Message from MRT, October 2013

Welcome to the October 2013 edition of the second district newsletter. As you’ll see, we have a lot going on.

Last week, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg paid us a visit at the board to add fuel to our conviction that Los Angeles County can lead the way in reducing recidivism statewide. And treating mental illness and substance abuse is the way forward. Providing necessary services to people right when they leave prison or preferably before they leave, is simply being smart on crime.

The Board also recently joined with the City of Los Angeles to oppose a June 2014 ballot initiative that seeks to create a public health department to be run by the city. This misguided ballot measure however, would effectively leave residents of the city without public health services for one to two years, should it pass. The initiative prevents the County from contracting to provide services, so those would cease, and city officials say it could take them two years to ramp up a new department. But flu epidemics and viral infections do not respect city borders. These will always be regional challenges that affect the 10 million residents of the county, not just the 4 million who live within the city lines. As such, creating a city public health department would be rolling back the clock on important progress made in combatting outbreaks and epidemics county-wide.

And on the subject of health, one of the best ways I’ve found to promote good health is by providing avenues for free fitness in our community. In the Second District we work to build parks, community gardens, bike paths, and our latest recreational addition, the Eastern Ridgeline walking trail in Kenneth Hahn Park. The trail is the first part of planned “Park to Playa” regional trail, which will eventually create a 13-mile pedestrian route from Baldwin Hills to the Pacific Ocean.

We hope you enjoy October’s newsletter, and we look forward to seeing you in November.

With hope,