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Board of Supervisors Proclaims National HIV Testing Day

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas proclaiming June 27, National HIV Testing Day in Los Angeles County. On the national day of HIV awareness, local residents, community stakeholders, faith-based groups, elected officials, and county employees will mobilize to encourage individuals to test themselves for infection of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

In Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ district, a newly dedicated mobile testing van, called “The Health Spot” will travel through high-risk areas to provide screenings and educational information as well as to distribute condoms.

“Despite decades of advances in education and medicine, HIV infection continues as a vexing public health crisis in many communities in my district” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Monday, June 27 will be a day of awareness, knowledge, engagement, and empowerment.”

While comprising 10% of Los Angeles County’s population, African Americans account for 24% of confirmed HIV and AIDS cases. Latinos in Los Angeles County comprised 23% of those infected with HIV as of 2009, despite being 15% of the County population.

In partnership with the National Association of People with AIDS, the National
HIV Testing Day seeks to encourage people to get tested and receive counseling

Nearly 90,000 people in California have contracted and died from AIDS since it
was first recognized as an epidemic in 1981, 31,000 of them in Los Angeles
County.

Courtesy of www.aids.gov

Education
www.Aids.gov
Access to Federal HIV information, policies (e.g. the National HIV/AIDS Strategy), programs, and resources.

http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/aids/
LA County’s Public Health website offers local information and resources on HIV & AIDS.

Engagement
http://hivstory.ning.com/
Share and read stories of hope and those who have faced challenges. Be inspired and inspire others

Empowerment
www.HIVtest.org
Type in your zip code and find testing locations near you. Knowing your status is empowering yourself.

To learn more about HIV/ AIDS or find testing sites and events happening locally in the 2nd District and around Los Angeles County please visit http://erasedoubt.org or call 1-800-367-AIDS (2437)

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas introduced the motion at the request of the
Empowerment Congress Health Committee.

The Empowerment Congress Health Committee is part of the Empowerment
Congress, a partnership among neighborhood groups, residents, nonprofit
organizations, businesses, religious institutions, and community leaders.

The Empowerment Congress was founded in 1992 on the principle that elected
officials are most effective when the constituents they serve are actively involved
in the decision-making process.

 

African and African-American Community Summit

5th Annual Delta Day In Los Angeles
African and African-American Community Summit
(2011 is the UN International Year For People of African Descent)

DEVOTE the day.
SPEAK OUT.
TURN OUT.

The Century City Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., along with 13 alumnae chapters in Los Angeles County, is again planning for Delta Days in Los Angeles County.  The chapter serves many of the communities in the Second Supervisorial District and advocacy, community education, and engagement in voter education and mobilization continue to be a strong focus.

The goal of the Summit is to inform the participants, facilitate the formation of collaboratives and partnerships, and develop strategies among key opinion shapers. In the end, the day will highlight the strong legacy and history of excellence that has created a partnership between government and community.

This is A Strategy Meeting to Meet & Hear ELECTED OFFICIALS & OPINION SHAPERS discuss:

  • Re-Districting At All Levels – Getting Involved
  • Going Green – Resources from the Public Utilities
  • Budget Cuts – Federal, State, County, Local Impact on Our Communities
  • Voter Stabilization – Re-gaining Ground
  • & More Empowering Information

Downtown LA City Hall
City Council Chambers
Thursday, June 23, 2011
9AM – 3PM

Spearheaded By: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

NOTE:  Transportation and Parking information available upon request.  For more information, email to centurycitydst@yahoo.com or call 310-673-6988

 

 

LA County Arts Education Collaborative Best In The Nation

Established by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Arts for All is the dynamic, County-wide collaboration working to create vibrant classrooms, schools, communities and economies through the restoration of all arts disciplines into the core curriculum for each of our 1.6 million public K-12 students. Arts for All was awarded the 2011 Arts Education Award by the nation’s leading arts advocacy organization, Americans for the Arts (AFTA). The announcement was made June 16, 2011 at AFTA’s annual convention, this year held in San Diego, CA.

According to the 50-year-old Washington-based nonprofit, this year’s field of candidates, comprised of 18 nominations from around the country, was the most competitive ever evaluated in the judging process. In addition, Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, said that the Arts for All selection is all the more remarkable given California’s budget crisis.

“Particularly at a time when school districts face increasingly dire fiscal circumstances,” Lynch said, “Arts for All’s steady commitment and support has kept arts education at the forefront of school and community leaders’ consciousness in Los Angeles County.”

Alongside Los Angeles Unified School District’s own arts education initiative, 44 out of the 81 districts in L.A. County are now identified as Arts for All partners and committed to standards-based K-12 arts instruction. Funding for Arts for All comes from private foundations, corporations, federal grants and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The collaborative has been widely recognized by scholars for its creative approach and accomplishment.

