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.
Countering the Gun Epidemic by Regulating Ghost Guns
Ghost guns are weapons that are bought in pieces and assembled by the owner, effectively skirting background checks, firearms registration, and other gun responsibility measures, making them virtually untraceable by law enforcement. Over the past five years, there has been a tenfold increase nationally in the recovery of these weapons during criminal investigations.
On Tuesday, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis directing the legislative office of the CEO to send a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland in support of the Department Of Justice’ final rule regulating ghost guns. The County will also advocate for universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, removal of immunity from liability for gun manufacturers, and tracking guns in order to hold dealers accountable.
Too many innocent lives have been lost. Sensible regulation can help curb gun violence in LA County and control dangerous and illegal weapons.
Outdoor Dining Ordinances Made Permanent in Unincorporated County
In an effort to simultaneously support small businesses and protect public health during the pandemic, the Board approved changes to ordinances in order to make it easier for restaurants to provide outdoor dining. The temporary program allowed for more outdoor dining on sidewalks, parking lots, and alleyways, which created more public space and pedestrian activity and, overall, promoted a sense of community and neighborhood vitality. Given the success of the outdoor dining program, the Board voted this week to make those changes permanent, passing a motion authored by Supervisor Holly Mitchell.
Recognizing that this program was underutilized in many communities hit hardest by COVID-19, the motion also included an outreach component to encourage more equitable participation.
Annual Rent Registration Fee Waiver
Some landlords are still experiencing a financial burden from the pandemic, so this week, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis waiving the annual rent registration fee for landlords who have registered their rental properties with the County’s Rental Registry System on or before September 30, 2022. Extending this fee waiver is a fair way to alleviate some of the pressure on landlords while preserving an essential aspect of our Rental Stabilization Ordinance through the rental registry.
Proclaiming April 27 as “Denim Day”
The Board passed my motion, co-authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis, officially recognizing April 27 as “Denim Day”.
The Denim Day movement began in Italy when a rape conviction was overturned by a judge who opined that, because the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the offender remove the jeans, and, therefore, consented, essentially echoing the kind of outdated victim-blaming tactics that survivors have had to face for years. The nationally elected women representatives wore jeans on the Floor of Parliament and states and nations now join them LA has commemorated Denim Day ever since, thanks to the leadership of Peace Over Violence.
LA County stands with survivors of sexual assault, and on April 27, we’ll do so in jeans, literally wearing the message that there is never an excuse for sexual violence.
Funding for Interim Housing in Venice
Interim housing provides a safe space for people experiencing homelessness to stabilize and transition to permanent housing, and in LA County, beds are scarce. That is why I’m so pleased the Board passed my motion allowing our LA County CEO to apply for and receive a grant from the federal government to extend our Project Roomkey site in Venice.
The longer we can operate this site, the more people we can help begin their path home.