News flash! Every week, following the Board meeting, Supervisor Kuehl picks five items you might find interesting, important, and/or fun. It’s your way to get a quick rundown of several highlights of the meeting in no more than 5 minutes! Looking for more? Click here to get the entire agenda.
Fighting for YOU in DC
The past year has been a time of great uncertainty for the nation. The current federal administration has proposed countless policies that threaten the health, safety, and well-being of LA County residents. The Board continues to let our representatives know that we want and expect them to prevent more unjust policies from being enacted.
At Tuesday’s Board meeting, we unanimously agreed to send a five-signature letter to Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris in support of S. 2095 that will ban the sale, manufacture, transfer, and importation of assault/automatic weapons. The bill is an updated and strengthened version of Senator Feinstein’s 1994 ban on assault weapons. Studies show that while the bill was active (1994-2004), there was a 40 percent reduction in mass shootings across the United States.
We also approved a motion by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, that I co-authored, directing the County’s legislative advocates to express our vehement opposition to the proposed GOP tax “reforms,” which would significantly and negatively impact LA County residents. The tax reforms would decrease state and local tax deductions, eliminate private activity bonds, and take away funding for programs that support affordable housing and the Affordable Care Act. All the while, it will decrease corporate tax rates – putting more money in the pockets of the wealthy and taking away hard-earned dollars from middle-class and low-income Americans.
Santa Monica College Campus Coming to Malibu
Santa Monica College (SMC) offers more than 80 fields of study to over 30,000 students at its main campus and satellite locations. On Tuesday, we approved an action that will expand its capacity, allowing the college to serve more students.
The motion grants a 25-year lease (plus seven 10-year options to extend) that allows SMC to use a portion of the Malibu Civic Center to house a new satellite campus. The classroom design also facilitates the conversion of the space to an emergency operations center for local use.
The lease also includes a new sheriff’s station that will improve services to the city of Malibu by being in closer proximity to residents.
Plan a Route with the Beach Bus on your SmartPhone!
Hooray! You can now map out your travel time riding the Third District’s Beach Bus with Google Maps!
A motion approved on Tuesday allows the Department of Public Works to participate in transit information sharing programs that allow riders to access bus routes and traffic conditions online or through web-based apps. Residents who use the Beach Bus to access Santa Monica Beach will be able to easily see and map the locations and directions of stops. It’s one more tool to make beating the heat and staying cool even easier for summers (and hot winters) to come.
More Funding for Youth Diversion & Development
We took another step toward reducing the number of our youth entering the juvenile justice system in the County. The Board voted unanimously to approve a motion that increases the Office of Diversion and Reentry’s budget, to be used specifically for the Youth Diversion and Development Unit.
An additional $3.9 million will go toward youth diversion programs that work to keep young offenders out of the traditional juvenile justice system and focus on reducing recidivism through mental health support, community engagement, and job skills training. The funds will be used to hire and train staff and engage service providers in a model that promotes diversion services as the first option.
Increasing Transparency through Open-Source Data
Three years ago, we passed a motion that created an open data system for the County. Launched in April 2015, a partnership with the leader in the field, Socrata, allowed datasets and visualizations from multiple departments to be fully accessible to the public. It enabled County Departments, constituents, agencies and organizations to seamlessly access information in a central location.
On Tuesday, we passed a motion re-upping our contract with Socrata to continue building on the massive amount of data LA County has made available to residents, entrepreneurs, and others. I urge you to take a look at data.lacounty.gov for some interesting facts and figures, and also a demonstration of this Board’s commitment to transparency and accountability in the County.