May 11-15, 2020 Selected County items, reports, resources, comment
(Changes to Board agenda or other additions may cause me to send an additional edition)
My office [L.A. County CEO Hamai speaking] will return to your Board in June 2020 with substantial revisions to the fiscal year 2021 recommended budget reflecting lowered revenue assumptions and significant cost curtailments. For 2021, we are currently projecting a deficit of just a little over $1 billion. Unless additional revenues are identified, we will recommend a combination of cuts and other solutions to balance the County's budget. -- CEO Hamai on the pandemic’s impact on budgets and services
(See B. under Reports below).
A. Board of Supervisors, regular meeting, Tues., May 12, 9:30 a.m.
B. Board of Supervisors, first budget hearing, Wed., May 13, 9:30 a.m.
C. Civilian Oversight Commission (for LASD), virtual town hall Wed. May 13, 6-8 p.m.
II. Reports, resources, comment, events:
A. Audio of the May 8 conference among Youth Justice Coalition and other community groups and members and County officials regarding health and conditions in and releases from youth and adult justice system facilities.
B. Selection from my (JM) letter to CEO Hamai proposing revival of the 2016 plan for a County tax on very high incomes, needed now to help avoid budget cuts and to expand services now and in the future.
- I.Agendas To subscribe to notices of some County meetings and agendas:
Note Change in procedure for Public Comment before and during Supervisors’ meetings:
Written Testimony may be emailed to: email@example.com , or by mail to:
Attention: Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,
Board Operations Division, Executive Office
500 West Temple Street, Room 383, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Please include the Agenda number and meeting date in your correspondence. Correspondence received shall become part of the official record.
Please submit your written public comment or documentation as soon as possible and up until 5:00 pm Monday for the Tuesday regular meeting, and until the close of the May 12, 2020 Board meeting for the Wednesday budget meeting.
Telephonic Public Comment: Beginning with the May 12, 2020 Board meeting, you may address the Board during the live virtual meeting by calling (844) 291-6355 and entering the participant code 9823598. Please follow the prompts.
- Board of Supervisors, regular meeting, Tues., May 12, 9:30 a.m. How to “attend:” Phone(877) 873-8017, Enter when prompted. Access Code for English: 111111 Access Code for Spanish: 222222; Web: http://bos.lacounty.gov/Board-Meeting/Live-Broadcast
COVID-19-related items: housing, health, nutrition, tenants/landlords
- Five items on tenant and landlord protections during the COVID-19 crisis:
● 3, p.6, Sups. Kuehl/Solis (1) County Counsel to report whether rent unpaid due to the emergency is “consumer debt;” and (2) authorize extending the rent moratorium through August 31, 2020 (with specified exceptions).
● 6, p.8, Sups. Hahn/Ridley-Thomas, Develop guidelines for how tenants can (1) certify or document their eligibility for rent and eviction protection and (2) use dispute resolution services. Motion: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/145717.pdf
● 7, p.10, . Sups. Hahn/Kuehl: Banking: For a report on financial institutions actions in the emergency, and how the County can require institutions providing or seeking its business to disclose the mortgage relief they are providing to rental properties. Motion: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/145697.pdf
● 15, pp.12-14, Sup. Solis, 15. Emergency Rental and Mortgage Relief. (1) Board letter to state and federal officials for rent and mortgage forgiveness so that no pandemic-impacted property owner or renter is required to make mortgage or rental payments or accumulate interest, late fees or other housing related debt during the health emergency, (2) support House Resolution 6515 (Omar), the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020; and (3) take many related County actions to support residents.
● 4, p.7, Sups. Kuehl/Ridley-Thomas: L.A. Homeless Service Authority and others to develop a COVID-19 recovery plan for people experiencing homelessness.
- 16, p.15, Sup. Solis, 16. Authorize the County Counsel to amend litigation against Norwalk to ADD Bell Gardens, Lynwood and any other city as necessary to protect unhoused people from COVID-19 and prevent Interference with Project Roomkey and related programs. Motion: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/145739.pdf
- 10, p.10, Sup. Hahn, for a Board letter to relevant U.S. House and Senate members favoring suspension of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “Student Rule.”
Comment: The rule says low-income college students are eligible for this assistance only if they are working 20 hours per week or are in work-study. This barrier is even larger in the current shutdown. The rule is one of many which make the most basic services conditional, in this case conditional on working without regard to pay, personal situation (e.g. need for child care), or workplace conditions affecting health and safety.
What causes some people to impose conditions on the often meager help offered those from whom much has been taken? Thanks to Sup. Hahn for taking this up.
- 12, p.11, Sup. Barger: Proclaiming May 2020 “CalFresh Awareness Month;” urge County employees and residents to share this important information with those who need it most. Motion: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/145686.pdf
Comment: This program is can help prevent “stay at home” from meaning “starve.”
Economic recovery and development:
- 2-D, p.4 & 8, p.10, Sup. Hahn. Authorize a Fourth Supervisorial District Small Business Grant Initiative up to $500,000 for microenterprise businesses which demonstrate a COVID-19-caused hardship Motion: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/145699.pdf
- 20, p.16: 20. Report on the Financial Status of the Sheriff’s Department Fiscal Year 2017-18 Budget. The CEO requests this item be postponed to October 27.
Comment: Huh? 2017 and still waiting? What’s up with this?
- 37, p.27, Report by the Inspector General on Reforms and Oversight Efforts
NOTE: The Inspector General requests that this item be continued to June 9, 2020.
