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What Do Your Tax Dollars Buy You?

LOS ANGELES BUDGET - The Los Angeles city budget is not only about money, it’s about values.

What the City Council votes to spend money on tells us how important those items are to them. And for us. 

What does our City government do? What will its $11.8 billion budget buy you? 

Living in a big city, we are dependent on the City’s infrastructure for water, power, sewage disposal, and garbage removal. 

We depend on the City for public safety – its police force works to prevent bad guys from harming people and property, while the fire department contains both building and brush fires, as well as providing paramedic response. 

There is also road and sidewalk repair, transportation and housing, land use, oversight of the budget, economic development, IT systems, library, personnel, pensions, sanitation, street lighting, recreation and parks, not to mention legal and ethical considerations. 

Many of these are under the purview of individual City departments which often have too small a budget to provide the services we need. 

The City Attorney needs to fight lawsuits to ensure money we need for services is not unnecessarily paid out to in spurious settlements. 

The Ethics Commission should be empowered with the staff and robust funding it needs to ensure it has the tools to effectively execute its mandate. The same applies to the LAPD’s process to address, punish and fire officers who use excessive force, are sexual predators or lie outright. 

Want to learn more? 

Then come to this year’s Budget Day on Saturday, June 18th. The event is online on zoom and free to all. 

Keynote speakers include Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chair of the City Council Budget and Finance Committee Paul Krekorian, and City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo. 

Following the speakers there will be a panel discussion by experts from both inside and outside City government about which direction the City Budget should head given the challenges we face today. 

This is also an opportunity for other entities involved in any aspect of City services to encourage people to learn more about how the money on which they depend is allocated. 

After the plenary session, everyone is invited to join others from their area of the city in regional breakout sessions to discuss local budgetary needs and weigh in on what's important to their community. 

Everyone is encouraged to participate and make their voices heard! Let us hear about City services in your neighborhood you think are not adequately funded. Share what City services are working well for your area. 

To learn more prior to the event, you can find the Budget Advocates' 2022 White Paper and Budget Recommendations as well as our presentation at this year's Budget Hearing and past Budget Days on our website

Register here to come and learn more about how your City’s government operates. People not affiliated with a Neighborhood Council are especially welcome. Just scroll down that long list when you register and check “Other” 

(The Budget Advocates are an elected, all volunteer, independent advisory body tasked with making constructive recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council regarding the Budget, and to City Departments on ways to improve their operations. Their mission also includes obtaining input, updating and educating all Angelenos on the City’s fiscal management People who would like to learn more or get involved, please contact your Neighborhood Council or e-mail the Budget Advocates. - [email protected].)