Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez Wednesday launched a division within the City Administrative Office that will be responsible for ensuring that the city places equity at the forefront of all its budgetary decisions.

The Equity, Performance Management and Innovation Division will be led by Assistant CAO Malaika Billups, who has served as the city’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer since 2019.

Martinez called the new division “long overdue” and said, “We need to establish a budgeting system in which equity is at the forefront and not an afterthought.”

City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo celebrated the new division and appointment, adding that Los Angeles officials have “made their commitment to equity crystal clear.”

He said Billups would be responsible for institutionalizing equity principles in Los Angeles’ financial planning and use metrics to evaluate the city’s budgets performance on equity.

Along with supervising the new division, Billups will provide executive level leadership and report to Szabo, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council. She’ll also supervise the Employee Relations Division.

Billups previously was a deputy city attorney in the Labor Relations Division. She oversaw the Personnel Department’s Office of Workplace Equity, managed the city’s equity investigations and led the city’s efforts to re-envision workplace equity policies and enforcement procedures.

“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,” Billups said. “I look forward to developing and recommending strategies to ensure equity is built into the city’s internal and external funding priorities.”

Billups received her bachelor’s degree at Spelman College and her law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

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