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.

Picture: This week, the Board formalized our support for State Legislation that will protect the right to abortion and contraception in California (State Constitutional Amendment 10) as well as for a series of Assembly and Senate Bills addressing gun safety and the prevention of gun violence. Both motions were in response to recent Supreme Court decisions that undermined reproductive rights and public safety, respectively.

Countywide Framework for Paid Family Leave

The benefits of paid family leave are proven: increased economic security, better maternal health outcomes, and less stress for parents and caretakers as they adjust to major life events like the birth of a child or caring for a loved one. For employers, it can lead to better employee retention and productivity. It’s a win-win and the kind of progressive, person-centered policy that aligns with LA County’s values as an employer.

The Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Holly Mitchell directing the Director of the Department of Human Resources, in coordination with other relevant departments, to report back to the Board in writing in 90 days with recommendations for implementing a Paid Family Leave program for all eligible County employees.

The motion specifies that the report should include fiscal impact and cost mitigation opportunities and an equity lens for outreach.

Returning Bruce’s Beach to Legal Heirs of Charles and Willa Bruce

It’s been a long time coming, but at this week’s Board Meeting, the Board finally completed the process of returning ownership of Bruce’s Beach to the legal heirs of Charles and Willa Bruce, an effort spearheaded by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Holly Mitchell.

In 1912, Charles and Willa Bruce purchased two lots along the strand in Manhattan Beach and turned them into a Seaside Resort for Black beachgoers, referred to as “Bruce’s Beach.” Six other black families purchased lots surrounding the property. In 1924, other residents successfully petitioned the Manhattan Beach Council to condemn Bruce’s Beach and the surrounding land through eminent domain, effectively seizing the land from the Bruces and denying their descendants the generational wealth that would have resulted from their continued rightful ownership of the property.

The motion passed this week is the final step to right a historical wrong, and I hope it will serve as an example to other municipalities.

Pre-Trial Reform Efforts in LA County

In a small step towards achieving LA County’s goal of systemic reform of our justice system, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis expanding the Superior Court’s Pretrial Release Evaluation Program (PREP) pilot and giving our Alternatives to Incarceration office the authority to continue pretrial reform efforts on behalf of the County.

In addition to clearing the way for the utilization of State funding from SB 129, the motion opens up the possibility for collaboration with community-based service providers in order to give people access to support while they are on pretrial release. This funding shift, along with empowering ATI to execute agreements with community-based organizations, sets the stage for the new Justice, Care, and Opportunities Department to eventually take over pretrial services, and continues LA County’s progress toward a more equitable and fair justice system.

Drowning Prevention Ordinance

Drowning is a leading cause of death among young children, and LA County is strengthening its drowning prevention ordinance to make sure our children are safer when swimming.

The new regulations require public pools and pools at children’s camps or schools to create an aquatic safety plan, provide appropriate lifeguard staffing, and increase reporting to the Department of Public Health on any drowning or rescue incidents. The ordinance will be known as Roxie’s Safe Swim Ordinance, named for Roxie Forbes, a child who tragically drowned at a local summer camp. We hope that with these new measures in place, lives will be saved in her memory.

Creating LA County’s Adult Protective Services Center of Excellence

In anticipation of the opening of the new Department of Aging and Disabilities, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Janice Hahn that will put out a Request for Proposals for a new, improved Adult Protective Services Center for Excellence.

Currently, Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) has oversight for the Adult Protective Services (APS) Program, which logs over 54,000 reports of abuse and neglect annually for older and dependent adults. As we transition much of the work of serving older adults and people with disabilities over to the new standalone Department of Aging and Disabilities, we have a chance to streamline processes and enhance APS services. The Center of Excellence will provide forensic center services to APS clients, capacity declarations for those most in need within APS, in-home visits to assist social workers with complex cases, and training for APS staff.