From Mayor Eric Garcetti <[email protected]>
Subject Advancing racial justice in L.A.
Date June 20, 2020 1:36 AM
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Over the last few weeks, Americans have been asking: What can we do to advance racial justice and equity? 

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Hi ,

Over the last few weeks –– across dinner tables, during peaceful protests, and throughout this country –– Americans have been asking: what can we do to advance racial justice and equity?

In Los Angeles, we know the answer begins with us. It starts in our hearts, in our homes, and in the halls of power. As we lead the charge to expand opportunity and end structural racism, I want you to know about the actions we’ve taken and the commitments we’re making, and invite you to be part of the citywide effort to build an L.A. that is more equal, more fair, and more just.

An executive directive to advance racial justice and inclusion

Today I signed an executive directive ([link removed]) to study and promote racial equity across our City departments, and named Deputy Mayor Brenda Shockley as L.A.’s first-ever Chief Equity Officer to help lead this work.

Anticipating the possible repeal of California Proposition 209 in November, my executive directive asks each City department to immediately create contingency plans for affirmative action programs across all functions, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, training and personnel policies.

Additionally, I’m calling for a City Charter Amendment to implement affirmative action in City contracting should Proposition 209 be repealed. If passed by city voters, the ballot measure would amend the City Charter language that currently limits the City’s ability to give preferences in awarding contracts.

My directive also asks each department to appoint a racial equity officer, develop a Racial Equity Action Plan, and identify strategies to promote racial equity in every aspect of our local government, from our practices in hiring and promotion to contracting and procurement.
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Efforts in police reform

Today’s executive directive builds on the progress we’ve made in advancing racial equity across the City. We’ve also adopted police reforms, including initiatives to root out racial bias, support de-escalation, create a culture of transparency and accountability, and deepen trust between officers and the communities they protect and serve.

Since I took office, we’ve established groundbreaking programs to develop long-term relationships between youth and LAPD, hired the most diverse and representative department of any big city in America, and made L.A. the first big city to put body cameras on officers and release critical incident videos to the public –– a policy that has become a national model.

And we’ve seen the results:
* Fatal officer-involved shootings cut in half;
* Mandatory training for every officer on de-escalation, implicit bias, use of non-lethal force, and other harm-reduction strategies;
* More than 43,000 guns taken off the streets;
* Our Gang Reduction Youth Development programs expanded by 50 percent;
* Diversion programs that have reduced juvenile arrests by 85 percent compared to 2010.

Investing in our communities

In this moment when transformation is within reach, we must do even more. So we’re identifying $250 million in new investments –– including cuts to the police department –– for community programs in our city’s Black communities and other communities of color.

Our civilian Police Commission has proposed new reforms, including requiring officers to intervene when they see inappropriate use of force and always report misconduct, placing a moratorium on putting people in the CalGang database, expanding the juvenile diversion program to ensure that as few young Angelenos as possible see the criminal justice system, and expanding our Community Safety Partnership sites and program throughout the city to build stronger relationships between officers and the Angelenos they serve.

A budget that serves all Angelenos

I’ve been inspired to see so many Angelenos engaging with their city government for the first time. These weeks have been a reminder that our spending isn’t just about dollars and cents, but lives and livelihoods. That’s why it’s important that we all have the same facts.

My budget proposal for 2020-21 calls for $10.53 billion in total spending and includes investments in everything from housing and homelessness, to improving our parks and libraries and vital public services. The budget allocates $1.86 billion to LAPD –– that’s 17.6 percent of our City’s budget.

Our police budget goes toward salaries, equipment, operating supplies, training, and technology support –– as well as programs to recruit officers who reflect the diversity of our communities and initiatives that connect residents with important resources and services.

For context, regionally, the County spends approximately $12 billion on health programs and services, LAUSD spends $8.6 billion dollars to ensure every child has a quality education, and Metro spends $7.2 billion on transportation to keep L.A. moving. Our spending tells the story of Los Angeles: we invest in our future, take care of our most vulnerable, and equip our public servants to meet the needs of our citizens.

Speaking up and speaking out

This movement is bigger than a budget, but our investments are statements of our values. As we continue working toward a city, county, and region that is more equitable, I hope you’ll engage in these important conversations.

L.A. City Council

Fifteen Councilmembers are elected to pass city laws and the city’s budget, which is slated to go into effect on July 1. But as the City Council ([link removed]) continues to discuss and revise the budget throughout the year, we’re all better served if you’re taking part in this ongoing dialogue.

Some ways to participate:
* Get familiar with the proposals: Read the city budget ([link removed]) and the Council motion ([link removed]) to reduce LAPD’s spending and re-invest funds in communities of color.
* Stay informed: Sign up to receive agendas ([link removed]) for the City Council’s regular Budget and Finance Committee meetings.
* Speak up: Submit written public comment ([link removed]) to the Budget & Finance Committee or provide live public comment by following the directions on the weekly posted agenda.
* Organize with your neighborhood: Work with your Neighborhood Council to submit a Community Impact Statement ([link removed]) to the City Council, or engage with the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, who hold activities to build awareness and advocacy around our budget process, and meet with my staff and me. More information is available here ([link removed]) .

L.A. Police Commission

The civilian Board of Police Commissioners ([link removed]) sets overall policy and oversees the Chief of Police and the Department. I have appointed a diverse and talented group of five Angelenos to serve as Police Commissioners. They hold weekly public meetings with the Chief, during which you can provide feedback.

Some ways to participate:
* Stay informed: Watch Police Commission meetings every Tuesday at 2:00 pm on Cityview, Channel 35, within the City of Los Angeles, or listen to the meetings live on Councilphone, 213-621-CITY, 310-471-CITY, 310-547-CITY, or 818-904-9450. The published meeting agendas will have webcast information, available here ([link removed]) .
* Speak up: Submit written comments online (mailto:[email protected]) or provide verbal public comment by following the directions on the published agenda.

L.A. County Board of Supervisors

Five County Supervisors ([link removed]) are elected to make decisions about important local and regional services administered by the County of Los Angeles. You can make a difference by watching and listening to the County Board of Supervisors –– and urging them to invest additional public health, mental health, and community development funds toward communities of color.

Some ways to participate:
* Stay informed: Listen to meetings of the County Board of Supervisors by calling (877) 873-8017 and view them online ([link removed]) (Code for English: 111111 Code for Spanish: 222222)
* Speak up: Submit written comments online ([link removed]) or provide verbal public comment by following the directions on the published agenda.

LAUSD Board of Education

Seven school board ([link removed]) members are elected to make decisions on matters relating to public education funding, policy, services, programming, and other related issues that impact our kids in the City of Los Angeles and several surrounding areas.

Some ways to participate:
* Stay informed: All regular meetings of the Board of Education are shown live and videotaped for later broadcast over KLCS Television Channel 58. The audio and video of Regular Meetings of the Board and Committee Meetings are available online. ([link removed])
* Speak up: You can submit written public comment by emailing the Board (mailto:[email protected]) or provide live public comment by following the Board agendas ([link removed]) .

The pursuit of racial justice demands action at every level of our government, and in every corner of our society.

My commitment as your Mayor is to always push forward for justice and equity with a broad coalition and never lose sight of progress. This is only the beginning of the journey –– and I know we will get there together.

With hope and in solidarity for a more just future,

[link removed]
Eric Garcetti
Your Mayor
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