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

Van Nuys High School and 1968 East LA Student Walkouts Honored

Van Nuys High School students, with the help of LA Master Chorale mentors, this year researched, write, produced and performed an oratorio based on the actions and writings of the many students who organized and led the 1968 Chicano student walkouts.

We kicked off our meeting by honoring those students and some of the original organizers from 1968.

Looking for inspiring subject matter, Van Nuys students learned about this historic student activism and were moved to develop the oratorio, titled Walkout: Past, Present, Repeat.

This moving video shows us that the passions and determination that motivate our young people should be a reminder to everyone that standing up for what is right through the power of activism can make a difference.

Measure H: Year 3

The Board approved the budget for Year 3 of Measure H funding, the quarter-cent sales tax voters passed two years ago to augment homeless services. The strong economy in LA County means that we’ve raised more than expected, totaling 460 million dollars for outreach, prevention, rapid re-housing, permanent supported housing, vocational training, job placement, and other services to keep people from falling into homelessness or to escape it.

In these first eighteen months, over 14,000 people have been placed in permanent housing and twice that number have found crisis, bridge, or interim housing.

In the coming year, we’ll continue to strengthen bridge housing, invest in rental subsidies, move people to permanent housing and much more. We’ll also ramp up our efforts to support the people most vulnerable to becoming homeless, which include young people, the elderly on fixed incomes and those involved with the justice system.

We have a long road ahead of us but LA County has shown that it is willing to put in the work to solve homelessness for good. As we enter this third year of Measure H, we continue to see support from our communities, like the students at UCLA who opened a shelter for their peers and the residents of the Pacific Palisades who have committed to making sure that homeless residents in their own neighborhoods get housed!

Expanding Diversion Efforts

Diversion and reentry efforts in the County have been a critical component of the Board’s progressive approach to systems of justice. The Board approved a motion by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas that I co-authored, that took the first steps toward expanding diversion and reentry efforts within the Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR).

Our decision represented a real inflection point for the County’s whole approach to justice. We now have abundant evidence that people with serious mental health needs can be appropriately and safely served in the community, instead of in jail. This move will not only help ODR remain sustainable going forward, it will also allow it to expand its services for individuals with serious clinical needs.

ODR has an excellent track record of expanding services to targeted populations. These new resources would support community-based services, interim housing, permanent supportive housing, and staffing in additional courts across the County.

Banning Rodenticides

AB 1788, the California Ecosystems Protection Act (Bloom) would ban the use of 1st and 2nd Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides in the state. The Board approved a motion I authored with Supervisor Barger, which directs the County advocates to support AB 1788.

This legislation would help protect wildlife from unintentional rodenticide poisoning by banning its use on state-owned property.

Unfortunately, these chemicals are often over-applied and do not become less toxic after animals ingest them. This toxic effect is then transferred to predators along the food chain. Fortunately, there are hundreds of available products that do not have the same harmful effects on wildlife, providing effective use while not threatening the physical well-being of vulnerable species.

County Positions on Proposals and Legislation

The County took several positions on some important pieces of upcoming state and federal legislation and policies.

The Board opposes a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), headed by Ben Carson, that would prevent mixed-immigration status families from receiving any federal housing assistance. Presently eligible family members can receive assistance even if they reside with ineligible family members. This means that entire families can be kicked out of their homes simply because they live in mixed-immigration status households. This change can not only uproot housing for thousands of individuals, in doing so, it would push families into homelessness.

The Board supports the following legislation:

AB 134 (Bloom) – Safe Drinking Water Restoration
This legislation would require the State Water Board to adopt an annual assessment of failed water systems throughout California, using equitable standards of prioritizing systems for financial assistance.

AB 217 ( E. Garcia) – Safe Drinking Water for All Act
This legislation would provide funding to facilitate access to safe drinking water for all Californians and ensure the long-term sustainability of drinking water service and infrastructure.

AB 1481 (Bonta) – Just Cause
This legislation would help curb unjust evictions by prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants without just cause, defined as failure to pay rent, breach of a rental agreement, nuisance, waste, refusal to sign a new and identical lease after the previous lease has expired, and illegal conduct.

AB 1482 (Chiu) – Rent Caps
This legislation would prohibit residential property owners from raising a rental rate in an amount more than 5% plus a change in the cost of living as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) over 12 months – not exceeding 10% including CPI in any given year.

H.R. 2016 (Lieu) & companion legislation S. 974 (Feinstein and Harris) –
Bridge Housing
This legislation would modify the West Los Angeles National Guard Armory’s deed to allow it to be utilized for other public purposes like bridge housing, in addition to military purposes.

S. 1376 (Brown and Stabenow) – Family First Transition and Support Act of 2019
This legislation would give the County time to transition from current allowed activities for resource families in the child welfare system to meet new federal standards that remove flexibility.