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.
City/County Partnership in Pacoima
This week the Board authorized the Community Development Commission to partner with the City of Los Angeles in renovating and enhancing the facades of businesses in Pacoima.
The Community Development Commission’s RENOVATE program provides grants and technical services to assist with the improvement of streetscapes along commercial corridors, usually in unincorporated areas. The programs are designed to enhance the facades of buildings and entire commercial centers, in order to create a sense of place and to make businesses more inviting places to walk and shop. These upgrades can really improve a community’s aesthetics, as well as encourage commerce!
This year, the CDC partnered with the City of Los Angeles to establish the Pacoima Renovate Facade Improvement Grant Program. The City of Los Angeles will match the County’s investment dollar-for-dollar, resulting in around $900,000 in funding for facade improvement in Pacoima. The Pacoima Renovate Facade Improvement Grant Program will help fund an estimated 5 projects, revamping multiple storefronts at each project.
I am grateful to the Community Development Commission and the City of Los Angeles for their collaboration on this wonderful program in Pacoima!
Safe Parking LA
Two Safe Parking locations are opening up in the Third District, one in Hollywood and another in North Hollywood.
Founded in 2016, Safe Parking LA is a coordinating organization that helps communities assist homeless individuals living in their vehicles by staffing Safe Parking Lots, which provide individuals a safe place to park each night, restroom access, and, most importantly, access to social service resources.
The most important aspect of Safe Parking is the help provided in accessing permanent supportive housing while also keeping people and communities safe. Safe Parking provides security at each location, ensuring everyone follows the strict set of rules they lay down as conditions for staying at their lots, including forbidding “coming and going” and designating quiet hours. Local outreach teams will work with parkers to help them get on a path to housing and help them access other services.
The two parking lots are county-owned through the Department of Public Health and are not currently being used at night. The Hollywood lot is located at 5205 Melrose Avenue and the North Hollywood lot at 5300 Tujunga Avenue.
Voting Solutions for All People
This week at the Board meeting my colleagues and I authorized the Registrar-Recorder to enter into several contracts related to the Voting Solutions for All People Project Agreement. These three agreements will help us greatly improve and modernize our voting systems, making your experience on Election Day more efficient and transparent.
The Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) project was developed by the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) in 2009 to address an aging voting system and an increasingly large and complex electorate. The project seeks a collaborative approach to voting system design that will put voters at the center and maximize stakeholder participation.
The first contract is with Smartmatic USA Corporation, who will build the physical VSAP system and integrate the voter software. Smartmatic USA would be responsible for building, certifying, and maintaining 31,500 new voting machines. Smartmatic USA has done similar work for a number of U.S. jurisdictions, including the City and County of San Francisco.
The second contract is with Digital Foundry, Inc, who will design the Tally System to count “vote in person” ballots, as well as develop the Ballot Layout Application, designing both “vote by mail” and “vote in person” ballots.
The third and final contract is with K&H Printers-Lithographers, who will provide all “vote by mail” printing services, as well as all mailing services.
It is important that we start preparing and testing our systems now so that we can ensure transparency, integrity, and efficiency in the 2020 elections.
Families for Foster Youth
I am very excited that this week, the Board approved a contract between the Probation Department and Daley Solutions Inc., enabling them to begin a multi-media campaign to recruit foster parents for youth in the probation system.
In Los Angeles County there is a critical shortage of resource parents and a need for a major shift in public attitudes about foster youth. Luckily, the State has provided funding for a substantial and sustained paid media marketing campaign, so that we can find safe and stable homes for #OurKids. The campaign will involve audience research, development of messages, and the production of digital, radio, and television advertisements. The goal of the campaign is growing the County’s pool of resource parents, as well as our roster of “Forever Friends,” the Probation Departments long-term mentor program.
Daley Solutions, Inc has developed successful and innovative foster parent recruitment campaigns across the country. Although the campaign will be geared towards youth in the probation system, we expect it to bring awareness about foster parenting for all youth, aiding recruitment efforts in the Department of Children and Family Services as well.
High Road Employment Program
Another important motion passed this week, formalizing a pilot program designed to hire people with barriers to employment.
This new program will directly target economically disadvantaged areas of the County and establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER) to help facilitate a high-road training partnership for women seeking opportunities related to crafts and apprenticeship positions. In addition, today’s action establishes pilot programs in several county departments related to training and hiring.
LA County is the largest single employer in the region, and part of our mission should be removing barriers and expanding entry-level jobs for people who need them the most. These pilots programs will help women, communities of color, and disadvantaged populations by expanding access to good, sustainable local jobs.
The Board of Supervisors is committed to increasing access to good-paying jobs among our residents who struggle to make ends meet, and these programs move us one important step in that direction.