EDITOR’S NOTE: The City Council takes up the budget for the 2011-12 year on Wednesday and will make critical decisions that affect you, the quality of your life and your and safety. If you care about your future, your neighbors, your city, you will join a broad coalition of concern citizens at City Hall on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Neigbhorhood Council Budget Advocates, the Martin Luther King Coaltion, Urban Progressives, Saving LA Project and Codeping arked this effort to bring unity and sanity to our city and safety to our streets (LAPressConference_051811.pdf).
They have gone too far this time.
Endangering the public safety and putting innocent people’s lives at risk is over the line.
And now they want to impose unpaid furlough days off, taking dozens of additional police cars off the streets every hour of every day.
They imposed huge cuts on the Fire Department and forced Chief Millage Peaks to impose a system of rolling brownouts that closed fire stations and eliminated ambulances in a rotation that hid the risks to any particular community and any particular time.
Now they want even more money from the Fire Department, yet they blanch at Peaks’ carefully designed plan based on detailed study to permanently close fewer stations and idle fewer ambulances each day and still save $200 million over three years – real savings based on not filling the jobs of retiring firefighters, not one-time savings that only perpetuate the city’s budget crisis as the mayor and City Council have done for the last three years.
No department has been hit harder than the City Attorney’s office, the department that prosecutes most of the crimes and the violations committed in the city while defending the city against the tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits filed each year.
For the sake of two-tenths of one percent of the total city budget of $7 billion, the mayor and Council are prepared to ignore warnings that the City Attorney’s ability to prosecute, protect and defend is being put in jeopardy.
Even summer jobs programs so vital to at-risk youths in the poorest areas have been all but eliminated.
Yet, the same city officials who have made these decisions have found $52 million to build a parking lot so the city’s richest man can house his vanity art collection on the city’s most valuable real estate.
Yet, the same city officials who have made these decisions think nothing of giving huge tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury hotels and borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to benefit a sports and entertainment company.
Come to the City Council on Wednesday and demand to be heard.
Tell them what you believe needs to be done to serve your interests, your neighbors, your city. It’s your life, our lives that are at stake.
We have a right to be heard.