News flash! The “Board of Supes’ Take 5” is a new addition to our website. Every week, following the Board meeting, we will feature five items that Supervisor Kuehl thinks 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 from
From the outside looking in, it may seem that most of the work we do involves fixing major problems so the County can better serve our residents. But all too often, tremendous work by our departments and dedicated employees just go unnoticed.
This week, the five of us were able to approve and laud some great work by the Department of Social Services (DPSS) that saved taxpayers over $18 Million!
Until now, Social Services has been contracting out with data companies for the increasingly important task of managing the department’s data so that, among other things, social workers and eligibility workers can get a wider look at a client’s history and circumstances to better offer assistance and services.
Under a project headed by DPSS’s Mike Sylvester, we will now handle that data work in-house through several new systems that not only will save money and improve the services we deliver, but it was a huge transition completed ahead of schedule and under budget!
Big thanks and a job well done to Mike, DPSS Director Sheryl Spiller (both pictured above), and her fantastic team!
You may have read recently that the historic Ford Theatre in the Third District has recently been extensively and beautifully renovated. This incredible upgrade presents us with an outstanding opportunity — a chance not only to modernize its structure but to maximize its standing and visibility in the pantheon of Los Angeles cultural institutions. The capital resources spent improving the physical character of the Ford deserve an equally significant commitment to increasing and diversifying its programming.
That’s why I was grateful that the Board unanimously passed my motion to explore a change in governance structures for the Ford to identify one that would best match our commitment to expanding the profile of the Ford Theatres for artists and residents locally, nationally, and internationally.
Many of the County’s other highly visible cultural institutions have achieved world-renowned status while under the management of a non-profit organization dedicated solely to operating the facility, including the County’s Natural History Museum and LACMA. The County has helped these organizations along the way by providing increased funding and partnering closely with non-profits to achieve the vision for these LA landmarks.
I look forward to partnering with the Ford Theatre Foundation Board in realizing this new vision while maintaining our deep commitment to mentoring, growing and presenting our myriad of community and LA talents.
I have been working, over my time in this office so far, to focus attention on identifying the needs of our various client bases and trying to forge innovative solutions. One of our vulnerable populations, foster children aging out of the foster or state care system, are often left without necessary support.
One serious aspect of that support is safe and sufficient housing. Without housing, continuing education is put even further out of reach. Other services are also critical. Without the ability to seek out loans or when work is hard to find, our kids are left with few tools to build a better life.
Our Drop-In Center program offers our transition-age youth (TAY) access to services like showers, meals, and clothing–but goes far beyond that. We’re also working to provide referrals and vouchers to help find employment, housing or attend school. We want these young people to stabilize themselves outside of County care and build self-sufficiency so they can move forward in life.
This week we created agreements with some fantastic independent providers to extend their hours of operation to expand weekday service, after hours help and weekend services. Our goal is to create new entry points into the mental health and health care systems and maximize use of services the County offers for these vulnerable young people.
The Third District’s Drop-In Centers will be the Village Family Services and LA LGBT Center while others throughout the County include the Penney Lane Centers, Pacific Clinics and Good Seed Church of God and Christ as TAY Centers.
We want to take advantage of LA County’s diverse student base by improving on the assistance we provide to our residents. The Board voted Tuesday to work alongside California State University Long Beach Research Foundation and Phillips Graduate University to alleviate tuition costs for graduate students in clinical mental health work.
Sole Source Fiscal Intermediary Agreements pay a tuition stipend to graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in Social Work, Nurse Practitioners, and Marriage and Family Therapists. Graduates are then placed with the County where their education costs are paid back through working in hard-to-fill and hard-to-recruit public service positions.
We aim to cast a wide net out to students to ensure the benefits of this program are far-reaching in our communities, both geographically and across the spectrum of age, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation and religious beliefs — making county resources more accessible to everyone.
Major improvements are coming for the ways in which the County’s Department of Public Health protects residents through inspecting restaurants. We’ve all seen the Letter grading system on the doors and windows of eating establishments throughout LA, but for most, it’s not clear what those A’s, B’s and even some C’s mean.
After a comprehensive review, the Board adopted ten recommendations on improving the letter grade system. Soon, the signs you see will have the date of the last inspection, information on the inspector, and QR code you can scan with your smartphone that will provide more detailed information on the results of Public Health’s last visit. We’ve also strengthened the use of permit revocations, so violators are shuttered before risking public safety any further. Residents will also now be able to go online to see what restaurants have been closed or have caused food-borne illness in the past before making dining decisions for themselves and their families.
We have a real opportunity to create a national model for best practices when it comes to food safety, and I’m excited to see these improvements implemented at restaurants across the County!