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.

Photo: The Board adjourned in memory of screenwriter, radio host, and progressive firebrand Lila Garrett.

Growing the Creative Economy

This week, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas that implements a Five Point Plan to create opportunities for careers while supporting and increasing diversity across our entire creative economy.

LA County currently provides over 9% of the U.S. Film and Digital Media employment. Still, our workforce does not yet reflect the widespread ethnic, racial, and gender diversity of our County’s population. By expanding job opportunities and supporting the growth of rapidly expanding sectors like the Film and Digital Media Industry, Los Angeles can maintain its position as the hub of the creative economy.

The Five Point Plan we have laid out through this motion will develop a career pathway program, support local emerging businesses, create an LA County Forum on Film and Digital Media, identify public and private funding sources, and advocate for legislation that promotes the growth of the creative economy. In addition to providing opportunities for our residents, this plan will help the industry meet today’s increased demand for representation, providing diverse perspectives and voices across media.

Creating the Countywide Youth Commission

In a long-awaited move, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Janice Hahn that will create a Countywide Youth Commission, an advisory body made up of young commissioners with lived experience in the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems.

The Youth Commission will evaluate and report to the Board on county services for children, youth, families, and their communities. Commissioners will be uniquely qualified to assess the quality and impact of these programs due to their lived experience. They can speak on the challenges and needs of children and young people involved in the child welfare and justice systems from a position of empathy and insight.

The motion sets a deadline of May 15, 2020, to establish this commission. I am eager to see the positive changes we can make when we view our policies and practices through the perspective of the young people shaped by them.

Vision Care for K-12 Students in Los Angeles County

It’s common sense that children cannot develop and learn to the best of their ability if they are struggling to see and read.

I am delighted that the Board passed a motion authored by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda Solis that calls for an evaluation of vision screenings in schools and funding sources for free vision examinations and eyeglasses.

Vision to Learn, using data gleaned from the American Optometric Association, estimates that 1 in 4 children nationwide has an undiagnosed vision problem that can impede their learning and that over 55,000 children go to school each day without the eyeglasses they need to succeed in school. Optometric care can be cost-prohibitive and logistically difficult to access, especially in low-income communities. Vision to Learn fills a much-needed gap, with nine clinics and mobile vans that can go to school sites and conduct vision screenings at no cost or inconvenience to hardworking parents, helping students to see clearly.

This motion will help us identify critical funding and expand this often overlooked form of healthcare to the students who need it most.

Black History Month

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board formally recognized the beginning of Black History Month, passing a motion authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

During Black History Month, we encourage all residents of Los Angeles County to learn about, honor and celebrate the achievements and contributions of black men and women, and institutions and organizations. LA County local libraries are a great place to start if you want to learn more about the contributions made by African Americans to the historic fabric of this nation, state, and local communities.

Remembering Lila Garrett

To close the Board Meeting, we adjourned in memory of screenwriter and radio host Lila Garrett, who passed away at the age of 94 on February 1.

Lila began writing questions for game shows when she first came to Hollywood and later wrote for sitcoms such as My Favorite Martian, All in the Family, and Bewitched. She won two Emmys for the 90-minute comedies Mother of the Bride and The Girl Who Couldn’t Lose. An anti-war activist, she founded Americans Against War with Iraq. She served as a DNC delegate for presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, was president of the South California chapter of the Americans for Democratic Action, and was a founding member of Progressive Democrats of America. For many years, Lila hosted KPFK’s popular radio show Connect the Dots on Pacifica Radio and was also a frequent contributor to the online magazine LA Progressive.

Lila remained a force of nature until the end, a fierce feminist and tireless advocate for progressive politics. Her voice and passion will be sorely missed.