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.
Rent Stabilization & Eviction Defense
The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to adopt several critical motions to strike a powerful blow for renters and against homelessness in Los Angeles County. The first of these motions will set a permanent ordinance to limit rent increases to the amount of increase in the consumer price index each year with a maximum increase of 8%, even if the CPI is more.
Some believe that AB1482, which would enact anti-rent gouging statewide, would take care of the problem but the bill is not assured if passage. In addition, the protections are less than the County’s and the bill allows local governments to have stronger ordinances.
While similar rent stabilization ordinances have passed in cities such as Inglewood and Culver City, we estimate that over 3 million LA County tenants still do not have these important protections. I am tremendously proud of the work this County has done to protect renters and the impact it has on the lives of our residents. However, we strongly encourage the leaders of every city in this county and the state to enact tenant protections and rent stabilization.
Another motion will strengthen Eviction Defense and provide Eviction Prevention Services for tenants. Additionally, Just Cause protections are being extended for all LA County tenants, requiring landlords to evict only in limited cases, such as non-payment of rent, lease violations, owner move-in or an action under the Ellis Act.
Landlords will be required to pay for relocation in the case of a no-fault eviction. Property owners will also have to register their properties with the rent registry. However, these motions also ensure that tenants and property owners have access to due process, a fair rate of return and the ability to increase rents when improving their buildings.
The eviction defense services will be rolled out gradually. We asked the DCBA and the CEO to launch 5 pilot programs across areas in the county where tenants are experiencing the highest rates of evictions and falling into homelessness at disproportionately rapid rates.
We will also study the efficacy of requiring economic displacement assistance for places not covered under the ordinance. While there is always more that can be done, these motions are a tremendous step in the right direction.
Bail Project Expansion to Van Nuys Courthouse
We authorized the Public Defender to work with the Bail Project in Van Nuys, expanding on their promising accomplishments in Compton which achieved an extraordinary 97% success rate in court appearances and 65 cash bailouts.
The Bail Project is a non-profit organization designed to combat mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system. They accomplish this by giving the court a deposit to post bail for an individual. Their goal is to open more sites in high-need areas and pay bail for thousands of low-income Americans, while collecting data on the oppressive nature of the current cash bail system.
A person’s freedom should not depend on their ability to pay for it. Working with the Bail Project has ensured that people are released quickly while also allowing justice to be carried out in a more equitable fashion. We look forward to continuing this good work in Van Nuys.
The Board of Supervisors directed the DCBA and the CEO to develop recommendations for implementing a countywide microloan program. This program focuses on new and existing small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities where small businesses often face barriers to capital.
The loans would be between $5,000 and $7,500. The DCBA and CEO will be charged with identifying sources of funding for these loans, which can come from outside the County as well as from existing funds within the County. The agencies will also be exploring partnerships with organizations that provide technical assistance and small loans to small businesses.
This program will help provide access to capital, therefore expanding opportunities for many people in LA County. I am excited to see what can be accomplished once this program begins!
American Latino Museum
The Board of Supervisors directed our advocates in Washington D.C. to support the establishment of the Museum of the American Latino on the National Mall. This museum is long overdue, as a report released 25 years ago emphasized the severe lack of representation of Latino history and culture in national museums.
American Latinos have been on this land for over 500 years, and have made countless contributions to our history and culture. Yet a dearth of representation and recognition of these contributions persists, leaving this group vulnerable to attempts to label them as “others.”
The museum would establish exhibitions and programs illuminating aspects of Latino life, art, history and culture. Such a facility would also provide opportunities for collaboration with other museums and research centers to further study and promote the achievements of American Latinos and their indelible impact on American society.