NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-2020 has become a year of change for us all, and the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates intend to address these changes in order to better represent and serve the Neighborhood Councils.
Our immediate intent is to take the Budget Advocates from a position of sitting in the silos and, perhaps too often, becoming mouthpieces for individual departments to a more holistic view of the City and its budget as a living integrated organism requiring more nuanced assessment from diverse standpoints.
The Budget Advocates will focus our efforts on encouraging the Mayor and City Council to prioritize the budget and services, including the allocation of increasingly scarce resources based on the needs and aspirations of Angelenos without regard to political considerations.
The Budget Advocates must also look at the budget deficit and the Structural Deficit as if we were the ones making decisions on the allocation of the City’s resources. This will allow us to better advise the Mayor and the City Council on how to be more responsive to the needs of Angelenos.
This year almost half of the Budget Advocates are new. These fresh viewpoints, when combined with the institutional knowledge of the returning Budget Advocates, will blend new energy and fresh ideas with experience and knowledge into our work.
Each Budget Advocate must fulfill his or her commitment to work for the Neighborhood Councils and all Angelenos to compel Mayor Garcetti to fulfill his commitment to his own Back to Basics Priority Outcomes.
We want the Mayor to honor his pledge to promote good jobs and needed city services, social equity, public safety, and sustainability, including that the City “live within its financial means.”
Of course, we cannot expect to cover the myriad challenges the City is facing by ourselves. We welcome anyone who would like to work with us in a constructive manner. This includes investigating areas of personal interest, but also reaching out to Neighborhood Councils and their stakeholders on an ongoing and consistent basis.
In the same way, we will also be reaching out to the Mayor and his budget team, the City Administrative Officer, the City Council, and the City’s many departments for their input.
To provide better resources for the Neighborhood Councils, the Budget Advocates are in process of updating our website and social media as well as continuing to release articles in CityWatch. In addition, we are planning to attend the virtual monthly meetings of every Neighborhood Council and sponsoring quarterly Town Halls to interact with all Angelenos.
(The Budget Advocates is an elected, all volunteer, independent advisory body charged with making constructive recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council regarding the Budget, and to City Departments on ways to improve their operations, and with obtaining input, updating and educating all Angelenos on the City’s fiscal management.) Photo: Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star News/SCNG. Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.