On January 25, 2021, the Mayor's office announced the launch of the Climate Emergency Mobilization Office (CEMO), which the City Council had voted to support in 2019, and which was conceptualized through the work of the Leap LA Coalition and the office of Councilmember Paul Koretz. The Mayor appointed Marta Segura as its first director. For more information, you can see these press releases from the Mayor's and Koretz's offices.

Mayor Garcetti had recommended eliminating the Office of Climate Emergency Mobilization, along with other efforts to address the climate crisis, in his proposed budget for the fiscal year 20202021. While we fully expected and understood reduced resources due to the budget gap and projected drop in revenue, the advocacy committee thought simply eliminating these efforts was painfully short-sighted and that there is never a good time to stifle the voices of communities of color.

The office was designed by organizations that represent frontline communities of color in order to make sure that they have the opportunity to participate in the solutions to the climate crisis, and the Climate Emergency Commission, which was designed along with the office, would be composed, in part, of people who represent the communities most impacted by environmental injustice. This office, and the commission, could be an important step in advancing environmental justice. Please read the NCSA board's letter to city leaders on the subject.

Even before the May 25 killing of George Floyd, many people were opposing the increase in the LAPD budget while other efforts were being drastically cut or eliminated, particularly at a time when our crime rate had plummeted and other needs had grown so dramatically. Since Floyd's death, the protests grew so dramatically that Garcetti changed course and agreed to make cuts to the LAPD budget. (The increase was due to labor agreements that the City made prior to the pandemic.)

Many neighborhood councils submitted community impact statements (CISs) in support of the office and the commission (visit https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=20-0600) to see many CISs pertaining to the budget), and many advocacy committee members and others in the NCSA network repeatedly called into City Council Budget and Finance Committee meetings to express support for the office and the commission. Funding for the office (although not the commission) was reinstated in July.

Garcetti's original proposed budget is available at http://cao.lacity.org/budget.

The People's Budget (proposed by a coalition of organizations led by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles) includes the climate crisis under the spending category Universal Aid and Crisis Management.

A letter from several other organizations is here.

And more about the Office of Climate Emergency Mobilization is here.
Documents attached to the original council file (this was approved in 2019!) are here.

Some media coverage is here:
Garcetti: L.A. is ‘under attack’ and will need to furlough thousands of city workers
LA’s ‘Climate Mayor’ Just Cut Climate Response from the Budget
Los Angeles City Council Committee Reviews the City’s Financial Health in Light of COVID-19
LA’s Budget Advocates Report to Budget & Finance Committee on Post-Pandemic Priorities
Despite a budget crisis, L.A. officials give new bonuses to officers with college degrees
Wildlife Pilot Study May Become an Endangered Species
As ‘defund LAPD’ becomes a rallying cry, Garcetti will seek cuts up to $150 million
Budget Busting Labor Agreements and the Coronavirus Limit the City’s Options
Editorial: Defund the LAPD? It’s time to rethink public safety in Los Angeles
Op-Ed: Los Angeles is going off a fiscal cliff. This is no time to give pay raises to the police

We continue calling on the City Council, following the bold leadership of Black Lives Matter, to embrace a reimagination of community safety and of our city’s budget priorities to deconstruct long-standing, deep-seated structural racism and genuinely value Black life.

Have questions, or need other resources? Contact Lisa Hart at [email protected] or 323.660.2780.