Mayor to form ‘cabinet’ to coordinate Olympics planning

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Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive Feb. 28 to establish a “Games Cabinet” tasked with coordinating Los Angeles city departments and stakeholders during the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The cabinet, which will be led by the chief administrative officer and the deputy mayor of international affairs, will work with the Los Angeles Organizing Committee, the City Council and the general managers of relevant city departments. It also will work to ensure that all Los Angeles residents benefit from the city hosting the games.

“The 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games are not only an extraordinary opportunity to welcome the world to Los Angeles, but a chance to build greater equity and prosperity for all Angelenos — now and for long after the Olympic torch has been passed,” Garcetti said after introducing Executive Directive 28, titled “Securing a Legacy of Equity Through the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

“ED28 will help us to coordinate our preparations for this international event and ensure that L.A.’s core values drive all of our planning for 2028 and beyond,” the mayor added.

Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games was granted in late 2017.

On Dec. 4, the Los Angeles City Council approved a games agreement with the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the games, providing a framework for an array of details, including insurance for disasters and ticket loss and the city’s financial liability in the event of a deficit.

The games agreement serves as a road map for the games as the city prepares to host the estimated $6.9 billion event.

According to the agreement — which passed by an 11-2 margin — the games will be paid for by the nonprofit Los Angeles Organizing Committee, or LA28.

In the event of a deficit, the city is on the hook for the first $270 million owed, with the state taking over for the next $270 million. After the state’s portion of the costs, the city would be on the line for all additional costs.

City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo and Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso briefed council members about the agreement before the vote on Dec. 4, saying that while it is impossible to eliminate all risk, the city has done its best to mitigate risk.

“At the end of the day, we’re trying to protect against any fiscal shortfalls,” Tso said.

While some Angelenos have raised concerns about the cost of the Olympics being put on taxpayers in the event that LA28 over-spends, the organization NOlympics L.A. also contends that the 2028 Olympics will accelerate displacement and the militarization of police in Los Angeles at a time when some Angelenos and officials are looking at ways to decrease policing and re-imagine public safety.

Activists have cited a June 2020 neighborhood council meeting at which an LAPD officer said the department needs a 30% expansion to prepare for the Olympics.

NOlympics L.A. also cites worries that the games will accelerate gentrification, criminalize homelessness and privatize public space.

 

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