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.
Investing in Gun Violence Prevention
Let me say it simply and clearly- it should not be easy to obtain and/or get permission to carry a gun. I have always supported sensible gun safety measures and more than half of our country agrees. That makes it imperative that those in our County who are issued concealed carry permits are held to a responsible standard and unlikely to contribute to the gun violence plaguing our nation.
Following the recent egregious Supreme Court decision overturning New York’s reasonable concealed carry gun law, the Board on Tuesday passed a motion I introduced, co-authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis, asking for analysis and data on the costs of the conceal carry permit process in LA County so that the permit fees can reflect the actual cost to the County. Since the Sheriff has also greatly increased the issuance of these permits, we also asked for information on how the Sheriff’s Department determines whether an applicant meets the “good moral character” requirement, and whether fees from these permits can be used to fund violence prevention initiatives.
Checks and Balances on the Los Angeles County Sheriff
As the leader of one of the largest law enforcement bodies in the country, the LA County Sheriff wields tremendous and often dangerous power. It is important that anyone with that amount of authority, especially someone charged with the safety of our community, be held accountable.
The Board passed a motion authored by Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Hilda Solis directing County Counsel to draft an ordinance to be put before the voters on the November ballot, allowing the Board to remove the sheriff with a 4/5 vote if he ir she egregiously abuses their power or breaks the law. Causes for removal would include:
• Violation of any law related to the performance of their duties as sheriff;
• Flagrant or repeated neglect of duties
• Willful falsification of any official statement or document; or
• Obstruction of any investigation into the conduct of the sheriff by OIG, COC, or any government agency with jurisdiction.
The motion is specifically written to ensure there could be no interference with legitimate department duties. If passed by the voters, it would simply ensure that the Sheriff is operating within the law and adhering to established ethical standards.
Poverty Alleviation Initiative Strategic Framework
Poverty touches every aspect of the human experience. A person’s socioeconomic status has a huge impact on the trajectory of their life as it relates to education, health outcomes, family wellness, and involvement in the justice system. Beyond that, major systemic issues like racial inequity are tied to poverty- you can’t effectively and meaningfully address one without the other. By focusing on poverty alleviation, LA County hopes to create a ripple effect, uplifting entire communities and improving the quality of life for everyone.
Thanks to a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Holly Mitchell, the Board voted this week to officially adopt the recently released Strategic Framework for Alleviating Poverty that was crafted by the Poverty Alleviation Initiative (PAI). The framework serves as a solid foundation on which we can build more effective poverty alleviation and prevention programs, like the (already in progress) Guaranteed Income Pilot. Moving forward, the PAI will report back with top priorities, a timeline, and opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration, so stay tuned!
Abortion is Legal: Countywide Communication Strategy
The anti-choice movement has always attempted to create confusion surrounding abortion care, whether it be through fake clinics or misrepresented medical information, to create barriers and deter women from trying to exercise their reproductive rights. They will continue to do so, buoyed by the recent, shameful Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. It’s our job to be louder.
The Board passed a motion authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell calling for a comprehensive communications strategy that will effectively spread the message that abortion remains and will remain legal in LA County and where a woman can receive reproductive health care including abortion. To accomplish this, our CEO will work with reproductive health advocates, providers, ethnic and hyper-local media, and other County departments to ensure that the message reaches every corner of our region.
Transportation Assistance for Olympic Cities
Bringing the 2028 Olympic Games to Los Angeles will require Herculean efforts to make sure our transit system is ready, which is why the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Janice Hahn formalizing LA County’s support for H.R. 7642 (Rep. Brownley) and S. 4383 (Sen. Feinstein and Padilla.)
The two bills are referred to as the Transportation Assistance for Olympic Cities Act of 2022 and would allow USDOT to prioritize transportation grants for projects relating to the Olympics and other international events, as it once did for the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. This legislation would expedite an infusion of funding that will allow Los Angeles to meet the transportation needs of millions of visitors, and complete upgrades that will benefit our residents long after the games are over.