LA City Council Passes Budget Maintaining the Dept. of Cultural Affairs

Thu, 05/19/2011 (All day)
Advocacy Team (if applicable): 

On Wednesday, May 18, the Los Angeles City Council passed a budget of $6.9 billion that closed a projected $336 million deficit. The Mayor has until next week to sign or veto the entire budget or parts of it. City Council can override a veto with ten votes. The budget included a slight change to the Mayor’s budget recommendation for the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), adding a $60,000 increase to fund the operation of a multi-purpose arts & cultural center pending the release of a Request for Proposals for public-private partnerships for the city cultural facilities.

The Mayor’s budget recommendations included reductions to the Department of Cultural Affairs budget that are similar to proposed reductions to nearly every other department in the City. Except for the $60,000 just added, the DCA will rely solely on the 1% allocation of the Transient and Occupancy Tax (Los Angeles' hotel tax) instead of a combination of TOT and General Fund allocations. 

The Mayor's proposal differed greatly from that of the Chief Administrative Office (CAO), which recommended elimination or deep cuts to the DCA. In the weeks prior to the budget vote, Los Angeles arts advocates provided public comment in Council Chambers and met one on one with several Councilmembers to discuss the importance of City investment in arts and culture. Councilmembers expressed support for the Department of Cultural Affairs and City investment in the arts.