Budget 2017: Prioritizing Public Safety and Establishing an Office of Equity

On Tuesday, September 13th, the Long Beach City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2017 City budget. This budget is balanced, measured, and makes some very key investments in public safety, equity, and quality of life for all of our residents. 

To start, the City Council funded $130,000 in the Department of Health and Human Services to support the establishment Office of Equity. This action creates one central office to focus on equity issues in our city, and realigns the vital work of our My Brothers Keeper Initiative, Language Access Plan, the Violence Prevention Plan, My Sister's Keeper Initiative, and the Human Relations Commission, in order to expand our capacity to serve our residents and build a more equitable city.
 

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This work has been months in the making, beginning with a "Community Conversation," back in June. Click here to view the recap. In July, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson sponsored an item at City Council to explore the feasibility of the establishment of this office, and in the months to come, we will engage in a community process to define a citywide definition of "Equity" and to establish an equity workplan for our city.  

Special thanks to the partners and community members who advocated to make this happen, including The California Endowment, ReThinking Greater Long Beach, Building Healthy Communities, Long Beach Minister's Alliance, California Conference for Equality and Justice, Long Beach Community Action Partnership, Long Beach Coalition for Immigrant Rights and the Language Access Coalition.

The FY17 budget also includes:

     -  New Police & Fire Academies

     -  $80 million in infrastructure repairs to fix city streets, parks, libraries and public facilities

     -  $2,200,000 to fund Police overtime to patrol, suppress, investigate and prosecute violent crime activities.  $500,000 of these funds are designated for a "Neighborhood Safe Streets Initiative" to be directed by the Police Chief.

      -  $176,385 to support Be S.A.F.E. programming during the summer at Houghton Park, King Park, Silverado Park, Admiral Kidd Park, Scherer Park, Drake Park and Seaside Park.  In addition, an extra $96,000 was set aside for the expansion of Be S.A.F.E. to four additional parks.

     -  $203,000 to continue funding Library Sunday hours to the existing three libraries: Michelle Obama Library, Bay Shore Library, and Burnett Library, plus $65,000 for the expansion of Sunday hours to a fourth location.

     -  $695,000 to fund Wage Theft Enforcement to support the implementation of the State's Minimum Wage law, including two full time investigators.

     -  $280,000 in the Department of Health and Human Services for Homeless Rapid Response to assist with the growing homeless population across the City.

Furthermore, last night we voted to restore Fire Engine 8, the South Police Division, and to establish a smart and fiscally responsible plan to restore Rescue 12 in January.
  This means faster emergency response times in North Long Beach and across our city!

Vice Mayor Richardson thanks City staff for all of their work on the budget these past few months, Mayor Garcia, Councilwoman Mungo for her leadership as Chair of the Budget Oversight Committee, the City Council for their commitment to passing an equitable and fair budget, and all the residents who provided input to our office on your priorities.

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published this page in News 2016-09-16 14:46:59 -0700