There are over 40,000 people experiencing homelessness in the City of Los Angeles today. What’s infuriating is that for decades the City has failed to craft a comprehensive strategy to meet the gravity of the moment. Programs like Measure H and Prop HHH, while necessary, are vastly insufficient, since as far as you and I can tell, this humanitarian crisis has only worsened. As your Controller, I will:
- Utilize our technology to pinpoint every City-owned property that could be converted into homeless housing.
- Conduct yearly financial audits of Prop HHH dollars to ensure that every penny is being maximized to build housing, provide wraparound services, and get folks housed.
- Conduct an overall performance audit of the City’s approach to homelessness including every department, entity and non-profit that receives City money to deal with homelessness, including the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, and present a road map to our elected leaders to fix this crisis.
Our country – our city – has witnessed a reckoning – laying bare a simple, irrefutable fact: our current system of policing is not working. All Angelenos agree on one thing: we need safe streets AND we need a police department that operates in partnership with our communities. Many residents depend on law enforcement to protect and defend them, especially from the escalating crisis of gun violence, but regrettably, the LAPD is not trusted by all of our communities nor is it run efficiently. The victims of those inefficiencies are Los Angeles residents who depend on law enforcement to protect and defend them, including showing up in a timely manner to their calls for service. What’s more, tens of millions of dollars are wasted on payouts for gross police misconduct that you are footing the bill for. Here is what I’ll set out to do:
- I will present roadmaps to reinvent and modernize the LAPD, bringing it fully into the 21st Century, and finding ways to reduce costs through operational efficiencies. The LAPD is a bloated bureaucracy and as Controller I will root out the waste. The savings can then be spent on badly needed services especially in our historically underserved neighborhoods. Make no mistake, reducing the police budget would not in any way impair or undermine the police’s ability to keep you safe.
- I will conduct a risk assessment to identify problem areas that need to be prioritized for change. These areas could include the disciplinary process and use of force.
- Our police force is dispatched to scenes that can be better handled by other city departments or service providers. I will conduct an audit to determine and recommend which LAPD sworn positions could be performed by trained civilians, social workers, gang interventionists, emergency medical services, community-based organizations, etc. Our trauma-informed social workers, not police officers, should be responding to non-violent mental health calls. Civilianizing these positions would free up police officers’ time to do traditional law enforcement functions and would better serve the public.
- Perform audits analyzing racial disparities in police stops to illustrate how our Black and Brown communities are disproportionately targeted by the police.
The worst kept secret in Los Angeles is how corrupt City Hall is. From a corrupt Deputy Mayor to corrupt City Councilmembers, shady back door deals are seen as commonplace. That’s a club I have no interest in being a part of. Despite all the lip service, nothing meaningful is ever done to clean this mess up. I will search for the corruption. I will call it out. That is why I pledge to:
- Not accept a single penny from developers, the fossil fuel industry, big pharma, the police union, etc. These special interests won’t receive special treatment from me.
- Meticulously scrutinize all special funds and sources of public money City Councilmembers have at their fingertips and ensure these expenditures are documented online.
- Conduct audits of the contracting processes, shining a light on how millions of taxpayer dollars are handed out for goods and services.
The Controller must play a critical role in combating climate change. I intend to use every tool at my disposal, including, but not limited to:
- How the City addresses the needs of our most polluted neighborhoods, while exposing how such pollution disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income communities.
- The effectiveness of initiatives such as the Department of Water and Power’s Green Power for a Green L.A. program.
- The Department of Transportation’s carshare (“LAnow”), bikeshare (“Metro Bike Share”), and electric vehicle carshare (“BlueLA”) programs to evaluate its progress, and recommend ways to expand and improve upon successes.
- The progress made on Los Angeles’s Green New Deal.
- The Resilient Los Angeles program, which identified goals and specific actions for 28 departments to ensure a resilient Los Angeles in the wake of emergencies and threats posed by climate change. I will audit those efforts – across all 28 departments – to assess how effective their work has been to date.
- All City-owned property to evaluate their impact on global warming, such as greenhouse gas emissions, landfill waste, etc.
- Creating Maps:
- Indicating locations throughout the City where solar panels have been installed on City-owned property, and, conversely, nonexistent.
- Locating the presence of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the City and, in turn, advising where charging stations are lacking or nonexistent.
- Recommending locations and strategies for implementing more bike lanes to truly make Los Angeles a safer, bike-friendly city.
- Illustrating which neighborhoods have a strong tree presence, thereby notifying City leaders which communities lack such green space and exposing the environmental injustice inflicted upon them.
- Prioritizing working with the Climate Emergency Mobilization Office, the City’s Chief Sustainability Officer, and Chief Resilience Officer.
The pandemic has had devastating effects on our small businesses with many shuttering their doors and others still hanging on by a thread. The recovery will not happen overnight. As Controller I will:
- Audit the City’s many economic development and small business programs and produce a blueprint for the City to retain and strengthen businesses and attract new ones.
- I’ll find best practices from other cities, while working in close association with our business community and our universities on fashioning that strategy.
- Audit the permitting process to eliminate any unnecessary regulations and bottlenecks and allow for quicker turnarounds. The existing permitting process stands as one of the biggest barriers to innovation and the establishment of new businesses.