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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed the largest city budget in his tenure, Monday, while proposing financial aid to businesses struggling through the pandemic as well as a universal basic income plan.

The $1,000 monthly universal income pilot would be the largest in the country according to Garcetti and would be distributed to 2,000 households for 12 months.

“We have budgeted $24 million to provide $1,000 a month to 2,000 households, no questions asked,” Garcetti said in his State of the City address. “We’re betting that one small but steady investment for Angeleno households will pay large dividends for health and stability across our city and light a fire across our nation.”

This would be in addition to a south L.A. plan that would provide $1,000 to 500 single-parent households in the area. The Los Angeles City Council passed the south L.A. basic income plan in an 11-4 vote this March.

The mayor also announced a $25 million “comeback” program that would provide $5,000 to 5,000 small businesses in the city of Los Angeles, saying, “This money will help L.A. businesses roar back.”

In support of street vendors, Garcetti said $1.3 million would be allocated for street vendors to obtain proper selling permits and “authorized carts.”

“If we want a strong economy, we have to help small business owners thrive,” Garcetti said. “Today, too many Americans don’t have that access to capital or to stable housing. We must build a better future for our most vulnerable residents.”

The largest budget allocation the mayor announced was $1 billion that would go toward homelessness. While Garcetti did not get into specifics of how the money would be allocated, he did say the city would create more than 1,200 “vouchers to help people find homes.” Garcetti also noted that the city only allocated $10 million toward homelessness at the start of his first term.

“We know the key to ending homelessness is homes. Let’s rent them. Let’s buy them. Let’s build them brand new,” Garcetti said.

In his State of the City address, Garcetti proposed multiple citywide efforts including memorials for lives lost to COVID-19, installing WiFi hotspots in more neighborhoods, as well as a ban of Styrofoam and single-use dining products.

LA Weekly