Editorial: What L.A. needs from Mayor Karen Bass
Los Angeles Mayor Robert Garcia is on a campaign to change the city’s image.
His opponent, former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, is attacking him for using a “dark, dark art” to “titillate” and turn “a blind eye to the police killing of L.A. residents while pandering to Los Angeles Police Association members.”
I believe the mayor has the chance to show Los Angeles is different and that there are many ways to serve the community. How? By focusing on some basic needs of the majority of Angelenos.
First, the mayor should increase funding for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The Department of Children and Family Services is funded at only 1% of the taxpayer’s money. The average per-capita tax rate in Los Angeles County is 8.7% of all income.
Why? Because California is a “fiscal conservative state” meaning they prioritize public welfare over a taxpayer’s bottom line.
Yet, DCFS is a bloated Department of Children and Family Services with over $1 billion in taxpayer money. It is funded from taxpayer money for a total of only $100 million.
According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “of the $1.25 billion DCFS receives annually in state funding, only 11.2% comes from state dollars. The remaining 88.8% comes from funds generated by local and county property taxes, and taxpayer-funded fees, on goods and services, that are not used for the purpose they are intended and thus are considered unspent.”
The city’s spending is not keeping up with its population growth. The average city tax rate is 7.7%. However, the city spends over 14 percent of the tax rate on public safety — a number that exceeds city expenditures for child welfare.
The mayor needs to make