EDITOR”S NOTE: Union leaders are angry and many of their members are angry at them. Community leaders on Neighborhood Councils are ready to go to war over the loss of their funding. And so are hundreds of other people who participate in city affairs and see the damage that the Mayor and City Council will cause with their panicked budget-slashing plan.
Christopher Robleto is one of those people who has given his time and energy to solve some of the city’s problems with the help of the small amount of money provided to the Los Angeles Youth Council. Here is his story:
By Christopher Robleto
Chapter Coordinator, Northeast Division, Los Angeles Youth Council.
In the midst of budget deficits last year, the City Council voted and Mayor
Villaraigosa approved the consolidation of the following in order to
form the new Human Services Department (HSD).
• Commission for Children, Youth, and Their Families
• Commission on the Status of Women
• Human Relations Commission
yet, not even a whole year later, the department is up on the chopping
block and facing possible elimination, with a decision to be made as
early as this month.
The HSD only operates on $2.1 million
per year which represents 0.1% of the city’s budget. This is a small
cost to pay when considering what the department does for the City of
Los Angeles on a budget that has already been slashed significantly.
Some things that the HSD does includes:
• Proactively addressing tensions in the community and task forces before they erupt
• Mitigating factors that cause poverty and disenfranchisement
• Empowering youths to make a difference in their communities by housing the Los Angeles Youth Council
• Engaging youths in the civic process and linking them to opportunities and resources
• Promoting awareness of the problems that women in the City of Los Angeles face
• Actively addressing the issue of children and school safety by training parents for the KidWatch Safety Valet Program
Serving as the eyes and ears for city policymakers on various issues
including: Juvenile justice, LGBT concerns, education, homelessness,
housing, immigration, interfaith activities, LAPD and LAFD Instruction
and Curriculum Development, and more!
WE NEED YOUR HELP to tell
City Council and the Mayor that cutting the Human Services Department
is not a great idea. The department is an investment that will pay its
dividends on the back end. We gain from having this department in the
from that, isn’t it outrageous that the City contemplated using
taxpayers’ dollars for the Laker’s parade? Private donors ended up assuming a $900,000 chunk of the
Not only that but City Attorney Carmen Trutanich says that he will not accept cuts to his department. Yet, click here to see where the money is going to…
much for “ask[ing] everyone to come together, pitch[ing] in and be[ing]
a small part of a bigger solution” and not “taking a meat cleaver to
I attended the State of the City Address last
year, and I had hope that things would change for the better. Now, I am
not all that sure.
Budget and Finance Committee Hearing on the new budget proposals will
be on Monday, February 1, 2010 at the Los Angeles City Hall at 1:00
p.m. We need your help.