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.

West LA Civic Center

I’m very happy to report that the Board, at this week’s meeting, approved an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) between LA County and Avalon Bay and Abode Communities for the redevelopment of the West LA Civic Center.

These developers have extensive experience in mixed-use housing and retail projects in Los Angeles, as well as great success in energetically engaging residents throughout the development process. The revitalized West LA Civic Center will contain:
• 348 low-income units (99 for seniors, 135 Supportive Housing)
• 83 moderate income units
• 495 market rate units
• 93,000 sq ft of municipal and public facilities (senior center and municipal building)
• 41,000 sq ft commercial and retail space
• 118,000 sq ft of public open space

During the ENA phase of the project, the development team will lead a comprehensive community engagement program that will include a number of invitations for community input as we start the predevelopment process, look to actively design the project and seek entitlements. If you live in the West LA area, we look forward to your participation as we see this project as a long-term community asset that will benefit residents, workers, and nearby neighbors.

Support for the UCLA Reverend James Lawson Jr. Worker Justice Center

The Board formalized its support for a state bill to fund and rename the UCLA Labor Center, passing a motion authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell.

The state bill would allocate $15 million to renovate the center and name it for Civil Rights icon, Rev Jim Lawson. Rev. Jim Lawson’s work was legendary and seminal in the south during the civil rights movement. He was an early influential advisor to Martin Luther King Jr., who was among the first to advocate for nonviolent civil disobedience. After the ’60s, Lawson settled in LA, taught at UCLA for 30 years, and was the longtime minister at Holman Methodist church in West Adams. In Los Angeles, he linked the labor movement to anti-racist struggles, highlighting the relationship between economic and racial justice.

Still active at 92, Rev. Lawson continues to be an inspiration, and I hope, through this motion, and the state legislation it supports, he will get the honor and recognition he so richly deserves.

Risk Management at LA County

The County of Los Angeles employs over 100,000 LA County residents, and it is critical that we maintain an effective and comprehensive Risk Management Plan, which is precisely what a motion we passed this week seeks to do.

The motion I co-authored with Supervisor Kathryn Barger focuses on three main Risk Management areas: loss prevention, the Office of Privacy, and worker’s compensation. As directed by the motion, the CEO will develop performance metrics for all LA County departments and regularly meet with departments that rank in the bottom 10% to review and refine their policies related to risk management, identifying opportunities for improvement and cost-saving.

By prioritizing risk management and working with departments that inherently carry more risk, we can save the County money, keep employees safer, and protect both the County’s data and its workers’ privacy.

Gender Neutral Bathrooms

AB1732, enacted in 2017, requires single-occupancy toilet room entry doors to be updated by posting a gender-neutral sign. This week, the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis that aligns the County Code with the State legislation.

Division of Juvenile Justice: Support for SB 823

I’m pleased that the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis that will take one more positive step towards reimagining youth justice in LA County.

Specifically, the motion established Board support for language in a state bill that would give Courts in LA County the flexibility to rely, not only on Probation, but also any other appropriate youth-serving department, to develop rehabilitation plans for justice-involved youth. This flexibility would further the County’s goal of establishing a department, separate from Probation, to oversee young people in the juvenile justice system.

The foundational shift towards a rehabilitative justice system, one that aims to uplift and reintegrate our youth rather than circulate and hold them within the system, is built on small steps like this week’s motion.