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.
A Budget for LA County That Reflects Our Values
This week, the Board passed a $30.8-billion recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 that continues to affirmatively address our most difficult challenges and builds a strong, progressive foundation for LA County’s future.
The budget reflects this Board’s commitment to ramping up prevention and solutions to homelessness, investing in children and families, creating jobs that foster economic equity, expanding access to medical and mental health services, and promoting justice reform through diversion and innovation.
A HUGE thanks to County CEO Sachi Hamai and her team, my outstanding Budget Deputy Kieu-Anh King and his counterparts in other Board Offices, and everyone else who helped craft this strong commitment to LA County values!
Learn all about the budget at www.lacounty.gov/budget
Honoring a Gold-Medalist
In an emotional and very special presentation by my colleague, Supervisor Janice Hahn, the Board of Supervisors honored Marine Corps veteran and Paralympic Gold Medalist Ralph DeQuebec at this week’s Board meeting. DeQuebec competed in the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang on the US Sled Hockey Team, where the U.S. took home the gold after a nail-biter of a game against Canada!
While serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2012, Marine Gunnery Sergeant DeQuebec was injured in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device. As a bilateral above-knee amputee, Sergeant DeQuebec demonstrated incredible resiliency and strength of spirit. During his recovery, he discovered he had an exceptional talent for Sled Hockey, and the rest is history!
On Tuesday, Supervisor Hahn presented Marine Gunnery Sergeant DeQuebec with a scroll from the County of Los Angeles, in celebration of his Gold Medal victory in PyeongChang. The meeting also featured a video of the final seconds of the gold medal game against Canada.
Congratulations to Sergeant DeQuebec and the entire US sled hockey team on a well-earned win!
Financial Aid for Foster Youth
One of my priorities as Supervisor is to do our best to give our foster youth all the tools they need to succeed. Countless young students across Los Angeles County dream of going to college and building a great future. However, foster youth face serious challenges in trying to achieve this goal, including histories of trauma, lack of adult mentors, lack of financial support and school instability. That is why I am so pleased that the Board voted this week to send the Governor a letter of support for Senate Bill 940, which aims to improve post-secondary academic achievement among foster youth through higher utilization of the Cal Grant.
The Cal Grant is the largest state financial aid program administered by the California Student Aid Commission. Despite the fact that all foster youth are eligible for it, currently, only around 9% of foster youth are accessing the Cal Grant. The goal of SB 940 is to change that by extending the length of time a foster youth is eligible to apply for the grant. SB 940 also includes a $10 million budget proposal to expand access to the Cal grant for foster youth.
We believe that passing SB 940 will lead to a raised awareness about the Cal grant among foster families and school officials, which will lead to more students utilizing the grant. We want our foster youth to be able to pursue their dreams, and expanding access to education by eliminating financial barriers will help them do so.
Community Impact Arts Grant Program
The Board of Supervisors is committed to supporting the Arts and making them accessible to all LA County residents. The group that provides leadership in cultural services and promotes arts accessibility for the 88 municipalities and 137 unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County is called the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
The Arts Commission funds 364 nonprofit arts organizations, runs the most extensive arts internship program in the country, coordinates the LA County Arts Education Collective, and manages the County’s civic art policy. Through the Community Impact Arts Grant Program, the Commission also supports non-arts organizations, such as after-school programs, that provide arts services to residents of LA County.
On the recommendation of the Commission, this week the Board approved funding for the third year of the Community Impact Arts Grant Program. This will fund grants issued to 39 nonprofits across the region, helping these organizations provide arts services in their programs.
Grant recipients from the Third District include the Boys and Girls Club of Hollywood, LACER Afterschool Programs, the Los Angeles LGBT center, and the Youth Policy Institute.
Another Step Forward for Child Care Bridge Vouchers
The Governor recently signed a piece of important legislation I strongly supported called the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program. This program will be integral in safeguarding children’s right to a safe and loving home by providing those who care for them with the proper resources. A motion at the Board meeting this week took us a step closer to implementing Emergency Child Care Bridge vouchers and services based on this recent state legislation.
The motion allows the Department of Children and Family Services to enter into a contract with the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles to coordinate emergency child care services with different agencies that will identify local child care providers and recruit, train and coach providers. The program has three components- vouchers for immediate child care, navigators to assist in finding child care providers and trauma-informed care training to become a coach.
For more information on this legislation and the vouchers, check out this story.