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.
Pledge of Allegiance
This week’s Pledge of Allegiance was led by Phillip W. Sheppard, a decorated Army veteran, longtime Third District resident – and two-time participant on the reality show Survivor!
Sheppard (above) served as an Army Specialist from 1982-1988 with the Second Support Command in Germany and received the Army Achievement Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He currently works as a writer and actor in Santa Monica, which he has called home for the past 16 years.
We thank SPC Sheppard for his years of service and contributions to the creative industry in the Third District.
Emergency Winter Shelters in the Antelope Valley
On the heels of last week’s motion to convert the Sylmar National Armory into Bridge Housing for women, we approved an action that will create needed emergency housing for individuals experiencing homelessness in the Antelope Valley.
The homelessness count in the region has increased by fifty percent over the past year. Along with the closure of the Lancaster Community Shelter, this has left thousands in dire need. It’s getting cold in the AV, and we need to identify options now to provide spaces for those without shelter before the winter months arrive.
To address this critical need, Supervisor Barger introduced a motion to declare a shelter crisis in the Fifth District. This action directs funding to the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) to convert the Lancaster National Guard Armory into a 125-bed emergency winter shelter. Additionally, the High Desert Multiple Ambulatory Care Center (High Desert MACC) will be used as a temporary emergency shelter from November through March.
Improving Dental Care in Los Angeles County
Last week, my fellow Supervisors and I approved a motion that expands available oral health care services for HIV/AIDS patients. On Tuesday, the Board signed off on an agreement to use funds from Proposition 56 to improve dental care options for all LA County residents.
A new Allocation Agreement between the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the California Department of Public Health, Oral Health Program uses tobacco tax funding for public education, treatment for dental diseases, and preventative services throughout the County. This includes dental disease caused by the use of tobacco products. It also creates a public school monitoring program for children in kindergarten and third grade.
Additionally, DPH will receive support to establish dental public health programs and partner with community stakeholders to better address oral care needs.
Less Traffic in LA – Hooray!
The Department of Public Works presented the Board with a slew of actions that will support traffic safety, enhance traffic flow, provide adequate parking for disabled persons, and facilitate street sweeping in several communities across Los Angeles.
The motion applies to unincorporated communities in East Los Angeles, Lennox, Ladera Heights, View Park/Windsor Hills, West Carson, Willowbrook, Malibu, Rowland Heights, Altadena, East San Gabriel Valley, and Monrovia. Each Supervisor will provide funding and support for projects in their respective District.
Alternative Programs for Adult Offenders in LA County Jails
I am very proud of the work we have done to improve the care and resources available to youth in the juvenile justice system. On Tuesday, we approved a motion that will also bring important services to adult offenders in LA County jails.
Many studies have shown that engaging in creative activities, vocational training programs, and having access to counseling services have a positive impact on inmate’s lives and increase readiness to reentry. The recommended action allows the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to execute contracts with providers that will extend these services and more to adult inmates.
Better yet, the services will come at no cost to the County. All contractor salaries, benefits, administrative and other associated costs will be borne by the provider directly. These partnerships will support the County’s goals to improve the quality of life of adult offenders, increase safety, and reduce recidivism.