A casual, blue jean clad,Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa spoke at the 2009 Congress of Neighborhoods, October 10, 2009. Which was held at the L.A. City Hall.
He displayed statistics that showed homicides down in the City by 37%, violent crimes down 20% and for all of the worst crimes combined down 18%.
The valley had the least drop in crime 16%, 15%, and 11% respectively of all areas reported.
Of course the budget crisis got its share of angst from the Mayor. He says it’s on his mind every day.
With 13.7% unemployment in the City, we are facing tough times he said. But, he went on; we are going to make public safety the number one priority. Saying those [in City Council] who want to cut back on hiring, have amnesia, forgetting the promise to raise the level of hiring at LAPD with the trash fee hike, we’ve got to do that, he reiterated several times.
The hike raised $158 million [primarily from single family dwellings, townhouses, duplexes and, mobile home parks] out of the $174 million used to hire new officers.
A very animated Mayor related how as a kid growing up in a very tough neighborhood he was called Tony Rap because he was good at getting out of a jam by talking.
He said, he doesn’t like to fight but he knows how and will fight to make this the safest big city in America and will not be deterred. To stop hiring now, he said, we would lose 300 officers next year. Wasting all the money used from the trash hike to build up the LAPD.