Grassroots Coalition Releases “People’s Budget” Document, Based On 1,470 Survey Results, As Alternative To Mayor Garcetti’s Budget Proposal
A coalition of activist groups led by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles (BLM-LA) has released a document they are calling The People’s Budget, based on extensive community engagement, showing vastly different priorities than Mayor Garcetti’s proposed budget.
The document reveals a clear referendum: invest in universal needs (e.g., housing security, public health/health care, mental health and wellness, etc.) and divest from traditional forms of policing. The People’s Budget allocates just 5.72% of general funds to the police, compared to 54% from the Mayor’s budget. People want care, not cops.
People’s Budget LA will continue to fight for City Council and the Mayor to make significant changes to the budget, particularly defunding the LAPD and investing in human-centered services.
LOS ANGELES — A coalition of activists organizing under the name People’s Budget LA have released a document on Tuesday afternoon they’re calling “The People’s Budget.” This document was created based on a survey of 1,470 Angelenos, and is meant to serve as an alternative to the “police-state budget” being proposed for Mayor Eric Garcetti for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Over 10,000 people were engaged in the process of drafting the budget, including 3,300 participants who engaged in the participatory budgeting process in real time on May 24 (via Zoom and Facebook Live), and 10,000 viewers who have watched the session after-the-fact.
“Our document and data reveal a clear referendum: invest in universal needs (e.g., housing security, public health/health care, mental health and wellness, etc.) and divest from traditional forms of policing,” the report reads. The People’s Budget allocates just 5.7% of general funds to law enforcement and policing — just about one-tenth of the 54% given to the LAPD in the Mayor’s proposed budget (for a total of $3.15 billion).
The People’s Budget allocates the largest amount of money to Universal Aid and Crisis Management (44.25%), which includes things like housing and public health; followed by Built Environment (25.80%); then Reimagined Community Safety (24.22%); and finally Law Enforcement and Police (5.72%).
Activists with People’s Budget LA have flooded three City Council public comment periods in a row demanding cuts to the police and increased spending on human-centered services. Now, they have an actual document to point to. People’s Budget LA is made up of members from groups including Black Lives Matter LA, Ktown For All, People’s City Council, Community Coalition, Students Deserve, Street Watch LA, Ground Game LA, and more.
“The People’s Budget shows very clearly that people want care, not cops. We want housing, not handcuffs,” said Dr. Melina Abdullah, a Professor of Pan-African Studies at Cal-State LA and an organizer with BLM-LA. “We engaged over 10,000 people in drafting this. We had 1,470 survey responses. Did Mayor Garcetti do anything close to this in drafting his budget? And we did this all as an urgent and rapid response to the Mayor’s police state budget.”
City Council plans to avoid an actual up-or-down vote on the Mayor’s budget, meaning it will automatically pass come June 1.
“We implore the Los Angeles City Council to take action and adopt a budget that aligns with the priorities of the people who they have been elected to represent,” the introduction to the People’s Budget reads.