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.
Preparing to House Minors No Longer Sentenced to Discontinued State Juvenile Facilities
I’m extremely pleased that the Board passed the motion I co-authored with Supervisor Holly Mitchell that will prepare LA County for the closure of the State’s Juvenile Justice Prisons and facilitate the transfer of youth to LA County Juvenile Halls Campus Kilpatrick in Malibu, as well as Camps Scott (boys) and Dorothy Kirby (girls).
The motion marks an expansion of Youth Justice Reimagined and the LA Model, which have been designed over several years to move us away from an outdated system that treated youth as lost causes and irredeemable and instead helps juvenile offenders from a more treatment-based, trauma-informed perspective. Campus Kilpatrick is a locked facility, but one that provides a therapeutic home-like setting, where youth can receive individualized care that helps them build skills and shift their trajectory toward responsible adulthood.
This move is the beginning of a collaborative, thoughtful process that will include security evaluations and individual plans for each young person moving into our care. For my full statement to our surrounding communities, click here!
Ensuring the Equitable Decarbonization of Buildings
Sustainability is a top priority for LA County, so I’m grateful to the Board for passing the motion I co-authored with Supervisor Holly Mitchell setting the groundwork for an ordinance to slowly phase out the use of natural gas in new residential and commercial construction in our unincorporated areas starting in 2023.
This move is part of a broader effort to eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels and make the transition to clean energy sources. The motion also initiates an extensive stakeholder engagement process in collaboration with the City of LA to ensure that we proactively prevent unintended consequences for our low-income residents, workers, and affordable housing as we make this climate-conscious switch.
Ordinance Restricting Outside Employment for Members of the Board of Supervisors
Preserving public trust is a critical part of public service. As Board members, Supervisors should avoid even the appearance of impropriety and hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct.
This week, the Board passed my motion prohibiting Board members from earning income from outside employment. This regulation will help prevent conflict of interest and ensure that Supervisors stay accountable to the public they serve during the full course of their terms.
Budget Increase for Homekey 2.0
Housing is key as we continue fueling our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This week we passed Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s motion to increase the budget for the Affordable Housing unit to fund Project Homekey 2.0.
The budget increase will infuse over $450 million to the project, covered by State Revenue and a portion of the County’s American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Project Homekey 2.0 will help the County develop affordable and interim housing when so many LA County residents desperately need it.
Future of Central Juvenile Hall
Aligning with the goals of the LA Model, we also passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis asking for a feasibility study for the closure of Central Juvenile Hall, one of our facilities that houses young people while they wait for the court to sentence them to another camp or facility.
After recent inspections of Central Juvenile Hall, the state made it very clear that it is, plain and simple, unfit for young people. It’s time for the County to consider closing it altogether and consolidating the custody of those awaiting placement in just one juvenile hall, since the number of young men and women in Probation’s care has dropped consistently for more than a decade.
The report back on this motion will include a plan for closure of the facility, and for plans to replicate the robust programming and home-like setting of Campus Kilpatrick at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, where youth would be transferred.