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.

A New Chair

I was proud to be sworn in as the new Chair of the Board of Supervisors and very grateful for the support of my colleagues.

All the Supervisors are committed to building on the progress we’ve made and making this next year one of stability, safety, opportunity, and creativity.

Commending Assessor Jeffrey Prang

After the leadership reorganization, we honored LA County Assessor Prang and his team for their fantastic work in “pioneering innovation in assessment administration and excellence in service to the public” — which led the International Association of Assessing Officers to award them the highest accreditation available to any public assessment agency. This makes the County the first and only jurisdiction in California to achieve this honor.

Please join me in thanking Assessor Prang for his commitment to fostering an environment of stellar quality, productivity, and service in the Office.

Evaluation of Workplace Sexual Harassment Policies

For years, individuals experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace have been ignored, dismissed, and demonized. Many victims remained silent out of guilt, shame, and fear. Recently, however, a wave of women has come forward to share their stories publicly, creating an opportunity for real, positive change.

Since 2011, the County’s Policy of Equity along with the County Equity Oversight Panel have had strong procedures in place to address harassment claims, including mechanisms to support filing and addressing complaints. And while we are proud of these policies, we recognize how the current focus on this issue has created an opportunity to do a deep evaluation.

I was very pleased to sign on as Co-author for a motion by Supervisor Solis requesting an assessment of the County’s reporting processes, including current practices and whether improvements should be considered. This will help ensure that our our rules reflect current best practices and that we remain at the forefront of ensuring a respectful and safe work culture for everyone.

Working to Improve Food Security in the County

Food insecurity and poverty often go hand in hand, making it even more difficult for low-income families to affordably purchase healthy and nutritious foods.

On September 28, the Department of Public Health (DPH) released a report on the state of food security in the County showing that over half a million households earning less than 300% of the federal poverty level are food insecure. Additionally, the proportion of adults with chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension is higher in food-insecure households than those with ample access to food.

Given the intersection between food security and chronic disease, we have an opportunity to address this problem by involving healthcare providers in intervention strategies, starting with our own healthcare system. At Tuesday’s meeting, we approved a motion by Supervisor Solis, which I co-authored, to instruct the DPH, Department of Social Services, and the Department of Health Services to provide a report back on the feasibility of screening clients who receive services at our health clinics for food insecurity.

The motion requests a study on the feasibility and cost of including a questionnaire, and providing training to healthcare staff, that would evaluate an individual’s food security. Additionally, the report will include suggestions for an onsite referral process for nutrition education and services such as CalFresh and WIC.

Welcome, Amy Bodek!

After a national search for a new County Director of Planning, we found the right person in our own backyard! On Tuesday we hired Amy Bodek, who has served as the Director of Development Services in Long Beach, and has over 25 years of planning and executive management experience in the public sector, to lead Planning at this critical time.

We are very excited to have Amy join the County family, and I’m confident that her experience and talents will serve her well in this position.