Message from MRT, June 2014

Welcome to the June 2014 Newsletter.

Many of you joined us recently for the celebratory ribbon cutting at the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center, ushering in a new era of healthcare for residents in the Watts/Willowbrook area. The building of this new $172-million dollar facility was quite a journey and involved significant local worker participation. But the work is only just beginning. A dedicated staff will continue to raise the standard for outpatient care. The new center will be open to the public on June 17.

Next we continue our commitment to protecting our children. In response to a range of systematic failures with children in the care of the county, the Board of Supervisors appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission to rigorously examine child protection reforms at the Department of Children and Family Services. In April, the commission presented a comprehensive report as a result of 15 public hearings and voices from 300 people. The commission has provided a roadmap to reform and on June 10 the issue returns to the board. Please help lend your voice to let it be known that the time has come to urgently implement new systems that effectively protect children’s lives.

And further to protect our children and our community, we hope you will participate in the gun buy back program. Reducing gun violence requires all hands on deck. It requires prevention, mental health intervention, education, and improved parenting. But in the final analysis, the math is simple. Fewer guns cause fewer gun-related deaths. And to that end, we will be offering gifts for guns. Details will be posted on our website as they become avaialble.

Lastly, we have continued a mantra since taking office: “Jobs, jobs and more jobs!” This year as many as 12,000 youth, ages 14-21 can apply for a paid summer internship at a variety of locations throughout Los Angeles County. The “Earn and Learn” Summer Youth Employment Program, sponsored by Los Angeles County, will allocate an unprecedented $24 million to pay for the internships. These internships will teach young people the necessary skills to compete in today’s environment and prepare them for future employment opportunities. It is a very worthwhile investment for our community and in our future.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to seeing you again in July.

With hope,