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.
Welcome To Supervisor Holly Mitchell!
This week marked Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s very first Board of Supervisors meeting and the first time in the County’s 168 year history that five women comprised the entire Board.
Consistently over her impressive legislative career, Holly Mitchell has been attuned to the issues affecting LA County and has successfully championed bills to correct inequities in the justice system, healthcare, and foster care services. She is reform-minded, sharing the Board’s vision of a reimagined system that supports and uplifts our most vulnerable residents rather than perpetuating a cycle of poverty and racism.
A big thank you to our outgoing Chair, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who found herself leading the Board through several of the most significant challenges this County has ever faced, including the COVID-19 crisis, and did so admirably. I am certain our new Chair, Supervisor Hilda Solis, will pick up the mantle and see us through what will hopefully be the year we see an end to the global pandemic!
Public Health Order
LA County is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases that is dangerous, unprecedented, and calls for immediate and drastic action to save lives and prevent our healthcare system from becoming completely overwhelmed. Daily case numbers are unlike any we have ever seen in our county; because of this, activities that were available just a couple of weeks ago now present too much risk for virus transmission.
At this week’s Board Meeting, the Department of Public Health delved into the straightforward safety measures now in place and urged individuals and businesses to double down on their efforts to adhere to county and state public health protocols.
For up to date, accurate information on COVID-19 cases and Health Officer Orders in LA County, please visit covid19.lacounty.gov.
Support for the Restaurant Workforce and Vulnerable Communities
Due to the necessary public health measures, the restaurant industry is struggling. At the same time, more people than ever are experiencing food insecurity. This week, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis that explores investment in a dual strategy to bolster our restaurants and provide food to vulnerable communities.
The motion directs our CEO to explore the availability of up to $10M in funding to enter into a sole contract with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by world-famous Chef José Andrés specializing in providing food and meals to communities during and after states of emergency/disasters. World Central Kitchen would then fund local restaurants to cook meals and provide them to vulnerable communities experiencing food insecurity, giving a much-needed infusion of funding to local restaurants and getting food to those in need.
Advocacy on COVID-19 Vaccine Planning and Local Financial Assistance
The anticipated COVID-19 vaccine is one of the key medical countermeasures in the public health mitigation of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic locally and nationally. Clearly, though, the practical effect of a vaccine doesn’t depend solely on the efficacy of the vaccine itself. Public opinion and an effective local distribution plan also play significant roles.
To make sure that LA County is prepared, the Board passed a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis that requests our legislative advocates to push for state and federal funding to support community-targeted vaccination outreach and equity in vaccine distribution efforts. The motion also requires that a plan be presented to the Board that covers messaging, community engagement, and distribution infrastructure.
Saving Our Self-Help Legal Access Centers
I’m very pleased that the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis to help fund Neighborhood Legal Services’ Self-Help Legal Access Centers for the next three years.
NLS operates Self-Help Legal Access Centers in courthouses across LA County, providing access to vital legal guidance and services, including protection from domestic violence, issues related to divorce and custody, or halting an eviction. Equity in the justice system can only exist if everyone has access to legal help, so these centers must remain in operation.