Environment, Parks, Libraries

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Acting on a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Board of Supervisors adjourned in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s death.

The Supervisor, who will travel to Memphis, Tennessee, to participate in activities commemorating the assassination, also plans to dedicate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Tree Grove at the highest point of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area on Saturday, March 31.

15,000-sq. ft. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Tree Grove at the highest point of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area featuring an obelisk that evokes memories of the 1963 March on Washington.

The 15,000-sq. ft. tree grove features an obelisk that evokes memories of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and is inscribed with some of the civil rights leaders’ most inspiring words. With sweeping vistas of downtown Los Angeles, the hilltop location will be an ideal space for peaceful reflection, a highlight of the 13-mile Park to Playa trail currently under construction, slated to connect the beach to the Baldwin Hills by 2020.

The Supervisor also worked with the Board to coordinate MLK 50 Bell Toll events throughout Los Angeles County on April 4, the date of the assassination.

Led by the National Civil Rights Museum, the MLK 50 Bell Toll asks places of worship, college campuses and institutions around the world to have their bells toll 39 times to mark the number of years that the civil rights leader lived, and to pay homage to his legacy. Locally, the solemn ringing will begin at 4:01 p.m., the moment of Dr. King’s death.

Among those confirmed to participate in the MLK 50 Bell Toll in the County’s Supervisorial districts are:

  • First District: The San Gabriel Valley NAACP in West Covina, the NAACP in Pomona Valley, and the African American Museum of Beginnings in Pomona.
  • Second District: Transfiguration Church in Leimert Park.
  • Third District: Hollywood United Methodist Church in Hollywood.
  • Fourth District: The Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro.
  • Fifth District: Holy Assembly Church of God and All Saints Church in Pasadena.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas proclaims adjourns in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on March 27, 2018. Photo by David Franco / Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors


Kingdom Day Parade

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Mayor Eric Garcetti with other Kingdom Day Parade celebrants. All photos by Martin Zamora/Board of Supervisors.

Thousands of people lined the streets of South Los Angeles to celebrate the life and legacy of the legendary civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 33rd Annual Kingdom Day parade.

Billed as the oldest and largest parade of its kind, it included more than 150 floats, bands, equestrian units and other groups that traveled three miles on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard before culminating in community festivities at Leimert Park.

This year’s theme, When They Go Low, We Go High, is a famous quote from former First Lady Michelle Obama during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Thousands of people lined the streets to cheer for California Senator Kamala Harris, who served as the parade’s grand marshal. Oscar winner Natalie Portman walked alongside her, wearing a black shirt that read “Time’s Up,” a rallying cry for the movement against sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.

This year marks Dr. King’s  89th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his death. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said at the parade that he strives to see Dr. King’s dream fulfilled, and is working to address  poverty and homelessness; fight for jobs and voting rights; and assert that healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

“We’re going to end homelessness in the city and county of Los Angeles, because that’s Dr. King’s dream, to push for every person to have dignity and work,” the Supervisor said.

A Day at the Marina

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles Watts Willowbrook Clubhouse with Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County Life Guards, and the Department of Beaches and Harbors. All photos by Martin Zamora / Board of Supervisors.

It was a fun-filled day at the Marina, as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles Watts Willowbrook Clubhouse joined Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County Life Guards, and the Department of Beaches and Harbors for the first ever Second District Day in the Marina featuring ocean safety, sail boating, paddling, and kayaking.

The District Day in the Marina is a new program by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors bringing youth ages 8-12 to experience a programmed day of water and beach activities in Marina Del Rey. Chairman Ridley-Thomas took to the sand as he led the children in a day of fun in the sun.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro LA-Watts Willowbrook Clubhouse is in the house…or should I say in the sand!” Chairman Ridley-Thomas said to begin the day. “We encourage you and your families to return as often as you’d like to enjoy the beach and some of the other things the Marina has to offer, including concerts in the park, fishing docks, and the South Bay Bike Trail.”

Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Ocean Lifeguards offered instruction and education to the 25 children in attendance including several first-time beach goers.

“We hope to help instill in these young people a love for the coast and our marine environment at an early stage in their lives,” said Carol Baker of the County of Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors.

Strengthening PACE Financing
to Benefit Californians

California has long been an engine of American innovation, developing new products, services and media that create enormous value locally and across the world. Yet, even by the standards of our inventive state, the home-grown PACE financing industry has produced incredibly positive results.

Pioneered here in the Golden State, Property Assessed Clean Energy financing – or PACE –empowers homeowners to finance the full cost of certain clean energy, water and energy efficiency, and earthquake-resistance upgrades to their homes through repayment over time as a line item on their property tax bill.

To date, hundreds of thousands of Americans have seen this as a win-win, allowing for cost-effective improvements that green the environment. Just in LA County alone, the environmental and economic benefits from the PACE program have far exceeded expectations:

  • PACE has cut water consumption in LA County by more than 13 million gallons each year [1], enough water for more than 762,000 showers [2].
  • PACE has reduced LA County’s need for fossil fuels by more than 105 million kWh of energy each year [3], combining solar generation with efficiency measures. Over the lifetime of these improvements, that is equivalent to taking more than 10,000 cars off the road [4].
  • PACE has also created jobs: Since the program’s launch, by driving $486 million in economic activity, PACE has created more than 4,800 jobs in Los Angeles County – jobs that pay well and can never be outsourced [5].

To ensure that PACE financing remains a force for good in our communities, state policy makers should now strengthen consumer protections. Addressing this need is State Senator Nancy Skinner’s Senate Bill 242 (SB 242) and State Assemblymember Matt Dababneh’s Assembly Bill 1284 (AB 1284).

SB 242 establishes important statewide consumer projects to govern the PACE Program throughout the financing process. First, before the homeowner completes the PACE financing process, SB 242 will require PACE administrators to call every single PACE financing applicant to confirm the terms of financing– avoiding possible misunderstandings as to how and when repayment will occur. This live, recorded phone call is in addition to a written disclosure of the property owner’s PACE financing terms that every applicant must review and sign. And even if the homeowner reviews all this information, applies for PACE, and then has a change of heart, they remain securely protected: SB 242 requires a 3-day right to cancel.

SB 242 also makes it illegal for PACE program administrators to pay financial “kickbacks” or other marketing incentives to contractors to push their PACE program. And it makes it illegal for PACE program administrators to pay financial incentives to homeowners.

AB 1284 further builds on PACE consumer protections by establishing the Department of Business Oversight as the regulatory authority over PACE program administrators and their contractors.  Specifically, PACE Administrators would be licensed by the Department of Business Oversight who would have authority to bring enforcement actions against PACE Administrators and anyone soliciting a property owner for a PACE project.  The Commissioner would have fairly broad power to conduct investigations, assess fines, and suspend licenses.  Perhaps most importantly, AB 1284 would allow the Department of Business Oversight to develop an “ability-to-repay” determination for incorporation into the loan underwriting process.

With the standards included in SB 242 and AB 1284, the PACE industry is positioned to expand in a responsible and consumer-focused manner.  The Legislature should support SB 242 and AB 1284 to help keep California working, growing and innovating by supporting PACE financing.

[1] http://treasurer.ca.gov/caeatfa/pace/activity.asp

[2] Per EPA WaterSense: 18 gallons per average shower

[3] http://treasurer.ca.gov/caeatfa/pace/activity.asp

[4] https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator

[5] Information provided by PACE administrators

Role of Citizens in Governance


The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a set of recommendations to enhance the efficiency and accountability of Citizen Advisory Boards.

“Citizen Advisory Boards encourage public participation in the governance of Los Angeles County, providing us with advice and recommendations about policies and services,” Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “These recommendations will ensure the voice of the people is heard.”

Role of Citizens in Governance Slides