HomeTop StoriesKaren Bass praises shaking up 'the status quo' in LA

Karen Bass praises shaking up ‘the status quo’ in LA

LOS ANGELES – Mayor of Los Angeles Karen Bass‘ A long resume in an elected position and an even-tempered attitude don’t exactly scream “shake up the system.”

But the mayor leaned so hard on her message to upend the operation of City Hall that her State of the City address looked more like a Silicon Valley Ted Talk.

“The state of our city is stronger today because we have made change and disrupted the status quo,” Bass said at the start of her speech Monday night — the first of eight times she has uttered “status quo” in the approximately 35 minute speech. speech in the council chamber.

Bass portrayed nearly every major initiative and priority as a break from the old way of doing business and promised to “turn the page” on City Hall’s reputation for its internal dysfunction and rocky relations with the LA County Board of Supervisors.

She even framed her support for giving police officers pay raises, an effort that is drawing increasing criticism from the left as the city’s budget picture darkens, as a necessary step to defuse the department’s retention problems — “a status quo. [that] Angelenos simply cannot be protected.”

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She described her signature program Inside Safe, which focused on moving people off the streets and into temporary housing such as motel rooms, as “a sea change” in the way Los Angeles approaches homelessness.

The implicit subtext of all these rhetorical sweeping changes was that disruption can be messy work. Bass has enjoyed high popularity ratings since her election, but she is acutely aware that Angelenos’ patience can wear thin, especially with tough challenges like solving the homelessness crisis.

For example, Inside Safe would move from the initial “rescue phase” – which Bass acknowledged came with a dangerously high price tag – to a “recovery phase” that focused more on long-term planning.

Bass also called on the city’s wealthiest residents to help solve the homelessness crisis, announcing a new campaign called LA4LA to tap into the generosity of the private sector.

She called it “an unprecedented partnership to address this emergency, an example of disrupting the status quo to build a new system to save lives.”

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The next test for Bass is whether she can engineer a status quo shake-up in the city’s budget planning. Bass is expected to announce her new spending plan next week, given the harsh reality of a cash crisis at City Hall.

Bass has faced criticism from the Los Angeles Times editorial board for supporting expensive pay raises for police officers and other city employees, among other things.

She didn’t hold back in her support for the wage increase, claiming the city “must pay our workers fairly.”

But she did promise to disrupt the budget process, so to speak, by eliminating “ghost positions” — vacant positions in the city that had remained on the books year after year, while pledging to “preserve core services.”

Now she’ll just have to sell that budget overhaul to the City Council — and to Angelenos in general.

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