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.
Amendments to Rent Stabilization Ordinances
In late 2019, the Board passed the Rent Stabilization Ordinance and the Mobile Home Rent Stabilization Ordinance in order to curb unreasonable and predatory rent increases and lessen our housing crisis. After extensive tenant and landlord engagement, we approved amendments to these ordinances, refining and strengthening protections to ensure that these ordinances will continue to serve their purpose most effectively.
In addition to changing our rent stabilization ordinances, we also passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Solis directing the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to waive payment of the Annual Rent Registration Fee required of landlords and mobile home park owners who register in the County’s Rental Registry System. We recognize that landlords and mobile home park owners continue to face financial hardship due to the pandemic and feel it’s appropriate to continue providing this relief.
Supporting Urban Water Conservation in LA County
The entire Western U.S. is quickly learning just how critical water conservation will be to our region in the coming years. The Board, committed to promoting these efforts and leading by example, passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis asking for a comprehensive summary of water usage at County facilities and a plan to enhance our water efficiency by reducing water use by 15%.
LA, along with the rest of the state, will be high and dry if we don’t meet the Governor’s call for a 15% reduction in water use. This move sets in motion a quick turnaround planning process to help us respond thoughtfully and effectively to this crisis.
Taking Action Against Law Enforcement Harassment and Retaliation
I’m grateful to Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell for introducing a motion taking action against unconscionable Sheriff Department harassment and retaliation against surviving families. I strongly supported the transparency and accountability called for in their motion.
Among the directives included in the motion: allowing the Office of the Inspector General access to LASD’s database and body-worn camera videos in order to investigate the harassment of families whose loved ones were killed by deputies. It is critical that an investigator independent of the department have access to these items to facilitate meaningful oversight and get to the bottom of these troubling allegations. If the Sheriff truly has nothing to hide, then granting the OIG access to databases, body-worn camera footage, and copies of misconduct complaints shouldn’t be a problem.
Finally, the motion requests the CEO to identify funding for the Family Assistance Program, which serves a vital function in supporting families whose loved ones have been killed by law enforcement or whose loved ones die in jail. I would like to see this program operate as it was designed to do with an ongoing and permanent funding source.
Legal Defense for LA County Immigrants and DREAMers
Immigrants have called LA County home throughout the region’s multi-century history and still make up a significant portion of the population today. However, immigration law has historically been complex, and further complicating matters are recent federal policies that were implicitly anti-immigrant and designed to increase the risk of deportation.
When immigrants have access to quality legal representation, they are ten times more likely to experience positive outcomes. This week the Board passed a motion authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn to implement a program that will provide immigrants in LA County more access to legal aid. There is a huge need for legal assistance for immigrants, and I am proud that LA County is working with philanthropy and the City of LA to build such a robust program.
We also passed a motion authored by Supervisor Solis directing our County Counsel to participate in litigation to protect the DACA program in support of the tens of thousands of DREAMers pursuing their American Dream in LA County.
TAYportunity Guaranteed Income Demonstration Project
Recently, the Board has introduced several motions initiating Guaranteed Income Pilots, hoping to gain valuable data on these models and their efficacy in lifting people out of poverty. Transition Age Youth (TAY), which are youth, ages 18-24, exiting the foster care or juvenile systems, comprise an ideal population to receive this aid. They face extraordinary challenges and barriers to economic stability and experience homelessness at a devastating rate of around 31%. Simply put, they need and deserve a hand up to set them on a successful path.
The Board passed a motion authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn that would incorporate a Guaranteed Income component to the County TAYportunity program, which provides pathways forward to economic stability. The proposed plan would include wraparound services, job placement assistance, and an evaluation plan, in addition to the $1200 monthly GI and CalFresh benefits.
I want to thank Paty Castellanos, Team Kuehl’s Workforce/Economic Development Deputy, for her hard work and collaboration with the 1st and 4th District on this important motion.