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.


Renter Relief and ADUs

As many of the state’s renter protections, put in place last year, begin to expire, the Board passed a motion to continue and reintroduce many County renter protections for resident and commercial tenants in unincorporated LA County. We also initiated a process to phase out some commercial tenant protections in a two-phase plan.

The first phase of the plan will go into effect on February 1st and will continue all existing residential protections (preventing eviction based on nuisance or unauthorized pets/occupants), as well as extending the rent increase freeze for rent-stabilized residential units in unincorporated LA County. The first phase also preserves protections against harassment and retaliation prohibitions for businesses.

The plan’s second phase will go into effect on June 1st and extend through December 31st, 2022. The second phase will reduce residential nonpayment of rent protections for renters who earn 81-100% of area median income while extending these protections for tenants whose incomes are 80% of area median income or below. The second phase will also permit additional owner move-ins and evictions for denying landlord entry except when such access constitutes harassment. 

These protections are crucial for our neighbors, but we must also continue to increase our County’s housing options. The Board also passed a motion to look into financing tools the County could adopt to support homeowners interested in constructing an ADU on their property and identifying which programs can be provided to property owners who commit to renting their units at an affordable rate. The only way to address the housing crisis is with swift action to expand housing of all kinds in our County.  Renters or landlords with questions about the new plan may contact the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at 800.593.8222

 

Camp Gonzales Fire Training

As fire season extends through much of our year bringing increasingly frequent wildfires, we must strengthen our fire response. More than any other state, California relies on prison labor to fight our wildfires. Those eligible individuals within our state incarcerated population that take on this dangerous and necessary public service job are paid very little. Upon release, even with such experience, many of these individuals are barred from working in the fire service simply because of their prior record. Most are eventually released, but they face enormous, sometimes insurmountable barriers to establishing a stable adult life without training and job opportunities.

This week the Board approved a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Solis to expand training opportunities in firefighting to young people ages 18-25, prioritizing young people who have been in the foster care system or justice-involved. This pilot program, housed at Camp David Gonzales, a closed juvenile detention camp, is led by the County’s Alternatives to Incarceration, and is set to launch after additional planning and renovations are complete. This program will provide better options for young people who are exiting the foster care system or who have been justice-involved, getting them trained, certified, and into employment that pays a living wage, providing a foundation for a stable and secure adulthood.

You can read more about the County’s Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative here!

 

Whiteman Airport

The communities adjacent to the Whiteman Airport have long-standing concerns about the impacts the airport is having on their neighborhoods. In late 2020, we established a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to review these concerns and make recommendations. 

The CAC is conducting a top-to-bottom analysis of the Airport and will develop a plan, informed by independent environmental studies, to assess noise pollution, exhaust, and other environmental impacts of the Airport. This week the Board asked the Department of Public Works to report back on what might be required if the CAC proposes that the County take the first of ten necessary steps asking the Federal Aviation Administration to close the Airport, which could take a decade to complete.

The CAC will also consider other ways in which the Airport impacts the community and how those impacts might be mitigated or enhanced, such as the Airport’s hours of operation, how existing facilities might be used differently, its potential role in disaster operations, community emergency notification systems, creation of recreational amenities and landscape improvements, additional community benefits, and Whiteman’s economic impact on the community. The report is expected late this summer with recommendations for future modifications to the Airport, or possible closure.

 

Reproductive Health Rights

Across our Country, we seeing increasing restrictions for those trying to access fundamental and lifesaving reproductive and sexual health rights. These constraints make it crucial that we here in LA County protect the rights of those seeking reproductive health services.

California is a reproductive freedom state, and this week the Board took a step to make sure that LA County will support women’s constitutional rights regarding their health care. The Board asked for a report back from the Departments of Public Health and Health Services as well as reproductive health care advocates like Planned Parenthood on how LA County could respond should Roe be overturned, with the recommendations to include an analysis of any potential County budget impact of State proposals to relax residency requirements to ensure everyone has access to reproductive health care, including abortion services and related social services.

With this action, the County will honor its resident’s constitutional rights and act as a welcoming community to those who need their rights upheld.

 

Restorative Care Village at Olive View

Mental Health treatment is a crucial part of addressing many issues in our County, from homelessness to diversion from incarceration. There is a vast need throughout LA County for facilities and services that address mental health and associated housing challenges. This week the Board took an important step toward expanding mental health services in our County! We selected Pacifica Hospital of the Valley as the mental health urgent care center’s healthcare provider for the soon-to-be operational Restorative Care Village at Olive View-UCLA, taking us one step closer to serving patients with critical needs. This Restorative Care Village is one of four such Villages set to operate this Spring in LA County on four of our medical campuses!

Restorative Care Villages provide wrap-around services for discharged patients and offer on-site behavioral health crisis response. The Olive View-UCLA Village will feature integrated direct care services, including physical health, behavioral health, housing, social, and other wrap-around services through a fully integrated set of programs.  The facility will house an 80-bed mental health residential treatment program and a 48-bed residential recuperative care center, a mental health urgent care center, and outpatient wellness center.

Restorative Care Villages will transform County health services, allowing shorter emergency room and urgent care wait times for those in immediate need. We can’t wait to share the end result with you!