On August 22nd, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-3 to double down on a failed model of public safety, approving a four-year package of raises and bonuses for police officers as part of an agreement with the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) that is expected to cost the city nearly $1 billion by 2027. As a result, vital resources needed for the rest of the city will be instead siphoned off to an ineffective, corrupt police department.
DSA-LA is proud to stand with City Councilmembers and fellow socialists Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto-Martínez in their opposition to this egregious misuse of city resources, which prioritizes giving enormous raises to armed police officers on patrol instead of funding city services and unarmed responses that actually keep Angelenos safe.
The city of Los Angeles has 22 departments with a higher vacancy rate than the LAPD. This contract, according to the city’s Chief Administrative Officer, will require “significant” resource diversion from other services in order to give the LAPD large raises and bonuses. This means fewer janitors to keep schools clean, fewer sanitation employees to maintain our streets and sidewalks, fewer housing inspectors to protect tenants and shut down illegal Airbnbs, and fewer outreach workers to help effectively keep people off the streets.
The evidence is clear that greater investment in policing does not lead to a safer Los Angeles. In fact, the reduction of police officers in Los Angeles corresponded with a 10% drop in violent crime in 2023. While Mayor Karen Bass says that her “number-one job is to keep Angelenos safe,” her willingness to spend so recklessly on ineffective policing tells a different story.
When calls to build permanent supportive housing and expand mental health services are met with the question “how are we going to pay for that,” remember that 12 councilmembers chose to allocate $1 billion to police instead. Our three endorsed council members—the only three who voted “no”—have been able to house people in Echo Park, in Los Feliz, in MacArthur Park because they chose to emphasize services, aid, and outreach instead of violent police sweeps.
We need to pressure the politicians who supported this egregious decision. We need to continue working directly with our endorsed socialist council members, and start planning for next year’s budget fight. But in order to achieve these goals, the working class of Los Angeles needs to be organized.
Become a member of DSA today and join your neighbors in fighting for the Los Angeles we deserve, from improving public transportation to fighting for tenants to supporting workers on strike and beyond. Only together can we build the mass movement needed to reclaim state power for the working class.