Arts for All impacts close to 950,000 students and has experienced an annual growth in district participation since it began in 2003 with six vanguard districts. Arts for All has used a pragmatic approach to assist school districts as they build the foundations that support quality, sequential, K-12 arts education in dance, music, theatre and visual arts. For many children, this ongoing instruction in the arts is their most memorable educational experience, often leading to jobs and careers in what experts call the “creative economy” of Los Angeles.

Last year the Otis (College) “Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Regions” stated that the creative industry “supported one out of six jobs in the region, generating an estimated $127 billion in sales revenues and $4.6 billion in state and local tax revenues.”

 

Referring to the Arts for All track record, Laura Zucker, the Executive Director of the LA County Arts Commission, said, “It is our hope that our work in L.A. County will provide a model for school districts across the country that are committed to including sequential, standards-based K-12 arts education in the core curriculum.”

Visit www.lacountyartsforall.org to learn more.


Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Introduces Motion to Ensure County Clinic Funds are Fairly Distributed

 

In an effort to ensure that health care funds are equitably distributed throughout

Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday agreed to carefully study

how the County is spending new monies going to the private low cost clinics that

treat hundreds of thousands of County patients.

 

In approving a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the board directed

Chief Executive Officer Bill T. Fujioka and the director of the Department of

Health Services Mitchell Katz to conduct a study on which geographic areas are

not getting their fair share of new federal dollars that are intended to help the

County can get ready for health reform.

 

In a letter to each Supervisor before Tuesday’s vote Supervisor Ridley-Thomas

made the case for the study, noting that in several areas of the County —

particularly South Los Angeles – County health dollars clearly are not being

equitably distributed and as a consequence there is a concomitant incidence of

preventable hospitalizations. With national healthcare reform imminent and

uncertainty as to how its implementation will affect County clinics, a study of

existing practices is timely. The Supervisor wrote:

 

“The Community Partner Clinics provide cost-effective, life-saving primary care

services countywide to our sick and low-income residents – many of whom

experience chronic diseases that could become life-threatening and expensive to

address if not treated and controlled.  Recent OSHPD data shows that many Los

Angeles County residents experience avoidable hospitalization because they

cannot get adequate access to primary care services – especially in South Los

Angeles.

 

We know scarce County funds are not equitably distributed according to the

allocation formula that this Board adopted and has been using, with only modest

changes, since 2000. A few years ago, the board recognized this problem by

funding the Community Clinic Expansion Program, but those funds only partially

addressed the imbalance. Furthermore, the CCEP dollars expire at the end of

next year.

 

Two options exist to address this problem. Either this Board, on the eve of health

reform implementation, must somehow identify new county funds to address the

problem, or this Board must thoughtfully consider options to distribute existing

resources in a way that would not disrupt patient care or diminish the funds

historically going to the community clinic partners.

 

Time is of the essence. The County is about to enter into new contracts with

community clinics to implement the new, federally-funded Healthy Way LA

(HWLA) waiver. These contracts are unprecedented in their scope, approach and

potential impact and must be carefully monitored. The contracts represent the

County’s last chance to bridge its comm8nity partner clinic system to health

reform in January 2014.”

 

A 2008 study indicated that while underserved areas can be found throughout

the county, certain geographic areas of the county are more underserved than

others.  To counter this geographic disparity the Board approved $44.8 million for

 

a Community Clinic Expansion Program (CCEP), one time funds to meet the

health care needs of these underfunded areas.  These CCEP funds will be

expiring at the end of the next fiscal year.

 

“This motion will help us ease the disparity between well-to-do and poorer areas

of the region, said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.”We want to be sure that each

district has adequate resources for its residents to receive optimal health care.”

Operation Graduation – A Celebration of Success

In an inspiring ceremony at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, more than 280 students and 2000 well-wishers participated in a commencement ceremony for students graduating from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) alternative education programs, juvenile court schools, and special education programs.

The annual event, sponsored by the LA County Office of Education and the County Probation Department, celebrated the academic achievements of truly remarkable high school teens, who have persevered through delinquency, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and pregnancy.

The words of this year’s valedictorian, Roman Guerra, who struggles with Asperger’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) moved those in attendance.

“I have a purpose. I have a vision. I have faith. Tomorrow I am going to make a difference in this world,” said Guerra who reminded graduates, “If you fall, get up learn from your mistakes and approach problems differently.”

Overall, 633 students will graduate this year from the LACOE-led alternative education programs, juvenile court & community schools, and special education programs.

Congratulations Graduates!