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.
Troubling Developments at LASD
On Tuesday, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Kathryn Barger expressing our grave concerns about Sheriff Villanueva’s reinstatement of a Deputy who was a perpetrator of domestic violence at the time he was serving and asking our County Counsel to clarify our ability to do oversight of the Department. You can read our motion here.
After the Sheriff addressed us directly, I remained deeply troubled, not only by the reinstatement of this Deputy but also at clear indications that the Sheriff wishes to reinstate others who have been found to have violated our reformed policies concerning force.
Allowing these Deputies back on the force sends a horrific message to victims who have finally summoned the courage to file a report, as well as all the women serving in the department, women in the custody of the Sheriff in our jails, and the public as a whole — especially at this time when we have demanded more equity in recruitment, less unnecessary force and gender appropriate programs for those in our custody.
Santa Monica’s Street Team
The City of Santa Monica Homeless Multidisciplinary Street Team (HMST) program provides integrated field-based services to chronically homeless adults with serious mental illness, substance use disorders, and/or physical health problems. The program focuses on the City’s most vulnerable chronically homeless residents and delivers street-based interventions to those for whom traditional outreach efforts have proven to be ineffective. So far, the Santa Monica HMST has engaged 31 chronically homeless individuals, placed 25 individuals in interim housing and 13 individuals into permanent housing, and referred nine individuals to Santa Monica Homeless Community Court.
HMST has proven to be successful and worthy of the County’s support, so I am very pleased that this week the Board approved an extension of our contract with the City of Santa Monica and an allocation of $300,000 in Third District Homeless Prevention Initiative funds to allow the program to continue.
Census 2020: Targeting Hard-to-Count Communities
The County of Los Angeles’ goal for the 2020 Census is to get a complete and accurate count of all residents, so the Board accepted around $9.3 million in State funding this week to assist with the implementation of Census 2020 education and outreach-related activities.
To ensure a complete and accurate count for the County of Los Angeles, the County, in collaboration with its 88 cities and other stakeholders, will engage in aggressive public education and outreach to all residents. The County’s efforts will focus primarily on reaching Hard-to-Count populations, which are communities that, based on historical trends, are particularly vulnerable to being omitted from the census.
The decennial census plays an essential role in American democracy, and the stakes are huge for LA County and indeed the entire state of California. We will do all we can to ensure a fair and accurate count for the benefit of all residents!
County Employee Mentoring Program
Research confirms that youth-adult mentoring relationships have a significant positive impact on youth and young adults’ personal, academic and professional development. To actualize the positive influence that mentorships could have, particularly with at-risk youth, the Board passed a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis to implement a County Employee Youth Mentoring Program.
The County Employee-Youth Mentoring Program is designed as another important tool to improve the lives of our youth. This exciting new program has the potential for smart collaboration with County Departments to further the goals of various existing initiatives, such as Youth Diversion and Development, the Trauma Prevention Initiative, and Parks After Dark.
Report on Board Established Priorities
This week the Board of Supervisors received a report from the Chief Executive Office on a plethora of Board Established Priorities, including Justice Reform, Immigration, Child Protection, Environment, Integrated Health, and Homelessness.
The report highlighted the truly significant progress the County has made in addressing each of these priorities and how they complement each other. It also emphasized great strides to date in oversight and transparency at the Sheriff’s Department and in Environmental health issues that affect our residents’ day to day life.
I look forward to sharing some of the individual success stories contained in the report in the coming weeks!