Supervisor Kuehl also serves as the Chair of the Board of Commissioners of First 5 LA, an innovative funder, leader and advocate on early childhood issues working collaboratively across LA County. Created in 1998 to invest L.A. County’s allocation of funds from California’s Proposition 10 tobacco tax, First 5 LA has invested more than $1.2 billion in efforts aimed at providing the best start for children from prenatal to age 5 and their families.

Here’s the Supervisor’s recap of this month’s First 5 meeting:

This month’s First 5 LA’s Commission meeting was packed with lots of important and exciting work.

We approved the Mid-Year Budget Adjustment to align projected and real expenses. The staff at First 5 LA has done an exceptional job at tracking projections so that the overall adjustment was quite small.

We also reported back on the break-out sessions from last month’s meeting. The areas of focus were prevention, systems and policy change and broad impact and evidence-based practices. While we are already rolling up our sleeves on related work, I challenged the Commission to think about additional ways we can sync up the work of First 5 LA and the County of Los Angeles.

Finally, we received a presentation on a brand new report issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, entitled “A Pathway to Equity: The Five-Year Plan to Close the Black-White Gap in Infant Mortality. The presentation highlighted the vast divide in infant mortality rates between Black and White women in the county. Many factors contribute to the disparity, and we plan to look at ways to narrow and close the divide.

The reason I enjoy my work so much at First 5  is that it is both broad and focused and you never know what interesting topic will come before the Commission.