Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez in a letter to her colleagues April 27 announced plans for how the city will move forward with council and committee meetings.
The council will meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays—instead of just Wednesdays—beginning the week of May 4. A trial run of remote committee meetings is also slated, as are plans to respond to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s budget proposal.
“As the city of Los Angeles, the state and nation grapple with two conflicting realities—a growing daily infection and death toll from COVID-19—and evidence that our quarantine ‘Safer at Home’ policies are helping us flatten the curve, this City Council must and will continue to do the people of Los Angeles’ business that we are bound by duty and law to execute,” the District 6 councilwoman wrote.
Since an emergency was declared in Los Angeles and California, Martinez said, council members have “deliberated in marathon sessions to set strong and sound policy to protect Angelenos to the fullest extent of our jurisdictional ability while calling on our state and federal partners to act on the issues they have legal authority over, including rent and mortgage relief, and federal assistance for the working poor, including immigrant families and their children.”
Martinez said she is also re-establishing LA City Council committee meetings, with Councilman Bob Blumenfield holding “practice runs” of remote sessions, via a teleconferencing system similar to that used for remote council meetings. The letter was sent out prior to a special April 30 Public Works & Gang Reduction Committee meeting, of which Blumenfield is chairman.
“Those efforts have been successful,” Martinez wrote of remote council meetings, adding of committee teleconferences: “If successful, I will bring additional committees online.”
Martinez also said she and Councilman Paul Krekorian worked together to “forgo our normal budget proceedings” and make plans to address Garcetti’s April 20 budget proposal.
A Budget & Finance Committee meeting will be hosted by Krekorian, the chairman, at 10 a.m. Monday, May 11, to “hear a CLA/CAO report on the city’s financial health and the proposed budget.”
City departments will not address the committee directly, Martinez added, so they are encouraged to put remarks on the budget in writing.
“We are in unchartered waters, and the city’s Budget & Finance Committee will need to meet periodically to discuss and update the City Council on the latest budget numbers and their impacts so that we can adjust in real time and make sound and informed decisions on behalf of the city of Los Angeles,” Martinez wrote. “As long as the city of Los Angeles remains in a state of emergency, Councilmember Krekorian and I will deliberate on when those meetings should occur.
“As we move forward while dealing with this suspended state we are in, knowing all too well lives are at stake and people are hurting in all ways, including financially, I thank this City Council for doing what is right and responsible in protecting our constituents.”