed budget and reallocates $90 million into communities of color, re-envisioning public safety, as well as the City’s targeted local hire program. In addition, it sets aside $10 million for the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) Summer Youth Employment and Workforce Development benefitting disadvantaged communities.
Additionally, the Los Angeles City Council approved a series of motions to help support families during the COVID-19 pandemic. One motion instructs the Department of Recreation and Parks to report back on using some of their facilities as child care centers as the economy reopens. Additionally, a motion seconded by Councilmember Price and authored by Council President Martinez, provides over $500,000 in COVID-19 Federal relief funding to the Department of Recreation and Parks for Summer Play LA. This funding will help provide summer programming for 2,000 children as the economy begins to open and parents return back to work.
Further, the LA City Council approved a motion by Council President Martinez and seconded by Councilmember Price to grant $100 million from COVID-19 Federal relief funding be used to help establish the COVID-19 Homelessness Roadmap, which will help create 6,000 new beds in each council district. Additionally, $25 million of the $100 million will be used to help order shelter, hygiene trailers and other supplies.
The City Council instructed the Department of Transportation to continue, through the month of July, to suspend the enforcement of residential street sweeping, peak/rush hour and anti-gridlock zone restrictions, abandoned vehicles (72-hour rule) and expired registrations. The motion further instructs the Department to waive all parking citations issued in the month of July with respect to the categories above that may be issued in the month of July.
Councilmember Price introduced a motion instructing the LAPD to request the California Attorney General’s Office to conduct an independent review of the fatal shooting of Daniel Hernandez by an LAPD Officer in the Newton Division on April 22, 2020. LAPD encountered Hernandez when reporting to a traffic collision back in April. Reports state that he had a knife when officers arrived on scene. The shooting happened when Hernandez approached law enforcement with a knife after he was asked to place it on the ground.
Councilmember Price introduced a motion that instructs the Personnel Department to halt consideration of a Police Officer candidate’s cannabis use when conducting and evaluating a background investigation, and that the Personnel Department report to Council in 30 days on the status of this matter. This is in response to the LAPD application website stating that the use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol or prescription medications are potentially disqualifying factors for a candidate; however, it makes no mention of cannabis use. Considering that adult cannabis use has been legal for several years, and the City’s regulatory authority over cannabis, there is an inconsistency to consider cannabis use as a negative factor when assessing a Police Officer candidate.
Tuesday, June 30
On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved Councilman Price’s motion that would make it illegal to call 911 to make a false or frivolous report based on racial bias. 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 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to report back on options that could include criminal penalties, as well as giving the victims the right to seek damages and bring about private civil actions against the perpetrator.
Also on Tuesday, the City Council backed a motion that Councilman Price co-presented alongside LA City Council President Nury Martinez, and Councilmembers Herb Wesson and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, that would require unarmed, non-law enforcement agencies to respond to non-violent situations as an alternative to dispatching a police officer. The motion calls for the development of a crisis response system made up of service providers, including medical professionals, mental health workers, homelessness experts and other professional social workers, with specialized training to replace police in non-violent, non-emergency crises.
Councilmembers Price, Wesson, Harris-Dawson and Mike Bonin introduced a motion that would remove the LAPD from enforcing traffic laws and moving violations. The legislation would direct the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and other city staff to consult with community stakeholders and suggest alternative methods of enforcing traffic laws, such as speeding, illegal turns, and other vehicle code violations, that do not require armed officers. The report will look at national and international best practices, and consider transferring enforcement authority from the LAPD to LADOT, as well as using automated equipment.
The Los Angeles City Council instructed the Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) and the Personnel Department to work with the LA County Department of Public Health to solicit input from community groups and nonprofits to help with a hiring plan for Community Care Corps, to fill gaps in our healthcare system, as well as provide meaningful employment to residents who need it as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the City Council approved a motion by Councilmember Price to request the Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from the LAPD and the Department of Civil and Human Rights to report with a thorough review on the tactics used by the LAPD on Saturday, May 30, 2020 in the vicinity of the Fairfax District during peaceful protests and the chain of events that led to the decision to have LAPD officers engage with protesters.
In a similar motion, the City Council also called for an investigation on the use of rubber bullets and other types of riot control ammunition into crowds of peaceful protests, as well as how LAPD dealt with individuals arrested for failing to disperse when ordered to do so after a curfew was put into place throughout the county. Finally, the motion instructs Gerald Chaleff, the author of the LAPD’s review of the 2007 May Day incident in MacArthur Park, to take the lead of the review of LAPD actions during recent protests.
