‘Big 11 Mayors’ Rally Behind $1.5B Bill to Aid Homeless Communities

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and nine other mayors of the largest cities in California, including San Francisco, Fresno and Los Angeles, rallied on the Capitol steps in support of Assembly Bill 3171.

The so-called "Big 11 Mayors," minus the Mayor of Long Beach, who was re-elected Tuesday, said they were all in the same boat on the issue.

"This is perhaps the greatest thing standing between us and a great state," said Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti.

It would be a block grant, taking $1.5 billion from California's anticipated budget surplus to house the homeless at the city level.

"At the current state money goes through the counties," Steinberg said. "And what we're saying is cities, especially the 'Big 11' cities here, is that provide some of the resources directly to cities because we're on the front lines, we know what to do with it."

Steinberg said he's not sure exactly what Sacramento's slice of the proposed $1.5 billion dollar pie would be but the bill calls for funds to be given based on the city's homeless population, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, Steinberg says the capital city is ready to match the funds, as required by the bill, and ready to put the money to work.

"We've got every element in place here, we just need more funding," he said. "We need more capacity, especially on the housing front, and that's what the state bill would help provide us."

The mayors went from the press conference straight to lobby Governor Jerry Brown.