CA 'Big City Mayors' urge state legislators to pass increase in spending on homelessness programs


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti participated in a video conference on Wednesday to discuss the state’s proposed budget for housing and homelessness programs as part of the so-called California Big City Mayors coalition.

Garcetti said the state plays a crucial role when it comes to developing and supporting workable solutions. The mayors are urging the state legislature to pass a proposed $1 billion in annual funding over multiple years to address homelessness in California.

“Homelessness demands quick action, direct results and these frictionless programs," said Garcetti.

"All of us came together to say that we want ongoing funding, and the joint legislative proposal gets us the closest there we’ve ever seen”

The Big City Mayors is a coalition of mayors from California’s 13 largest cities. Members include mayors from Los Angeles, San Diego, San José, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Riverside, Santa Ana and Stockton.

The mayors praised their partnerships with state legislative leaders and the progress cities have already made addressing homelessness locally. Still, the coalition pushed for additional state funding as a requisite for continued success.

“Housing affordability is one of the greatest challenges that we face as a state. We are ready to partner with Governor Newsom and state leaders to build more housing and provide the critical services that people experiencing homelessness need,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement back in March.

Following Wednesday’s press conference, the group of mayors released a joint statement reiterating the importance of “nimble, cost-effective” solutions to homelessness such as the state’s Homekey project and safe parking programs.

“However, these successful programs face a collective fiscal cliff. Without significant direct flexible funding to local communities -- outlined in the legislature’s budget proposal of $1 billion annually for the next four years -- for ongoing operations and supportive services at these sites, we face the unconscionable reality of pushing thousands of our neighbors back into the streets,” read a statement by the Big City Mayors coalition.