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.
Expanding Care for Justice-Involved Women and LGBTQ+ Individuals
As part of LA County’s broader goal to divert people from jails and build out a community-based care infrastructure, there is a need to closely examine and tailor our approach to historically marginalized subpopulations, including women and the LGBTQ+ community. With this in mind, we passed a motion I brought this week, co-authored by Supervisor Holly Mitchell, and spurred by a comprehensive report by the Gender Responsive Advisory Committee (GRAC.)
The GRAC report’s clearest message is that too many cisgender women (including those who are pregnant or elderly), as well as two-spirit, LGBTQ+ and intersex individuals, are being needlessly incarcerated. According to a Rand Corporation analysis, 76% of the people held at the Century Regional Detention Facility (CRDF) have mental health issues but could be safely diverted. This motion brings together the different teams working on our diversion efforts, including Alternatives to Incarceration, Office of Diversion, Jail Closure Implementation, and GRAC, to ensure collaboration on these goals related to justice-involved women and LGBTQ+ people. It also requests routine reports on our progress, so the Board can closely monitor how efficiently we are meeting the needs of this population and facilitating a successful transition out of incarceration.
Renewing our Commitment to DREAMers
The Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program allows hundreds of thousands of DREAMers to work and study in the U.S., pursuing their American dream. With the DACA program under attack, LA County is once again reaffirming our commitment to DREAMers and publicly stating our support for this critical program.
A motion we passed this week, which I co-authored with Supervisor Holly Mitchell, authorizes County Counsel to submit public comment in support of the Biden administration’s new DACA rule, which would preserve the program.
Roughly 13% of DREAMers live in LA, so this motion is about supporting our friends, neighbors, and colleagues and their right to stay in the country they have called home for the majority of their lives.
Small Business Relief Programs
The County continues to put our COVID-19 American Rescue Plan dollars to work. This week, we passed a motion authored by Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Hilda Solis allocating funds to the Los Angeles County Development Authority for programs to help revitalize LA small businesses.
The funding includes $10m for the Keep LA Dining Program to provide grants to qualified restaurants and $7.5m for a Rent Relief Program to offer commercial rental assistance to Small Businesses.
Rebuilding a County Healthcare Workforce
The pandemic highlighted the need for a stable and skilled County health care workforce, along with the challenges frontline workers face that make these positions challenging to fill. The Board passed a motion put forth by Supervisor Holly Mitchell to fill gaps in our healthcare workforce, particularly in nursing and other clinical positions, to ensure that we deliver quality care to those who rely on the County healthcare system.
The motion lays out a plan to evaluate vacancies, streamline the hiring process, and leverage our relationships with community colleges and industry partners to fill critical positions quickly, with qualified and well-suited people to meet the diverse needs and experiences of patients in our care.
Be Prepared. Stay Safe.
The Board officially recognized October as National Fire Prevention Month, an issue the Third District knows all too well.
There is no better time than now to make sure your family has a plan as well as the supplies necessary to safely evacuate should a fire occur, and to take simple steps to protect your property. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! LA County has your back. For your emergency preparedness needs, visit Ready.LACounty.gov!