|Major issues affecting
Railroad Safety - This has become a major concern for cities, particularly in the Greater Los Angeles Region. Public safety and the environment both face challenges.
The City of Montebello, in partnership with the California Public Utility Commission, Co-Chair a task force to deal with these challenges at the local, State and federal levels. The task force will include railroads, unions, local government, State and federal governmental agencies.
Transportation - The federal government has given the City of Los Angeles $130 million for the widening of the 405 Freeway from Wilshire Boulevard to the San Fernando Valley. However, for the City to get this money, the City must find about $400 million dollars in matching funds. Considering the State's current priorities, this is an extremely difficult task.
Parking - Parkeon has developed a state-of-the-art system to meet the challenges of parking. The system is solar operated and can work with credit cards, atm cards, cash, etc. No meters are necessary. Pilot projects are in the works in the Los Angeles area.
Los Angeles has one of the largest homeless populations in the United States.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca formed the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Homeless Task force to identify the challenges and the potential
resources. Robert Levy Co-Chairs the Task force. The City of
Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles have formed a Blue Ribbon Task
force on the homeless which Mr. Levy also sits on.
The reality of the challenge is that the mental health component is key. We have found that the homeless not only need transitional housing, but also require long term mental health counseling, medical services, social services and much more.
The resources have been identified, now the key becomes funding. Funding is not a significant issue – the political will is more of a challenge. The County of Los Angeles will get approximately $100 million a year for mental health. In addition, the City and County of Los Angeles receive over $50 million a year from the California Workforce Investment Board. The California Workforce Investment Board gets $500 million a year from the federal government and of this the Governor has a 15% discretionary fund. These funds are intended to be used to help people become productive members of the workforce and can be used for training, transportation, housing, medical and mental health issues and much more.