Wednesday, June 24
911 Motion Advances
On Wednesday, 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. The proposal will go 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.
Tuesday, June 23
$100 Million Rental Assistance Program
On Tuesday, 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 participate in the Los Angeles Regional Relief and Recovery Fund in collaboration with LA County. 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 earlier this week.
Wednesday, June 17
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 Americans 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
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion to explore options on placing an “Empty Homes Penalty” on housing units that remain vacant. The need for this motion comes from the severe homelessness crisis the City is facing coupled with lack of affordable housing within Los Angeles. The motion instructs the Chief Legislative Analyst, with assistance with from the City Administrative Officer to explore vacancy taxes, “Empty Homes” penalties, and speculator taxes used in other jurisdictions and report to Council policy options for a potential “Empty Homes Penalty” structure in Los Angeles, for Consideration by voters in 2020. Read the full motion here
Tuesday, June 16
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 Wesson and 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
Tuesday, June 2
On Tuesday, Councilman Curren Price this week introduced two motions dedicated to assisting small businesses and non-profits left behind by federal loans and other assistance in response to COVID-19.
One proposal calls for an additional $30 million to replenish the city’s Small Business Emergency Loan Program. In March, Councilman Price advocated for $11 million in funding to create the program, which provides no-fee loans between $5,000 and $20,0000, with a zero percent interest rate and repayment deferred up to six months. As of May, the Economic & Workforce Development Department had received nearly 4,000 applications, showing the desperate need to serve as many local businesses that have had to endure closures, layoffs and loss of revenues.
Councilman Price presented a second motion seeking the city's participation in the Los Angeles Regional COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund, which would provide loans and grants to small businesses, micro entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations.
The relief and recovery fund would be a collaboration between the city, county, philanthropic organizations and financial institutions. It aims to assist businesses with fewer than 20 employees, many of which were shut out of federal loans. Recent data shows that currently more than half of the county is without a job due to COVID-19. The motion asks for a $4 million commitment by the city to launch the program.
The two proposals will be reviewed next by the city’s new Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment, which Councilman Price is a member of.
Wednesday, May 27
$100 Million COVID-19 Emergency Renters Relief Program
On Wednesday, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez introduced a motion that allocates $100 million from the $700 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to the City’s COVID-19 Emergency Renters Relief Program.
This action is an effort to continue to keep tenants in their homes, while also assisting property owners, during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on the program, which is expected to launch by July 1, to come.
Rented Storage Units Protection
The Los Angeles City Council adopted an ordinance to provide temporary protection of self-service storage units during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance allows renters of self-storage units to defer rent and other charges incurred for up to three months following the expiration of the local emergency period.
Renters must provide a statement in writing to the owners no later than seven days following the due date of the rent.
In addition, owners must provide a written notice regarding the temporary protection within 15 days of the ordinance’s adoption. Any owner who violates this ordinance is subject to an administrative citation.
Small Business Protections
The Los Angeles City Council adopted an ordinance based off a motion by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and seconded by Councilman Curren Price that extends all expiring conditional use permits for a period of twelve months after expiration of the COVID-19 local emergency declaration.
The ordinance also suspends the requirement that a property owner or business provide additional parking in connection with a change of use in an existing structure. In addition, it suspends any condition requiring a property owner or business to provide off-site or valet parking, for a period of six months following the expiration of the local emergency ordinance.
COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion to establish a new ad hoc committee of the Council related to COVID-19. The official name of the committee is the “Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment.” Among the members serving on the committee is Councilmember Curren Price.
The Committee will be tasked with numerous responsibilities including identifying health disparities, economic affects, and housing impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in key vulnerable communities. The committee will be responsible in ensuring the City receives its fair share of any State and Federal relief in order to meet the critical needs of residents and businesses, including economic recovery, stability, and growth for all Angelenos.
Resolution in Support
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion relative to pursuing legal options to protect the rights of children and families excluded from the federal stimulus package. The motion also instructs the Chief Legislative Analyst to prepare a resolution in support of the Leave No Tax Payer Behind Act introduced by Congressmembers Lou Correa, Judy Chu, and Raul Grijalva.
Thursday, May 21
2020-2021 City Budget Moving Forward
The Los Angeles City Council heard presentations from Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, the Chief Legislative Analyst, and the City Administrative Officer regarding the state of the City’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021.
