Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “State of the City” address was challenged today by community groups within the Fix L.A. Coalition, whose members demanded an immediate fix to broken streets and broken promises during their own People’s State of the City.
“The real state of the union — here, look at the pictures — the real state of the union is that neighborhoods like mine in Watts, in South L.A., still don’t have vital city services,” said Timothy McDaniel of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).
City Hall leaders and Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged back in 2015 to create 5,000 new jobs by June 2018. These jobs were lost during the recession — a move city workers accepted at the time with the understanding that, when the economy recovered, these jobs would be restored.
But that has not happened. Jobs with the City of Los Angeles are an entry point to a middle-class quality of life, especially for women and people of color. Those pathways now remain indefinitely closed.
Simultaneously, as the prospect of a middle-class lifestyle dims for many job seekers, City Hall has failed to respond strongly or quickly enough to the growing epidemic of homelessness gripping the city — which has skyrocketed 75 percent to record levels. Meanwhile, affordable housing evaporates and the city’s infrastructure continues to crumble.
“Mr. Mayor, how do you expect to be president and fix our community when you haven’t fixed L.A.?” asked Beverly Roberts, a South L.A. resident.
In addition to SEIU Local 721, the People’s State of the City was hosted by the following organizations, all of which are part of the Fix L.A. Coalition: People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER); AFSCME District Council 36; Food & Water Watch – California; the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Southern California; the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN); Ground Game – Los Angeles; Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE); the Community Coalition; and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).