Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass delivered her first State of the City address Monday night, with much of the speech focusing on issues she campaigned on, homelessness and public safety.  

The mayor’s address comes just a day before she’s set to present a new proposed budget to the public and a time of unease for many residents in the nation’s second-largest city.  

“I am 127 days into my administration, and I cannot declare that the state of our city is where it needs to be,” Bass said.  

While crime, inflation and homelessness are problems in plain sight across the Southland, the mayor appeared undeterred as she laid out her new budget, which includes millions of dollars in funding for public safety and housing.  

Bass has pledged to get 17,000 unhoused residents off the street in her first year in office. So far, an estimated 1,000 people have been temporarily housed under her administration’s Inside Safe initiative.  

“Leaning into the new direction we’re charting for L.A., my budget includes an unprecedented $1.3 billion investment to accelerate our momentum on homelessness,” she said.  

The mayor is proposing the city use that money to buy hotels, motels and other structures to be converted into public housing and shelters, calling the move a cost saving measure. By some estimates, it costs around $100 per person per night for the city to place a person in a motel.  

Bass also proposed using funds from recent opioid and tobacco settlements to pay for substance abuse treatment beds, though she stopped short of saying just how many beds the money would pay for.  

Turning to the Los Angeles Police Department, the mayor called for hundreds of officers to be hired over the next year.  

“The situation we currently face means we could see the number of LAPD officers drop below 9,000 and we have not seen numbers that low since 2022,” Bass said.  

LAPD has gone from about 10,000 officers to about 9,100 over the last several years. The department is expected to lose another 6,00 officers over the next year due to retirements and resignations.  

“So, we are launching an urgent recruitment campaign with incentives for new recruits,” the mayor said. “We will provide financial incentives to city employees who help us find new officers. We will support a program to bring recently retired officers back on the job. We will hire civilians at LAPD so that officers can move back onto the street, and we will hire more 911 operators. This will reduce police and fire department response times and improve our ability to refer calls to alternative responses.”  

Those “alternative responses” include making the city’s mental health crisis teams available around the clock and the creation of a Mayor’s Office of Community Safety, which would provide unarmed responses.  

The mayor added that she wants to provide police officers with enhanced mental health training, as well as hire more firefighters and paramedics.