The population of the city of Los Angeles is almost 4 million, and a city of that size has many components to balance to ensure it is a vibrant, successful city. Supporting businesses, along with addressing the major challenges of the city, need to work in harmony to allow the city to grow and thrive.
City of Los Angeles Overview
- As of July 2018, the population of the city of Los Angeles was estimated at 3,990,456.
- Persons from age 0-9 represent 15.8% of the total population (7.74+8.06=15.8).
- Persons from age 10-24, which roughly represents Gen Z, is 21.85% of the population (6.92+6.81+8.12=21.85).
- Persons from age 25-54, which roughly represents millennials and Gen X, is 45.66% of the population (18.24+15.81+11.61=45.66).
- Persons from age 55-74, which roughly represents baby boomers, is 12.09% of the population (3.9+3.13+5.06=12.90).
- Although the available data did not allow for the percentage of the population that is between 18 and 35, it was determined that 26.36% of the population is between 20 and 34 (8.12+18.24=26.36).
City Elections in 2020
- According to the County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, there will be a Los Angeles City Primary Nominating election for council districts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 on March 3, 2020. On the same date, there will be elections for Board of Education 1, 3, 5, and 7.
- On November 3, 2020, there will be a city general municipal runoff election.
- The Highland Park neighborhood is changing and becoming more art focused, with many creatives living in the neighborhood.
- Monrovia is an ethnically diverse neighborhood with a southern California feel. The population is about 41% white, 38% Hispanic, 11% Asian, and 6% black.
- The Cheviot Hills neighborhood is an upscale family neighborhood with residents earning well above the national median income and very well-educated residents.
- Beverly Grove is a large neighborhood anchored by a large outdoor mall. The neighborhood has old LA charm as well as plenty of restaurants and activities.
- The Culver City neighborhood is changing and becoming a more trendy neighborhood. There is a large outdoor mall that features retail, fitness, and art, as well as many excellent restaurants. Recently, Vespertine was named the best restaurant in Los Angeles, and the tasting menu there will set a couple back about $1,000, which indicates that the clientele has money to spare.
City ID Card
- It was reported in 2012 that the Los Angeles city council had approved moving forward with municipal ID cards, and that they were expected to start being provided in 2013. However, there was no information found indicating that the cards were actually ever launched.
Question for City Leaders
- Are there plans in place to move forward with the municipal ID cards?
City of Los Angeles Business Community
Business Promotion Initiatives
- The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has several initiatives and programs in place to support small business owners. These include the Small Business Council, which brings small business owners together to determine common issues and help the Chamber develop programs that meet the needs of small businesses in the area; the Power Hour Series, which "offers insightful presentations from industry leaders on successful business practices to help members grow their business;" and the Referral Network, which is a monthly meeting where business owners can "exchange legitimate business leads."
- The Great Streets Great Business program is part of Mayor Garcetti's Great Streets initiative. Small businesses can apply for loans of up to $250,000 to help with working capital, construction, equipment purchases and more. In total, there is $4 million available.
- The Los Angeles Business Portal provides all the information needed on how to start a business in the city of LA. One of the initiatives offered by the business portal is the ability to get a free website and a free year of hosting. Businesses work with a Wordpress developer to create the site.
Local Merchant Associations
- The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce "champions economic prosperity and quality of life for the Los Angeles region by being the voice of business, promoting collaboration and helping members grow."
- The Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA) focuses on the growth and promotion of downtown LA, including providing a vision, new housing, helping to solve the homelessness issue, and attracting businesses.
- The Olvera Street Merchants Association Foundation is a non-profit group that focuses on offering free cultural events to the Greater LA community.
- The Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) focuses on promoting "progress in the Los Angeles region in the areas of energy, housing, transportation, international trade and economic development."
- The city of Los Angeles released the ShakeAlertLA app in partnership with Information Technology Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey. The goal is to provide an early earthquake warning system for LA residents.
- The Los Angeles Department of Aging (LADOA) partners with Project CARE to provide low-income seniors with "food, clothing, personal hygiene implements, books, craft materials and many others." Since 2006, LADOA, Los Angeles Foundation on Aging, and the Los Angeles Police Department Detective Bureau have collaborated to provide holiday gift bags to low-income adults in the city.
