For the past few days, my office has heard from Angelenos across the city regarding the Mayor's proposed budget. I appreciate all of those comments, and I welcome the public's engagement in fundamentally rethinking how government as a whole, and our city budget in particular, can best meet the needs of the people of Los Angeles.

Many have noted concern about the June 1 deadline for Council action on the proposed budget.  I assure you that the Budget Committee and the Council will not be bound by any "deadline" -- we absolutely will fully consider the proposed budget, with full participation of the public, as we always have done.  In this extraordinary pandemic year, it was unfortunately necessary to delay our consideration of the proposed budget.  That does not in any way change our commitment to thoroughness, transparency and public engagement.  Our work will continue through June, and we will certainly produce changes in the Mayor's proposed budget before the fiscal year begins on July 1.  But our work will also continue after that as well, because the Council can and will make changes to the budget throughout the year.

Since I became Budget Chair we have substantially increased spending in the areas that most impact quality of life in our communities, including programs to prevent and respond to the crisis of homelessness and poverty, investments in the public infrastructure, enhancement of public transportation, protecting our environment, creating job opportunities, and funding for parks and libraries.  But we have much more to do, and all of the members of this committee, and I believe all of the members of the Council, are committed to continuing this progress with the full engagement of the public. 

Of course, the tremendous needs of the people of Los Angeles cannot be met by the city government alone.  From our county government we need substantially more spending on healthcare (including mental health, public health and substance abuse treatment), services for the unhoused, and youth development.  From our state government we need substantially more spending on public education and a corrections system that focuses much more on rehabilitation and prevention of recidivism.  And of course, from our federal government we need a real commitment to investing in all of these things and more, and combatting rather than fostering institutional racism, in order to build a nation in which the real needs of the many take priority over the selfishness of the few.