What We Hope to Hear from Mayor Garcetti

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

This Thursday, Mayor Eric Garcetti will give his fourth State of the City (SOTC) address, and his first since he was overwhelmingly re-elected in March to a five and half year second term. Los Angeles has a lot to be proud of since the Mayor’s last SOTC. The results of the November and March elections were a clear statement by the electorate on their priorities. We look forward to hearing the Mayor lay out his next steps on these issues:

On homelessness – Last November, voters made an unprecedented commitment to tackling our homeless crisis by approving Measure HHH, a $1.2 billion bond to build 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing. In March, Mayor Garcetti helped champion the County Supervisors’ proposal, Measure H, a ¼ cent sales tax to fund housing and support services for homeless individuals throughout L.A. County. Now the City needs to move forward with designs and construction on the first dozen sites identified to house the homeless.

On transportation infrastructure – Also last November, Mayor Garcetti led the effort to pass Measure M, the county-wide sales tax to build a generation of transit and highway projects. We applaud his vision of a less-congested, transit-oriented L.A. He will begin a one-year term as chairman of the Metro Board in July and we hope to hear how dollars from Measure M and the recently approved state transportation funding bill will repair crumbling streets and build more transit in L.A.

On housing – No victory was more important to the future of our City than the defeat of Measure S, which would have halted construction in L.A., exacerbated our housing crisis, killed thousands of jobs and defunded public services. Now we need to hear how the Mayor intends to streamline the construction of housing at all levels, and reject policies that will increase the cost of housing throughout the City.

On the business climate – The best way to grow good jobs is to create a thriving business climate where companies can grow, hire and invest back into the City. The Mayor should outline plans for the second phase of the gross receipts tax reduction, signaling a continued dedication to attracting jobs and investments from manufacturing and biosciences, to technology and professional services.

We also hope to hear about investments in two major economic drivers, L.A. International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles. Nearly $15 billion in capital improvements to modernize LAX are on the drawing board. The Port of L.A. is also investing billions to grow and green the largest port in the U.S. We are also entering the home stretch in our bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games and are proud of the vision our City is presenting to the world.

There is a lot to look forward to on the horizon. The voters of L.A. expressed a high level of trust in Mayor Garcetti during his re-election and his leadership on the key ballot measures last November and this March. Now we all expect results, and it starts with the State of the City address this week.

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