Proposal Requests: Lowest Bid
- The city of Los Angeles uses the Business Assistance Virtual Network to obtain requests for proposals (RFP). Although the site can be searched by proposals awarded, the data on the winning proposal can only be obtained by logging in to the site. Therefore, information on the lowest bids was not publicly available.
Question for City Leaders
- How much of the $4 million set aside for Great Streets Great Businesses loans has been awarded, and how long will the program continue to run?
City of Los Angeles Issues and Challenges
- The Innovation and Performance Commission of the city of Los Angeles publishes a website where they identify the major challenges being faced by the city, and ask for input from the community on how to solve them. The challenges included are building stronger communities, creating a business-friendly LA, environmental sustainability, improving public safety, infrastructure improvement, reducing government waste, and reducing homelessness.
- A survey of LA residents identified the top three challenges facing the city as homelessness, traffic congestion, and housing affordability.
- Downtown's homeless population is currently around 8,000, and is starting to burst out of skid row, threatening real estate developments. The number of homeless in the city overall was estimated at 36,300 in June 2019.
- The issue is becoming worse due to the high cost of housing in Los Angeles and an increase in mental illness, and drug use.
- The business community is dealing with public drug sales, needle use, panhandlers, aggressive behaviors, garbage and human waste.
- Real estate and business owners have raised their concerns after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cities can no longer ban homeless encampments.
- Venice homeowners were against a homeless shelter in their community and there was a legal challenge to stop it being built. Ultimately, a judge ruled the shelter construction could move forward.
Efforts to Address
- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti released a statement that he’d continue to focus on “providing services to save lives, keeping our neighborhoods clean and healthy, opening shelters to help get people indoors more quickly, and building permanent units to keep them under a roof for good.”
- Members of the Los Angeles City Council have spoken out for the need to tackle the homeless issue in Los Angeles.
- Committees, such as the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative have been set up to try to resolve the issues.
- The Regional Homelessness Advisory Council was formed in conjunction with the county of Los Angeles to have a central location to coordinate and track issues and solutions related to homelessness.
- Nury Martinez, the new president of the LA City Council, wants to examine how homelessness services are currently provided and see what can be done to improve the situation. She also wants to examine the structure of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to determine if the joint effort between the county and city is still effective.
- The city is working with the Trump administration and may be close to a deal that would provide federal funds and land facilities to help address the issue.
Question for City Leaders
- How are you going to balance the needs of residents, business owners and the homeless population so all are treated fairly?
- The city of LA ranked number one in the country for traffic congestion, with drivers spending, on average, 119 hours per year in traffic delays, which was more than double the national average of 54 for urban areas. The city was also ranked first in congestion cost ($2,400) per driver and fourth in excess fuel (35 gallons) per driver.
- One of the reasons congestion is so bad is because as of 2017, 84% of LA commuters either drove or carpooled to work. This is at least partially due to the fact that LA does not have strong public transit systems.
- LA has created a very strong car culture that will be difficult to change even if public transit is improved.
- Ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are actually making traffic congestion worse because instead of people driving somewhere and parking, the ride share vehicles are on the road for 8-10 hours straight, driving all over the city and county.
- Changes in the parking code, which allows for less parking in new buildings, will increase traffic as people will have to search longer for parking, which will add to congestion.
- The lack of safe and well-marked bike lanes in the city means less people are willing to utilize bikes for commuting.
Efforts to Address
- LA voters passed Measure M in 2016 that provided $120 billion in funds to improve public transit and highways. The goal is to reduce the "time spent in traffic by 15% a day by 2057."
- There are several transit projects in various stages that will directly affect the city of LA.
- The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project will connect LA, Inglewood, Hawthorne, and El Segundo. The project is currently under construction.
- The Purple Line Extension is extending the Metro rail to serve Mid-City, Beverly Hills, Century City, and Westwood/UCLA. This project is also under construction.
- The Regional Connector project has the goal of connecting light rails from many locations on the outskirts of Central LA. This is expected to be operational in December 2021 and is currently under construction.
- There are several other projects in various stages of pre-construction including design, environmental review, and post-environmental.
- Other ideas under consideration to reduce traffic are charging congestion fees, adding high occupancy toll lanes, and improving walking and biking options to make those options more attractive.
Question for City Leaders
- Are residents being surveyed to determine what changes will actually result in them driving less and using public transit more?