Bill to Support East LA Cityhood Gaining In Senate

By EGP News Service

A bill to help fund a study to determine if unincorporated East Los Angeles has enough financial resources to operate as an independent city passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday by a vote of 7-2 and is headed to the Senate Floor, according to a statement from the office of Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon.

The bill, AB 711, is co-authored by Calderon (D-East Los Angeles) and Sen. Gloria Romero, who also represents East L.A.

Calling the bill “critical” to East Los Angeles Cityhood, Calderon said if approved, AB 711 would advance a loan of $45,000 from the California Main Street Program to help pay for the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis required in the incorporation process. Cityhood supporters have already raised the rest of the funds needed for the $135,000 study, according to Calderon’s written statement.

East Los Angeles residents kick-off petitan gathering campaign at July 4th, 2008 rally. (EGP Archives)

East Los Angeles residents kick-off petitan gathering campaign at July 4th, 2008 rally. (EGP Archives)

The Los Angeles Local Agency Formation Commission (LA LAFCO) has contracted with a consultant to conduct the analysis, the cost of which must be borne by the proponents of incorporation. LA LAFCO has already given Cityhood supporters several extensions to pay for the study, with April 29 being the final deadline. The loan would have to be repaid within two years of the incorporation of the City of East Los Angeles, according to Calderon.

“With the passage of this bill out of Committee, the East Los Angeles community is closer to cityhood than it has ever been since this effort started 50 years ago,” says Calderon.

The financial analysis will examine whether there are enough local resources and revenue, namely fees and taxes to support community services such as police, fire, street repairs, trash pick up and the likes. LAFCO, which regulates boundary change proposals such as Cityhood, will use the study to determine if the issue should go to the voters for consideration. Key to the findings will be whether the new city could survive financially if no longer solely under county jurisdiction, without diminishing services to local residents and businesses.

The current Cityhood drive has been underway since 2007. In January 2008, LA LAFCO certified that proponents of the effort had solicited a “sufficient” number of signatures from registered voters to move forward with the fiscal analysis or study, the next step before the issue can go to voters. If incorporated, East Los Angeles would be the 10th largest city in the County.

“Cityhood has been a long time coming for East Los Angeles and this study is critical to moving forward,” said Romero. “East Los Angeles is recognized across the United States as the corazon of the Latino community. It’s time for it to have the power to determine its own future.”

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April 22, 2010  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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