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.


 

March is Women’s History month, so it was the perfect time to honor the fact that history was made less than two months ago by women (and men) here in Los Angeles and in communities and cities all across the country and the world.

On January 21st, over 750,000 women and their allies and families took to the streets of LA for the biggest Women’s March in history. They marched to defend the rights of our most vulnerable populations, to underscore the importance of the American democratic values of equality and inclusion, and to put the President and his advisors on notice that they would not quietly sit back while Washington erodes reproductive rights, immigrant rights, and LGBT rights. They did all that, while also elevating the ancient art of knitting, that everyday traditional women’s domestic art, into a powerful global symbol of resistance by making and wearing the now famous “Pussy Hat.”

At Tuesday’s Board meeting, I recognized the Women’s March LA Foundation’s organizers for their great work, in collaboration with volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies, to ensure a spectacular, enormous, joyful, inspiring, peaceful and successful march.

For years, I’ve fought for a full cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, which in 1959 suffered the only nuclear reactor partial meltdown ever experienced on the West Coast, contaminating huge portions of the surrounding soil and groundwater and spewing radioactive gasses into the atmosphere. Materials used in efforts to clean the site along with strong chemicals used later during weapons development only compounded the danger by further poisoning the land, air, and water.

If you don’t know much about this nearby catastrophe, I highly recommend you check out “LA’s Nuclear Secret,” an extraordinary investigative series last year, produced by NBC, that exposes the years and years of corruption, coverups, and incompetence that has plagued this site for decades.

Although the site is on the LA County border with Ventura County, the effects of these repeated environmental disasters will continue to pose a severe health threat to those in the surrounding area for generations to come.

On Tuesday I joined Supervisor Kathryn Barger in making sure LA County is in lockstep with LA City and Ventura County in demanding that the federal agencies responsible for clean up do so to the highest level, restoring the site back to its native state.

Read More: LA County to press for full cleanup of Santa Susana Field Laboratory

Every night, more than eight hundred homeless families try to find a place to bed down on the street, with nowhere to go.

Some of these families have already accessed homeless service centers, and are desperately trying to locate and secure permanent housing.Throughout the County, vacant affordable housing is becoming more and more difficult to find.

Unlike emergency shelter, which must be obtained nightly, crisis housing can be secured for months at a time and provides safety and stability for families searching for permanent housing. We know, on average, permanent housing searches can take anywhere from three to nine months to complete, and that funding made available for crisis housing is often inadequate and rarely meets the actual need. Because of this, homeless families, including children, are at risk and in danger every night while on the street.

Crisis Housing is an immediate solution for these families who have nowhere else to go.

That’s why I teamed up with Supervisor Janice Hahn for a motion to increase and open up funding streams to expand Crisis Housing.

On May 7, County voters pushed Measure H past the needed two-thirds threshold. The last votes to be counted have been trickling in, and, happily, the numbers held, and now we can begin our historic investment in services for those experiencing homelessness.

Now it’s time to get those dollars out on the street as quickly as possible while ensuring strict oversight to make certain we spend the money as effectively and efficiently as possible.

We passed a great motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn to make sure the Board is a good steward of these new taxpayer funds and works for swift and successful implementation of Measure H’s important goals.

Big thanks to U.S. Army Specialist Robert Gonzalez, who represented the Third District in leading the Pledge of Allegiance to kick off the meeting.

Gonzalez, a Van Nuys resident, served from 1968-1971 in the US Army in Vietnam. He received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Parachute Badge.

Thank you Robert for your service!