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Ridley-Thomas Applauds Funding For New Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital

March 8, 2011 – Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas today applauded the first payment to the nonprofit entity established to manage the new Martin Luther King Hospital. In a sign that the Board of Supervisors is dedicated to preserving the autonomy of the nonprofit, the board authorized the first installment of its $50 million, five-year funding commitment.

The money will be used for start-up expenses, such as purchasing equipment and medical supplies for the new 120-bed in-patient tower scheduled to open in February 2013. Once open, the hospital will be managed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Healthcare Corp. and staffed by University of California physicians.

“This is an exciting new model, one that portends considerable benefit for the County of Los Angeles,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “I dare say it will be replicated in other parts of the nation as it relates to public/private partnerships and pioneering healthcare vehicles for underserved communities,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.

The County’s contract with the nonprofit provides both for the autonomy of the nonprofit but also includes safeguards related to county contributions, stipulating the periodic auditing of funds.

“The board’s rights are ensconced in the agreement in such a way that transparency is preserved but the independence of the nonprofit is maximized,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.

Expo Authority Approves Historic Project Labor Agreement

March 18, 2011 –   Workers in Los Angeles County won a historic victory today with the unanimous approval of a Project Labor Agreement by the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority. The Project Labor Agreement (PLA), championed by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and City Councilman Herb Wesson, ensures that local workers will have access to thousands of jobs created by Phase 2 of the $1.5 billion-Expo line rail from Culver City to Santa Monica.
“The agreement approved by the Expo Authority means employment for thousands of residents at a time when Los Angeles County is facing an unemployment epidemic,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. He added: “An investment in our physical infrastructure is incomplete without a similar investment in our human capital. Anything less is not only economically unsound, it is immoral.”

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ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM LAUNCHED IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Los Angeles County has partnered with Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Company to save homeowners money through the Energy Upgrade California Program.

This program encourages homeowners to lower their utility bills by implementing energy-saving upgrades to their houses. In addition to reducing greenhouse gases,Energy Upgrade California creates thousands of local green jobs.

Home improvements that qualify for up to $4,500 in rebates and incentives include the installation of sealing, HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning), VAC upgrades, energy efficient windows, and tank less water heaters.  The program emphasizes a “whole house” approach, rather than installing individual improvements, as the most efficient and effective way to save money on energy bills.

For more information about Energy Upgrade California, available rebates, incentives, and a chance to win a home makeover.  Please visit: (https://energyupgradeca.org/county/los_angeles/about_overview)

MOREHOUSE COLLEGE GLEE CLUB CELEBRATES ITS 100TH YEAR

The Morehouse College Glee Club thrilled a standing-room only crowd Saturday, February 26 at the 100th Anniversary Celebration Concert at Club Nokia. The sold-out concert, hosted by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Greater Los Angeles Alumni Association and the Association of Los Angeles Morehouse Parents, was the premiere Black History Month event of the season. The all-male chorus brought the audience to its feet with selections that included classical arrangements, traditional spirituals and one of its signature pieces, the Nigerian Christmas carol “Betelehemu.”

The evening began with a wonderful presentation, as Robert Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment, presented a $125,000 check for the Morehouse College Presidential Initiative on Empowering Leadership in Local Communities.

Also, special recognition was paid to Valerie Ervin, president of The Ray Charles Foundation, for her outstanding work in bringing to fruition the new state-of-the-art home of the college’s music department, the $20-million Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. It was truly a night to remember!

COMMUNITY DISCUSSION ON INGLEWOOD OIL FIELD

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, residents of the Second Supervisorial District and representatives from the California Department of Conservation and the South Coast Air Quality Management District gathered together last week to discuss pending litigation and regulation of the Inglewood Oil Field in the Garden Room at the Veterans Memorial Building in Culver City.

The Supervisor provided residents with an update on the progress and status of negotiations to resolve litigation brought by the City of Culver City and local community organizations against Plains Exploration and Production Company and Los Angeles County.

The meeting was an open dialogue in which residents asked questions and representatives from involved agencies addressed outstanding community concerns.

We will post a synopsis of the questions and answers for review in the near future. In addition, a follow-up community update will be held in the upcoming month.

Please check back for updates.