This morning, I was pleased to join with my fellow Councilmembers in moving forward a plan to free nearly $90 million in unused CRA bonds for the purpose of economic development in Los Angeles, some $20 million of which will go directly to my West Valley district.
I’m proud that this has been made possible in part by a one-two punch I helped deliver, first as an Assemblymember and now as a Councilmember.
Under the original state dissolution authority of the CRA, former redevelopment properties and bond proceeds were to be expeditiously sold and paid off. As Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, I worked to change this, authoring the trailer bill AB 1484 that amended the previous dissolution legislation to allow for eligible successor agencies to utilize unobligated pre-2011 tax allocation bond proceeds.
As a Councilmember, I believe it is critical that we take advantage of this opportunity in a thoughtful and deliberate manner to deliver on the promises to these communities.
It is one reason why last week I traveled to Sacramento to meet with the Director of the Department of Finance and the Governor’s Office. I wanted to stress how important it is for our City to use these bonds to invest in our communities.
The proposed Bond Expenditure Agreement and Bond Spending Plan between the CRA/LA and the City would allow the City of Los Angeles to utilize $86.4 million of existing unused CRA bond money to improve public infrastructure, support affordable housing, invest in catalytic investments, and provide business assistance.
The City Council action today, created the City mechanism to make the plan a reality. The next step will be approval by the CRA/LA successor agency and oversight board.
I would like to thank the CRA/LA staff for all of their work as well as the CLA, CAO and the Mayor for all the work they have undertaken over the past year, and my colleagues for recognizing this valuable opportunity to support economic development throughout the City of Los Angeles. I will continue to doggedly pursue this issue for the benefit of the West Valley and the entire City of Los Angeles.