- 48, p.32, Settlement for $1,300,000 of a lawsuit alleging civil rights violations and wrongful death arising out of the fatal Deputy-involved shooting of Plaintiff’s father.
Public comment at Supervisors’ meetings:
- 9, p.10, Sup. Hahn: For a change in Board meeting format to allow the public to comment on agenda items telephonically prior to Board votes, to be implemented for the May 26 meeting. Motion: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/145688.pdf
Comment: The Board can “unload” much of the stress on its meetings by doing what legislative bodies usually do, i.e. hold hearings on legislation as it is formulated and considered, with plenty of opportunities for the public to comment – and then also comment after legislative passage while the separate executive considers signing or vetoing.
This motion, and the change for May 12 and 13, may be a response to the L.A. Times May 4th editorial, “What L.A. County’s supes are telling you about your right to be heard: Just shut up!” https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-04/l-a-county-silences-public
- 1-D, p.3, Sup. Ridley-Thomas, Authorize a Loan Agreement for funding to support an affordable housing development in Willowbrook, not to exceed $180,000.
- 19, p.16: Report by the CEO on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Rehousing Services System and its work. (report not posted as of May 8)
- Board of Supervisors, Budget meeting, Wed., May 13, 9:30 a.m. How to “attend:” Phone(877) 873-8017, Enter when prompted. Access Code for English: 111111 Access Code for Spanish: 222222; Web: http://bos.lacounty.gov/Board-Meeting/Live-Broadcast
- 1.Report by the Chief Executive Officer with an analysis and implications of the financial events that have taken place related to COVID-19. RECEIVE AND FILE NOTE: Documentation not available at theprinting of the agenda. (20-2484)
- 2. Public Hearing on the 2020-21 Recommended Budget and revisions. (20-2486)
- Civilian Oversight Commission (for LASD), Town Hall, Wed., May 13, 6-8 p.m.
To Participate: Click https://bit.ly/3bfFpAe to register now. Then on May 13, join via computer or smart phone. When prompted, enter the information requested and the event password: COC-123
To Listen only: Call (415) 655-0001, and enter the access code: 922 331 768.
News note about Commission May 7 meeting: “Civilian Oversight Panel Issues Subpoena to Sheriff Villanueva After He Repeatedly Fails to Attend Oversight Meetings”
Full news release from the Commission: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/CALACOUNTY/bulletins/28a83e6?reqfrom=share
- Reports, resources, comment, events
- Audio of the May 8 conference, Youth Justice Coalition, other organizations, and County officials update and discuss health youth and adult conditions in and releases from justice system facilities. Included are several moving calls from incarcerated youths and adults. “Who will my wife hold accountable for what happens to me? Who can my wife cry to?”
https://cloudup.com/cDcH9R9OE3d Two hours, click just about anyplace to get the sense.
- From my letter to CEO Hamai suggesting that in the crisis (see her quote at the head of this preview) the Board revive its short-lived consideration in 2016 to seek state permission to impose a County tax on incomes over $1 million:
“Seeking County revenue:
In addition to asking for revenue from other jurisdictions and sources, the County can attempt to raise revenue on its own, revenue it will be able to use at its discretion for the County’s specific judgment of needs.
In 2016 the Board made a brief attempt to feel out state government about permitting the County to tax high incomes for revenue for homeless services. The plan had polled at 76% among likely County voters). When the reading was negative, the Board abandoned that plan without even the actions it regularly does, such as letters to legislators or inclusion of the plan on the County’s legislative agenda. It turned instead to the sales tax, which falls on the general public including those not well prepared to bear more taxation.
An income or wealth tax plan seems one appropriate path to pursue now -- of course along with seeking funds in all other ways. The accumulations of wealth in corporate or private hands are, in a way, society’s savings because they are taken from the whole of society. Now is surely a fair time to dip into those savings for the benefit of society.
Sure, it may take a campaign to get permission from the state, and a campaign may not be successful in the short term. But those are not acceptable reasons to give up without a determined attempt . At stake is the current and future health and well-being of County residents, for we need to avoid cuts and to ADD services to deal with the crisis and to deal with the vulnerabilities that have made way for it.
If other counties copy or join in the request, the state may get the message and comply or do the taxing on its own and sharing with localities. The County can prove the public’s support by putting on the Nov. ballot a tax measure with the provision that it go into effect as soon as the state permits it.
During the County’s 2015 debate about setting a schedule to reach a $15 per hour wage in unincorporated areas, a Supervisor predicted loss of business to municipalities which had no such wage. Six months after County adopted $15, the state followed suit. Courage and compassion are as contagious as fear and despair.
We cannot know when or whether there will be success. But not making the attempt to go approach the accumulations of wealth (savings) now seems even less excusable than it has always been.
Please consider raising this and similar revenue options in the coming presentations to the Board.
For past previews: https://criminaljusticeincontext.net/l-a-county/weekly-items
Comments, corrections, questions are invited.
Contact info L.A. County Supervisors’ offices: 500 W. Temple St., L.A. 90012.
To find your district: http://rrcc.lacounty.gov/OnlineDistrictmapApp/Default.cfm
Sup. Hilda Solis 1st Dist. Rm. 856 (213) 974-4111 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sup. Mark Ridley-Thomas 2nd Dist. Rm.866 (213) 974-2222
Sup. Sheila Kuehl 3rd Dist. Rm. 832 (213) 974-3333 email@example.com
Sup. Janice Hahn 4th Dist. Rm. 822 (213)-974-4444 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sup. Kathryn Barger 5th Dist. Rm. 869 (213) 974-5555 email@example.com