The entire state of California has felt the pinch since the economic downturn struck over two years ago. Companies, large and small, and governments have had to tighten their belts. The homeless have also felt the pinch. The Weingart Center in Skid Row had to cut staff and services that serve the homeless everyday because of the lack of funds. Governor Brown's budget proposal to eliminate the Community Redevelopment Agencies is yet another cut that indirectly hurts the homeless.
The homeless are granted opportunities through the jobs and economic activity that are created by Community Redevelopment Agencies. This is why the California legislature should reject Gov. Jerry Brown's call to end community redevelopment agencies and eliminate property tax dollars destined for CRAs.
As Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently said, state officials must come up with an alternative plan because eliminating redevelopment projects will kill jobs and shift the entire burden of the budget on cities who are already strapped for cash.
Redevelopment has made a dramatic difference in the city of Los Angeles, particularly in downtown Los Angeles, where the predominant population of homeless reside in L.A. County. It is an economic tool to create jobs. It can help make dramatic difference in the lives of the people on Skid Row as well, as we have seen numerous times over the years. The CRA of Los Angeles has many examples on their website of the good work they are doing.
The California Legislature should consider the impact on the homeless when considering Governor Brown's budget to cut the CRAs.