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.

Photo: It’s official! on Tuesday we welcomed Celia Zavala as the new Executive Officer of the Board of Supervisors. Congrats Celia!

The Honorable Mirna Khawly

This week at the Board meeting, I was very pleased to welcome the Honorable Mirna Khawly, newly posted as Consul General of Lebanon in Los Angeles.

Ms. Khawly has served as First Secretary and Interim Head of Post at the Lebanese Embassies in Bahrain and Bulgaria. She was also Deputy Director of the International Organization Desk for the Human Rights Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants in Beirut. Before being appointed Consul General of Lebanon in Los Angeles, she served as Interim Head of Post of the Embassy of Lebanon in Athens, Greece.

Consul General Khawly, congratulations on your appointment! My colleagues and I wish you well as you work to fulfill your mission as Consul General of Lebanon in Los Angeles.

Rooster-Keeping Ordinance

In response to a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Kathryn Barger last December, this Tuesday the Board adopted an ordinance that will help mitigate nuisance concerns related to roosters, and more importantly, help address the criminal and inhumane practice of cockfighting.

This ordinance would limit the number of roosters on a property based on the size of the property (from 2 to 10 roosters,) additional roosters would require an Animal Facility License, and the number of roosters is not to exceed 25 unless the property is a commercial poultry facility or animal rescue organization. The reason this ordinance is significant relates to the unfortunate history related to unlawful cockfighting, in the County and especially in the 5th District. The largest seizure of illegal cockfighting birds in U.S. history took place on May 2017 in unincorporated Val Verde, where 7,800 birds, paraphernalia, illegal guns, and drugs were seized.

I believe this ordinance strikes a balance between ensuring that responsible owners can keep a reasonable number of roosters, and responding to the County’s need to be tough on the practice of illegal cockfighting.

Support for the Girls Build Los Angeles Initiative

I am very happy that the Board passed a motion authored by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn proclaiming the month of October 2018 as Girls Empowerment Month and lending our support to the 2018-2019 Girls Build Los Angeles Initiative!

As one of the largest initiatives supporting female students in Los Angeles County, Girls Build will bring together over 10,000 young women from local public high schools for a program hosted by the LA Promise Fund in partnership with Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote. More than 30,000 girls have participated in Girls Build events, including field trips, film premieres, STEM-related career events, and annual summits, which convene thousands of girls around the theme of women’s empowerment. This year’s focus is on cultivating sustained civic engagement.

This year’s summit, which will be held on September 28th, will feature Producer-Screenwriter Shonda Rhimes, State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, as well as students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Faith-Based Community and Foster Children

A motion authored by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda Solis was approved by the Board this week directing the Center for Strategic Partnerships and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to develop a coordinated faith-based engagement strategy.

Faith-based groups have long been an essential force in supporting the needs of their local communities, providing compassion and dedication while also offering material resources. Over the years, DCFS has worked with the faith-based community to recruit and retain foster homes, and the County would like to strengthen and expand that relationship. The motion is part of a widespread effort to work with Community-Based Organizations that can help the County with outreach, the recruitment of resource families, and various foster family support services like visitation centers, youth mentors and counseling.

The County and the many children and families whom we serve can benefit significantly from an established collaboration between DCFS, the Center for Strategic Partnerships, philanthropic funders, and the faith-based community.

California Clean Air Day

On Tuesday, the Board approved a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Hilda Solis that proclaims October 3, 2018, as “California Clean Air Day,” and encourages all County Departments and residents to take the Clean Air Pledge, which promotes walking, biking, carpooling, or taking transit to work, and conserving electricity.

California, and particularly the Los Angeles region, has long suffered from polluted air caused by cars and trucks, industrial sources, and even consumer products such as paints and solvents. As a result, California has also been a pioneer of innovative clean air strategies, forming some of the earliest air pollution regulatory bodies in the nation. However, we still have work to do. It is vital that we protect the health and well-being of our residents, visitors, and the workforce. We must also commit to fighting pollution such as vehicle emissions, which produce greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

I hope California Clean Air Day will raise awareness about our successes in addition to the public health and environmental challenges we face as we continue securing a legacy of clean air for California!