Taking an unconventional approach, the City Council allowed the Mayor’s proposed budget, which has a projected shortfall of more than $230 million and illustrates the devastating financial impact of COVID-19, to go forward and take effect July 1.
The City’s Budget and Finance Committee will monitor the volatile effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and will consider amendments to the budget in June, with plans to make necessary adjustments on a quarterly basis.
“We are in the middle of an emergency and we’re taking a flexible approach,” said Councilmember Curren Price, who serves on the City’s Budget and Finance Committee. “We will begin discussions again next month as we get more accurate numbers and a clearer picture on our finances. Currently, there are a lot of unknowns from when we reopen the economy, to how much federal aid the City receives, to how tourism and our local businesses look like post COVID-19.
“Things change from day to day, hour to hour. We just don’t have all the information yet.”
Dips in revenue from hotel tax, business tax, parking occupancy tax, sales tax, and utility user’s tax have contributed to this shortfall. In addition, more than $155 million has been drawn from the Reserve Fund, General Fund and various Special Funds to pay for COVID-19 expenditures such as testing, senior meals, shelter expansion, Project Roomkey (which provides hotels and motels for homeless individuals who are elderly or have medical conditions) and other assistance programs. However, these expenses are expected to be reimbursed from federally and some state funded dollars; though the exact amount or when is yet to be determined.
In an attempt to make up the differences, the Mayor proposed cuts to various programs, furloughs for a majority of City employees, and a hiring freeze for the upcoming fiscal year. However, the budget emphasizes continued funding for key City resources such the Police and Fire department, homelessness cleanups and services, additional custodial services to maintain a safe working environment, as well as increased medical assistants in jails to mitigate the COVID-19 impacts. Cuts in services will include sidewalk repairs, tree services, graffiti abatement and others.
Wednesday, May 20
Capping Restaurant Delivery App Fees During COVID-19
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to support an amending motion co-presented by Councilmember Curren Price, to draft an ordinance that would limit the amount food delivery apps, such as Postmates, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Doordash, can charge restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ordinance will prohibit third-party platform delivery companies from charging more than a 15 percent fee per order for providing delivery services to a restaurant, and more than a 5 percent fee per order for all other types of charges. In addition, it requires that 100 percent of the customer’s tip go to the delivery driver.
The ordinance, is expected to be transmitted next week for a special Economic Development Committee meeting on May 28 at 2 p.m. and go to Council the following week. If passed, the ordinance will remain in effect for 90 days after restaurants are allowed to resume on premises dining.
Reduced Vending Permit Fee Extended
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion, authored by Councilman Curren Price, to extend the deadline for street vendors to apply for a vending permit at a reduced fee of $291 until July 1, 2021, or one year after the City’s “stay-at-home” order is lifted.
This came from the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe public health, social and economic impact on the City’s street vendors. This motion will amend the original ordinance that set the permit fees to $291 until July 1, 2020 and $541 on and after July 1, 2020.
Wednesday, May 13
Motion to Prevent Confiscation of Items
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion that requests an Ordinance that prohibits the sale, disposal, donation or confiscation of personal belongings in rented storage units, if an individual’s storage lease goes into default as a direct result from the Coronavirus emergency.
Motion to Match Salaries of Deployed Military Service Members
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion requesting the City Attorney, with assistance from the Personnel Department and the City Administrative Officer, to draft an Ordinance that ensures that all full-time City employees who are reactivated into military duties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will receive the difference between their regular City salaries and their military salaries. The Ordinance will also ensure that these individuals continue to receive current City medical, dental, and life insurance program benefits for the duration of their military assignment.
Restaurant Relief Program
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion that would establish a restaurant relief program. The motion instructs the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), with assistance from the Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer, to immediately develop a restaurant relief program that would allow local independent restaurants to temporarily contract with the City to provide meals to residents experiencing homelessness who reside in emergency shelters, seniors who were previously receiving meals delivered to their home and/or congregate meals at city dining centers, students who received meals or supplemental nutrition as part of a city-sponsored after-school program, the City’s first-responders, and City employees that are temporarily serving in a Disaster Service Worker capacity.
The motion also instructs the EWDD, with assistance from other departments, to identify any short-term options to improve restaurant and local food chain operations, and offer any remedies to reduce costs and impacts, such as abatement of the City’s business taxes, a waiver of fees including the suspension of permitting fees for change of use, among others, when necessary.
