LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is set to give his annual State of the City speech today at Lincoln High School, a site that may have been chosen to help highlight the mayor's successful mediation of a Los Angeles teacher's strike and his support of a parcel tax measure on the June ballot that aims to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for local schools.
After an all night bargaining session at City Hall, Garcetti helped broker an end to a strike by United Teachers Los Angeles that stretched over six school days in January. Both the strike and parcel tax measure, which he said he would campaign in support of, are likely to be topics the speech.
Garcetti chose last year's speech to unveil his “A Bridge Home” program and announced he wanted to dedicate at least $20 million toward the effort to open at least one shelter in each of the 15 City Council districts.
Since the program's start, the city also received $85 million from the state as a one- time emergency grant for homeless programs, some of which has been dedicated to the Bridge Home program, and the city has also expanded its approach to include converting existing structures into bridge shelters.
Three shelters have been opened so far, and Garcetti in recent weeks has been talking about them as a success. Although proposed shelters have been strongly opposed by some community leaders in Venice, Sherman Oaks and Koreatown, Garcetti told reporters last month that the three bridge sites that are already operational have been “pretty uncontroversial,” and that crime has been reduced around the first site near the El Pueblo monument.
Of a bridge facility located at a YWCA in Hollywood, Garcetti said “the impact has been -- like people don't even know -- it's like a zero impact.”
“There's three schools within walking distance and some parents were worried about what it was going to be, but Councilman Mitch O'Farrell worked with them and really turned them into strong supporters,” Garcetti said. “And the kids put together welcome home baskets to greet the 75 individuals who moved into the beds this week.”
The shelter program, along with other efforts to fight homelessness, is also likely to be a major focus of the speech.
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