RELEASE: Council President Martinez Launches New Equity Division in CAO Office

Updated: Mar 10

*** RELEASE *** Council President Martinez Launches New Equity Division in CAO Office LOS ANGELES - Council President Nury Martinez launched the new Equity, Performance Management and Innovation Division within the City Administrative Officer’s (CAO) office today. This Division will be tasked with ensuring that equity is centered in all budgetary decisions made by the City moving forward.

Led by Assistant CAO Malaika Billups, who previously served as the City of Los Angeles’ Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, the new Division will ensure that the City is taking a more proactive and holistic approach to serving residents, managing resources, and investing in the community. "We need to establish a budgeting system in which equity is at the forefront and not an afterthought," said Council President Martinez. "This is long overdue and will provide us with much-needed insight as we work towards a Los Angeles that works for everyone. I am looking forward to working with Malaika and finding a way to make our City more accessible for all Angelenos." In 2021, Martinez demanded that the City take a more unified and holistic approach to budgeting and planning for infrastructure improvements that would ensure equity across all neighborhoods. "The City's elected leaders have made their commitment to equity crystal clear. How and where we spend the public's money is critical to that commitment," said City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo. "As Assistant City Administrative Officer, Malaika Billups will lead the effort to institutionalize equity principles in City financial planning and incorporate equity metrics in our evaluation of City budgets." Malaika Billups will report to the CAO, the Mayor, and the City Council, and will serve as the lead budget equity officer, providing executive level leadership and supervision of both the Employee Relations Division and the new Equity, Performance Management and Innovation Division. Billups has had a long history of success and advocacy having been recognized by the Nation’s Best Advocates 40 under 40 list, an acknowledgement recognizing the top 40 attorneys under the age of 40 nationwide, and named one of Los Angeles’s Most Influential African Americans Under 40 by the Vanguard Awards. "The City Administrative Officer plays a vital role in the City, functioning as a key source of information and policy recommendations for our elected officials charged with ensuring an equitable future for City residents and employees," said Billups. "I look forward to developing and recommending strategies to ensure equity is built into the City's internal and external funding priorities." In 2019, Billups was named the City of Los Angeles’s Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, where she oversaw the Office of Workplace Equity within the Personnel Department. She managed the City’s equity investigations, leading efforts to re-envision the City’s workplace equity policies and enforcement procedures. Billups also spearheaded citywide efforts to support a more diverse, build a more equitable, and foster a more inclusive working environment for the City’s workforce. ###

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