Mayor Garcetti's proposes a universal basic income pilot program and increased spending to address homelessness in his new budget...
- $1,000 A Month, No Strings Attached: Garcetti Proposes A Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot In Los Angeles "The $24 million program would be the largest experiment of its kind in the United States. ...The selection criteria for participant households is still being developed, but will likely include supporting a child under the age of 18 and a demonstrated medical or financial hardship connected to COVID-19, the Mayor's office said. Each council district would have a share of funding based on its poverty rate. The program would be open to everyone regardless of immigration status." (LAist)
- L.A. plans nearly $1 billion in spending to address homelessness under Garcetti plan "The mayor intends to propose $791 million in the upcoming budget year for initiatives to help homeless residents, increase cleanups around shelters and expand programs aimed at keeping housed Angelenos from slipping into homelessness themselves, mayoral aides said. On top of that, he expects to roll over more than $160 million that had been allocated for homelessness programs in the current year but has not yet been spent....The spending plan represents a nearly sevenfold increase from the mayor’s budget five years ago, when he and other city leaders began acknowledging that much more money would be needed to address the crisis. If approved by the City Council, it would be the most that any Los Angeles mayor has allocated for homeless initiatives in a single year, said Matt Szabo, a deputy chief of staff in Garcetti’s office." (LA Times)
...but things are quickly upended when Judge David O. Carter charges the City and County of L.A. with rapidly sheltering all homeless persons living on Skid Row.
- Judge orders L.A. city and county to provide shelter for everyone on skid row by fall "Judge David O. Carter granted a preliminary injunction sought by the plaintiffs in the case last week and now is telling the city and county that they must find single women and unaccompanied children on skid row a place to stay within 90 days, followed by helping families within 120 days and finally, by Oct. 18, offering every homeless person on skid row housing or shelter." (LA Times)
- Skid row is skeptical of judge’s order to sweep homeless people into shelters "Other observers noted that clearing the tents may not end the disorder in the streets that business interests and downtown loft residents object to. Many skid row residents live in cramped rooms in converted flophouses and other buildings, are un- or underemployed, and mark time outside on street corners and parks. They are still very poor, and they and other residents and visitors resort to their old hustles." (LA Times)
- Judge’s skid row order leaves L.A. officials and housing developers scrambling "Earlier this week, Judge David O. Carter threw a major wrench into L.A.'s plan for addressing homelessness, demanding that Mayor Eric Garcetti take roughly $1 billion he had been planning to spend on the crisis and put it into an escrow account. At the same time, he issued a blistering critique of the Proposition HHH program, the 2016 bond measure whose projects have been beset by delays and rising costs....Some HHH developers, who already have projects under construction or are months away from breaking ground, said they fear Carter intends to raid HHH funding and direct the money elsewhere." (LA Times)
Other things to read from the past week:
A lurking earthquake fault has blocked Hollywood’s tallest building. Will it ever rise? "For eight years, there has been a high-profile argument over whether active earthquake faults run directly under the site of the proposed development, making it too dangerous to build there. The California Geological Survey — the state’s scientific authority on the location of earthquake faults — suggested in 2013 and concluded in 2014 that an active fault capable of generating a magnitude 7 earthquake runs through the site....But it’s up to city officials to make the final call on whether to allow construction to proceed. City officials can legally decide to ignore the conclusions of the California Geological Survey — the state government’s scientific authority on where earthquake faults lie in California — and can instead choose to accept the conclusions of consultants hired by the developer." (LA Times)
The U.S. Is Not Ready for High Speed Rail "While I love the optimism HSR fuels in American transit nerds, we are not starting from where Japan was in the 1950s or France in the 1970s. We have no passenger rail culture to speak of outside of the northeast corridor and some tourist novelty routes. It would require an incredible building spree, the likes of which the U.S. hasn't seen for generations." (Vice)
We love Third St Promenade. So why don’t we have more streets like it all over Los Angeles? "The Grove, located in the middle of Los Angeles, gets an average of 49,000 visitors a day — more than Disneyland. If you look at it — it’s simply an old Los Angeles street, with a streetcar in the middle. wide sidewalks, and pedestrians everywhere." (Michael Schneider - Medium)
My Year as a YIMBY "While 2020 brought racism and systemic inequities back into the consciousness of this nation, including within the YIMBY movement, the current approach being taken by the movement still struggles to fully embrace the values of the multiracial, class-inclusive nation many of us would like to live in. And while those values may not be needed in the approach for majority-white progressive cities and states — which constitute the bulk of places that have ended single-family zoning — an entirely different approach is needed in a city like Los Angeles where white people are a minority of the population. The entirety of my time within the movement was spent trying to do just that, and my previous organization released this statement, which I believe is a testament to the success of my internal organizing. And while a series of panels and statements certainly move the movement into the right direction, they are simply not enough." (LA Podcast)
The Best Way to ‘Lure’ People to Public Transit Is to Make It Work "The language of 'luring' back riders is revealing in itself. It implies that agencies have to tempt people to take public transit with incentives or rewards other than the obvious, stated goal of getting people from A to B in a fast, comfortable, and safe manner." (Vice)
Immigrants Have Been Left Behind by America's Banks. Welcome Tech Aims to Change That. "Hemmat and his co-founder, Raul Lomeli-Azoubel — both of whom are part of first-generation immigrant families — are taking the opposite approach. Welcome specifically addresses the needs of immigrants – particularly the nation's 62.8 million Latinos, half of whom cannot open a bank account at a traditional institution....Slightly more than a third of Los Angeles County residents — where Welcome is based — were born in another country according to U.S. Census data." (Dot LA)