The plan, which was originally passed 13-2, included funding to trim trees, improve parks, and repair sidewalks in poor neighborhoods. The mayor
told the Los Angeles Times that the proposal was too focused on “business as usual.”
In June, as the city was under curfew and the National Guard was on the streets, Garcetti
acceded to a demand by Black Lives Matter activists to defund the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) by $150 million, more than 10% of the budget.
The funding was to be redistributed to “communities of color.” The move led to a
collapse in morale within the police department, and coincided with a surge in homicides in Los Angeles. Several specialized units within the LAPD were cut.
Now there is a fight over the redistribution plan. Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents a large number of black residents, criticized Garcetti’s veto as “progressive gobbledygook” and said he would seek to override the veto.
“It sounds like from the letter that he is questioning the knowledge of low-income people and their representatives about what they need in the community,” Harris-Dawson said. “He’s saying he knows better.”
Council President Nury Martinez said she was shocked by Garcetti’s veto, saying the spending proposal came after months of discussions with city leaders and community members.
“Residents from Black and brown communities told us they needed more from their city, and this package is one step forward in that process,” said Martinez, who represents the eastern San Fernando Valley.
“The City Council will continue to lead and honor our commitments to our communities as we find a path forward.”
The 15-member City Council would require a two-thirds vote, i.e. ten members, to override Garcetti’s rarely-used veto.