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.

Good as Gold

Tuesday’s meeting began with an emotional, heartfelt and sad goodbye to an extraordinary and valued Deputy in our Third District family. We recognized, thanked and honored Sherry Gold, our Justice Deputy, for her years of lending talent, passion, time and commitment to the County.

Prior to joining our office, Sherry (above with all five Supes’) worked throughout the County and City of Los Angeles advocating fiercely for our kids in the juvenile justice system. She came into her position as Justice Deputy with quite an agenda and set out to make it a reality–vowing to end solitary confinement for juveniles, establishing a Civilian Oversight Committee, and reforming the money bail system. She was an integral part of ensuring that Campus Kilpatrick, the County’s new juvenile facility in Malibu, would represent a holistic model of care for the juvenile probation system.

Sherry exemplifies everything we hope a senior policy deputy and a human being who cares about people will do. Her strong beliefs, ethics, and heart brought a level of care into the County that is not easily matched. She is truly a beloved member of our team and I am honored to have worked alongside her.

Thank you, Sherry — we will miss you!

Girl Power!

I’m happy to report that, for the third consecutive year, October will be “Girls’ Empowerment Month” here in LA County!

It’s true that more and more women and girls are pursuing an undergraduate education in science and math, and obtaining graduate degrees. But despite these advances, women still hold just 25 percent of available careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Women of color hold an even smaller percentage of these jobs.

To address this gap, the LA Promise Fund will launch its third “Girls Build LA” initiative in October – engaging young women in STEM projects in middle and high school. This year, the Fund will select 50 teams to receive funding, training, and materials to compete in the Girls Build LA Challenge. The teams will develop an original, data-driven solution to a problem they want to address in their community.

I am happy to report that the County will continue to support the initiative by providing funding for student transportation to Girls Build LA events. I also encourage everyone to learn more about Girls Build LA and the great strides they have made in supporting young women’s’ desires and ability to effect social change.

Here’s to celebrating sheroes in October, and beyond!

Addressing Homelessness in Santa Monica

Santa Monica’s mild weather and available park space are a draw to an increasing number of Southern California’s homeless population. In an effort to provide support and resources to as many of these individuals as possible, the City launched the Homeless Multidisciplinary Street Teams (HMST) program.

HMST employs a team of mental health, medical, and substance abuse professionals to visit parks, jails, and hospitals to bring services to people experiencing homelessness. Individuals are given a personalized, comprehensive plan to serve their unique needs. Santa Monica has identified the outreach-based program as a key component in reducing the devastating impacts of chronic homelessness.

On Tuesday, we approved a motion to provide funds to cover fifty percent of the program’s costs, matching the City’s money. I believe this is an important step toward identifying more focused and innovative solutions to providing people with the services and housing that they need.

Budget with a Conscience

The Board signed off on our 2017-18 Supplemental Budget, which included significant investments to improve health care, reduce homelessness, expand the arts, protect our most vulnerable kids and much more.

I’m really excited to see the growth of “Whole Person Care” throughout our County health departments. Whole Person Care brings health and social service providers across LA to build a more community-centered system of care — developing the foundational infrastructure necessary to deliver seamless, coordinated services to our Medi-Cal populations.

We also passed two of my budget motions: One examining the vast amount of golf courses the County owns and operates, and making sure they all pay their county rents and water bills. The other targets youth workers — making sure the County increases its support for these programs as our minimum wage rises.

A Grand Redevelopment

I dislike the nuisances of construction as much as anyone. But when it leads to public outdoor space to enjoy dining, shopping, and more affordable housing, I’m all in.

An earlier phase of the Grand Avenue Project included the creation of the Broad Museum in 2015. It will now lead to over 100,000 square feet of retail and dining space and 452 residential units, of which 91 will be affordable housing.

Construction is set to begin in 2018. For more information about the proposed timeline, affected streets, and changes to parking, please click here.