CAO Recommends Major Cuts

Sun, 03/20/2011 (All day)
Advocacy Team (if applicable): 

Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los AngelesLate Friday, March 18th, the Los Angeles' City Administrative Office has issued a series of budget recommendations that include sweeping cuts to city departments, services and expenditures, including Neighborhood Councils, Channel 36, crossing guards, Recreation & Parks and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

The CAO's budget recommendations are intended to address current and future opportunities to strengthen City Government. The report calls for sweeping cost-saving measures across many departments in City government, including thousands of layoffs, department consolidations and other tactics to ensure the city's fiscal solvency and address the $410 million budget deficit.

Recommendations affecting the Department of Cultural Affairs are:

  • Elimination of the Department's 1% Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel tax) allocation, the Department's only dedicated funding stream
  • Elimination of the Arts Developer Fee
  • Moving the Percent for Art (Public Art program) into Public Works
  • If those recommendations are not adopted, reduction of the grants budget by 25%

Although the CAO's budget recommendations will carry weight during the city council budget process, they are by no means final.  The CAO's recommendations precede the Mayor's budget, which is scheduled to be released in the next few weeks. The City Council will then develop its own set of recommendations, which will be accepted or rejected by the Mayor.  Over the next three months, the Mayor and City Council will modify and adapt these budgets, taking into account the CAO's recommendations, as well as their own priorities and the voices of their constituents. This can be considered the first alarm in an advocacy process that will last until May at the earliest.

Arts for LA is developing an advocacy strategy to reinforce the importance of arts and culture to City Council and the Mayor. To be a part of this advocacy strategy through in-person meetings with policymakers in your Council District or if you wish to take a lead role in another area, please email [email protected].

In following our advocacy best practices, we are gathering information, meeting with decision-makers, sharing accurate information with the field and creating opportunities for effective advocacy. We will post additional information as we receive it.

To download the CAO's report and sign up to receive notifications when changes are made to this specific council file, visit 0600-S61.

Click the envelope icon to receive an email when discussion is scheduled or the CAO releases additional recommendations. Arts for LA strongly encourages those who are deeply invested in this issue to subscribe to this council file, as this is the fastest way to receive new information about the CAO's budget. The section pertaining to the Department of Cultural Affairs is Section K.

City Council's Budget & Finance Committee will discuss the CAO's budget recommendations on Monday, March 21st at 9:00am. To listen or watch live, visit when the meeting is in session.

Stay tuned for updates on how the City of LA's budget process will affect arts and culture.