Supervisor Sheila James Kuehl was first elected to represent Los Angeles County’s Third District on November 4, 2014. She assumed office on December 1, 2014, and was reelected to her second term on November 6, 2018.
As a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, she has led the way and worked on a great many initiatives and motions to improve people’s lives and reform systems in the County.
Some of these efforts include:
Quality of Life
• Increasing the minimum wage
• Bringing together three County health departments into a new Agency model to break down barriers to service for those who need physical health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment
Criminal Justice Reform
• Creating a Sheriff’s Oversight Commission
• Creating oversight of the Probation Department
• Emphasizing and enhancing “second chance” and anti-recidivism programs, including the opening of Campus Kilpatrick, a state-of-the-art juvenile justice facility that emphasizes rehabilitation and preparation for a constructive future
Homelessness and Housing
• Providing unprecedented funding and services for our homeless population and those trying to find and keep affordable housing
Families and Children
• Increasing services and support for relative caregivers for our foster children
• Supporting the creation of the Office of Child Protection
• Kicking off a Women and Girls Initiative to build a County-wide collaboration on needed changes and programs in all County departments and services
• Bringing a focus in County Departments on better serving and supporting our LGBTQ youth who comprise almost 20% of our foster kids
Environment and Arts
• Innovating on issues of water conservation and recycling
• Creating a County-led Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) JPA to bring green power choices to County residents
• Protecting our arts venues and productions, and spurring the construction and re-opening of the John Anson Ford Theatres
• Protecting the Santa Monica Mountains, as well as the Coast
Supervisor Kuehl’s leadership roles on various governing bodies include:
• Chair of the Board of Commissioners of First 5, LA
• Immediate Past Chair of the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee
• Vice-Chair of the Board of the new Clean Power Alliance
Before her service on the Board, Supervisor Kuehl served eight years in the California State Senate and six years in the California State Assembly. She was the first woman in California history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly, and the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the California Legislature. She served as chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Natural Resources and Water Committee, and Budget Subcommittee on Water, Energy, and Transportation, as well as the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
She successfully advanced single-payer health insurance through the Legislature, twice. She authored 171 bills that were signed into law, including legislation to establish paid family leave and nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals. She also authored protections for the Santa Monica Mountains as well as anti-discrimination legislation on the basis of gender and disability in the workplace and sexual orientation in education.
Prior to serving in the Legislature, as a public-interest attorney, Supervisor Kuehl drafted and fought to get into law more than 40 pieces of legislation relating to children, families, women, and domestic violence. She was a law professor at Loyola, UCLA, and USC Schools of Law, in addition to co-founding and serving as managing attorney of the California Women’s Law Center. She was also the Founding Director of the Public Policy Institute at Santa Monica College and was a Regents’ Professor in Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Supervisor Kuehl graduated from Harvard Law School in 1978. In her youth, she was known for her portrayal of the irrepressible Zelda Gilroy in the television series, “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.”