28 Jul City Council President Wesson Announces Bold Policy Agenda, Builds upon Previous Successes
Following unanimous re-election as council president, Wesson draws inspiration from past policy victories including $1.2B to end homelessness, enacting of citywide jobs plan, and the likely return of Olympic Games to Los Angeles to set tone for next legislative session
LOS ANGELES- Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. today announced an aggressive public policy agenda setting the tenor for what will be a fast-paced and productive legislative session. After a thorough study of some of the city’s most pressing challenges, Wesson chose to highlight a number of important issues including advancing immigrant and civil rights, bridging the digital divide, developing more affordable housing and creating the city’s first municipal bank.
Reflecting on what was a high-octane two-years for the City Council, Wesson drew on the legislative body’s successes to illustrate the power of the “can-do” council. Since announcing a sweeping agenda in 2015, Wesson has presided over monumental policy initiatives including the historic passage of Measure HHH, a $1.2B bond supported by over 75 percent of voters, Measure M, legislation regulating the recreational and medical cannabis industry, and enacting a citywide jobs plan. Adding to the City Council’s list of achievements is the International Olympic Committee’s expected announcement that the Olympic Games will return to Los Angeles in either 2024 or 2028.
“We were elected to lead not to manage,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. “The Los Angeles City Council has proven we do not shy away from complicated issues, we have proven we can come together and make anything possible.”
Among the top policy objectives Wesson announced today are enacting recommendations for comprehensive civil rights legislation from the city’s recently hired Immigrant Advocate, strengthening the city’s embRACE LA program using the initiative as a platform to bring Angelenos of all ages and ethnicities together, and bridging the digital divide by providing a free computer and internet access to each local student through the OurCycle L.A. program. Wesson announced he would also appoint an independent commission, in partnership with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, charged with advising he and his colleagues on pragmatic strategies to address Los Angeles’ housing gap. The independent commission will report back with recommendations in six to eight months. In an especially progressive move, Wesson directed the necessary city departments to explore the creation of a municipal bank allowing the cannabis industry to invest in Los Angeles. The proactive action would establish a much needed banking system for a largely all cash industry. The proceeds from the city’s first municipal bank could be leveraged to build more affordable housing citywide.
In response to his proposal of creating the city’s first municipal bank, Wesson said, “We cannot bury our heads in the sand on the issue of recreational and medical cannabis legalization, instead we must strive to reasonably regulate the emerging industry while creating opportunities for Angelenos.”