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New LA City Council President Marqueece Harris-Dawson Unveils Bold Vision

Elgin Nelson

Marqueece Harris-Dawson, the newly elected president of the Los Angeles City Council, recently outlined his vision for the council’s future leadership. This comes in the face of the city’s recently approved $12.8 billion budget, which had faced significant opposition due to its substantial funding allocation to the LAPD rather than core services.

Harris-Dawson stressed the necessity of representing all constituents while stating his skepticism towards unanimous budget votes, highlighting that such votes might indicate that not all citizens are being represented.

“I’m one of the ones who is always suspicious of 15-0 votes on budgets,” Harris-Dawson

explained. “Because all the people of LA never agree on everything, so what it means when you see a 15 to nothing vote is, it means some people in the city are not being represented.”

Among Harris-Dawson’s priorities is rebuilding trust in the council following recent scandals, emphasizing the importance of delivering concrete results for the people of Los Angeles and addressing the critical issue of homelessness.

To that end, the councilmember who serves the city’s 8th District advocates for comprehensive solutions that include prevention and intervention, not just housing production. As a co-author of Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond to build permanent supportive housing, he notes the necessity of tackling the problem from multiple angles. 

“You’ve got to tackle the problem from all sides,” he emphasized. “I think the city’s done as good, if not better, than anybody else at attacking it from the housing production side. Now we have to tackle it from the prevention side and the intervention side.”

The council approved Harris-Dawson in a unanimous 14-0 vote, effective Sept. 20. This decision followed the nominations by council members Katy Yaroslavsky and Heather Hutt. Current Council President Paul Krekorian will step down to help facilitate the leadership transition before his term ends later this year due to term limits. 

Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement congratulating Harris-Dawson, “I want to congratulate Council President-elect Marqueece Harris-Dawson on being elected to serve as the next Council President. Councilman Harris-Dawson has a long history in City Hall and beyond of bringing people of all backgrounds and across all sectors together. I look forward to continuing to lock arms with Council leadership to bring more unhoused Angelenos inside and make Los Angeles safer for all.

Harris-Dawson, 54, is a native of South Los Angeles. He was elected in 2015 with a 62% voter mandate to represent the Eighth District, which includes neighborhoods such as Baldwin Hills, Chesterfield Square, Crenshaw, and Jefferson Park.

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