This is my first Proposed Budget as Mayor, and it is my goal to work with you to bring long-term sustainability to the City’s finances.
Five years ago, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression caused General Fund revenues to plunge and our pension investments to lose 30% of their value. The Great Recession created a billion dollar hole in the General Fund Budget. That massive gap required drastic steps to keep the City solvent. Year after year, departments were asked to make deep reductions; some endured cumulative cuts of as much as half their budgets. Overall, the City’s workforce was reduced to levels last seen at the end of the Bradley Administration.
In the midst of an unfolding crisis there was not the opportunity to implement comprehensive structural reforms. Now with a recovering economy and replenished reserves, we not only have that opportunity, we have that responsibility.
Tomorrow morning, I'll be walking to City Hall as part of National Walk to Work Day.
Today we spend too much of our lives seated -- at our desks, in our cars, on the couch. Walking to work when you are able is good for our health, takes cars off the road and gives us a chance to enjoy our city.
Great cities like L.A. are composed of teeming corridors of color and life. Tomorrow, I'm going to appreciate the majesty of the Bullocks Wilshire Building -- now the Southwestern University Library -- up close. I'll pass by MacArthur Park Lake and visit the vibrant Westlake community.
But, what I'm most excited about is the prospect of sharing a beautiful Los Angeles morning alongside my fellow Angelenos.
I'll be out there tomorrow. Will you?
Today, we remember Cesar Chavez, a true champion for civil rights and the rights of workers. His life and legacy demonstrate how the freedoms we enjoy today were only made possible by struggle and sacrifice.
My grandfather was carried across the border with the hope of a better life, and this city and country provided that. Cesar Chavez fought so that the American dream would be there for everyone who works hard and dreams big.
Thanks to him and other courageous leaders, we’ve come a long way. But there is still a long way to go -- there are still too many dreams deferred and opportunities denied because of race, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation.
While others are paralyzed by politics, we here in Los Angeles have opened our own Office of Immigrant Affairs; are doubling our summer youth jobs program; and are keeping our city safe by working with our residents, not against them.
Our Los Angeles is one where all of us are treated equally and have an equal shot at success. That is what my work as Mayor is focused on and I look forward to the day when our city truly lives up to the legacy of Cesar Chavez.
L.A. is a global city and so is our city's economy, which is why I'm in Mexico City right now on my first trade mission as Mayor. I am joined here by representatives of our Port, Airport, and Tourism & Convention Board as well as a business delegation organized by the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce.
Trade between Mexico City and L.A. tops $2 billion annually, while our region's overall trade with Mexico nears $15 billion. I want to build on that foundation to create jobs and generate investment in Los Angeles.
1. The budget is a document that reflects our city's priorities. Our goal is to focus on what matters most -- building a stronger Los Angeles that is prosperous, safe, livable and well-run.
I just left DWP headquarters where I announced my nomination of Marcie Edwards as the new General Manager.
Marcie began her career at DWP at age 19 as a clerk typist. Today, she will make history as the first woman to lead the largest public utility in the nation. She shares my belief that LA's ratepayers should be treated like shareholders in a great company. She has the toughness and expertise necessary to take on the status quo and deliver real, lasting change for DWP’s customers.
Welcome Marcie and this new era for DWP by adding your name to our Fix DWP petition.
By adding your name to our petition, you make it clear that you want DWP to be the best public utility in the nation. Marcie and I are counting on you and your support as we bring reform to this critical institution.
Show your support by signing the petition.
I have exciting news to share: U.S.A. Track & Field has chosen Los Angeles to host the 2016 Olympic trials marathon.
L.A. has a long and rich history of hosting the greatest sports events in the world. We’ve held two Olympic Games here, including the first ever Women’s Olympic marathon in 1984. That memorable race inspired the creation of the annual L.A. marathon, which remains one of the world's premier races. Now, the 2016 Olympic trials cement our city's place at the pinnacle of the sport.
Many talented track and field athletes have already competed in our city, including Joan Benoit, Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, and Babe Didrickson, and we’re looking forward to introducing the next generation of Olympic hopefuls to our thriving city. All Angelenos should be excited for what will be a world-class event that will showcase the best of L.A. and the best of athletic achievement.
I am pleased to invite you to present your ideas to be a part of People St, a program to transform neighborhoods across our city. People St was developed by the Los Angeles department of Transportation in collaboration with our departments of Public Works and City Planning, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, all of whom will work closely with community groups on this effort.
People St represents one of the many tools in our Great Streets toolbox as we work to change the way Angelenos interact with the built environment, while using existing government resources to make City Hall work better for our residents and businesses. Fundamental to People St is its bottom-up, community-based approach. I am proud of our city’s transportation and planning experts, but no one knows more about our neighborhoods than you.
So make your voice heard and find out how you can participate by RSVPing to one of the events below:
1/27/14 - Van Nuys Community Meeting
1/30/14 - Harbor Community Meeting
2/3/14 - Downtown Community Meeting
2/4/14 - Hollywood Community Meeting
2/24/14 - Westside Community Meeting
It is fitting that such an innovative program will be taking root here in Los Angeles, where we are experiencing a fundamental shift in how we make our city streets safer and more enjoyable. I look forward to hearing your ideas and seeing the results transform our city.