LADWP Relief Program
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion that expands the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Low Income Discount Program and Lifeline Program to include customers financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The motion requests that the LADWP immediately report to the Council the feasibility of expanding the Lifeline Program to include COVID-19 hardship as a qualifying criteria, or the creation of a new reduced rate program for its low-income customers who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 disease. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Price and authored by Councilwoman Martinez.
Resolutions in Support
The City Council passed four motions in support of state and/or federal legislation.
The first established the City’s position in support of legislation that would amend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide $500 recovery rebates for children born in 2020.
The second established the City’s position in support of any legislation and/or administrative action to address the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on society to provide funds supporting state and local governments; increase Federal Medical Assistance Percentages to provide greater healthcare coverage; provide funds for education; expand health coverage for government employees; and create an infectious disease standards to protect frontline workers. This resolution was seconded by Councilmember Price.
The third resolution established the City’s position in support of any legislation or administrative action that would provide additional assistance and support for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), including the proposed Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2020. The resolution also included the City’s position in support of any legislation that would make critical improvements to SNAP, including boosting the maximum benefit by 15 percent, increasing the minimum benefit to $30 per month, and suspending rule changes to SNAP until the economy has fully recovered.
Finally, two resolutions established the City’s position in support of HR 908 (Meng) and Senate Resolution (Harris-Duckworth-Hirono), condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19, which would recommit U.S. leadership to prioritize language access and exclusivity in communication practices, combat misinformation and discrimination that put Asian Americans at risk. Councilmember Price seconded the second of the two resolutions.
Tuesday, May 12
Helping Survivors of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion by Councilmember Price that would allocate $810,000 in emergency assistance to 1,000 vulnerable dislocated workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new emergency funding will specifically help survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking victims in Los Angeles.
The financial assistance will be distributed through the City’s 16 WorkSource Centers and LA RISE providers and can be used to offset costs for housing, food, utilities, childcare, transportation and any other emergency support services during the public health crisis. In addition to the support services, EWDD will make sure these survivors are eligible for Unemployment Insurance and ensure they receive their stimulus checks.
Wednesday, April 29
The Los Angeles City Council met on Wednesday to address a slew of COVID-19 related issues. For the immediate future, the City Council will meet virtually on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m., beginning the week of May 4, 2020. It will be broadcast live on Channel 35 and on Facebook @CurrenDPriceJr.
Among the actions on Wednesday were:
Right of Recall Ordinance
The City Council passed a Right of Recall ordinance for workers affected by COVID-19. The workers protected under this ordinance include airport employees, hotel employees, janitorial staff, maintenance staff, as well as security service staff. Laid off workers in these sectors who qualify are those who were laid off on or after March 4 due to lack of business as a result of COVID-19.
Laid off workers will be given an opportunity to resume employment with their respective companies based off of time of service with their employer. Workers shall be given a minimum of five days to respond to the offer. In addition, the City Council passed a joint ordinance ensuring that in the event that an employer transfers ownership to another party, the eligible workers will still have the same opportunity to be rehired by the company. This ordinance applies to any change or control of ownership occurring within two years following the declaration of the emergency from COVID-19.
Protections for Commercial Tenants
The City Council is looking into whether to extend the time commercial tenants have to repay any back due rent following the expiration of the local emergency. Landlords cannot evict a commercial tenant who is unable to pay rent due to a loss of income related to COVID-19, and businesses have three months after the emergency is lifted to pay back rents.
The Council requested a report back from the appropriate departments to determine the proper time frame for businesses to pay their rent back to prevent larger businesses from taking advantage of the small business loophole.
Exploring Opportunity to use Federal Stimulus Funds for Job Creation
The City Council passed a motion authored by Council President Nury Martinez and seconded by Councilmembers Curren Price and Herb Wesson to instruct multiple City departments to draft a report on coordinating a plan to utilize the federal stimulus funds to develop a job creation program prioritizing economic aid to frontline communities. The intention of the motion is to protect workers and communities, and not corporate executives. The motion also instructs the City to put a down payment to encourage a regenerative economy in hopes that an economic crisis can be prevented in the future.
Los Angeles Housing+Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) Notification
The City Council unanimously passed a motion by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell instructing the Los Angeles Housing+Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) to notify by mail all property owners and renters of the new provisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the letter, renters and property owners will be notified of the right that renters will have, stating that they will have 12 months to pay past due rent following the end of the local emergency order caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the letter will include a notification to property owners notifying them of the Federal and State provisions that have been put in place to prevent foreclosures and evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.