Stay Housed LA

This week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors launched Stay Housed L.A. County, a countywide initiative to provide legal assistance and support for tenants facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The launch included the release of StayHousedLA.org, a website connecting tenants with useful information about their rights, workshops for residents who need legal assistance, and other support. Stay Housed L.A. County is a partnership between the County of Los Angeles, legal aid groups and community-based organizations to provide emergency support to tenants in need.

Virtual Know Your Rights workshops will also be offered by participating community organizations to provide L.A. County residents with critical information about permanent and emergency tenant protections that can help tenants facing eviction or other challenges related to their rental housing. Community organizations will provide targeted ongoing support to help tenants with case management support.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented and devastating impacts on far too many hard-working individuals and families across the County of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “During this time – the last thing Angelenos should be worried about is losing their home. That is why we are standing up Stay Housed L.A. County.”

“L.A. County, along with a number of cities, the state, and the federal government have all passed protections for tenants facing eviction due to the pandemic,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who authored the motion authorizing the creation of Stay Housed L.A. County. “These protections only work, however, when people know their rights and can take advantage of the legal protections. That’s the mission of Stay Housed L.A. County: To provide the information and legal representation people need to keep from getting kicked out of their homes while we weather this very challenging time.”

“Eviction can be an incredibly devastating event that families never recover from,” said Rafael Carbajal, Acting Director of Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. “It’s so much greater than individuals losing their homes. Stay Housed L.A. County represents the County’s enhanced efforts to stem an eviction crisis and our commitment to working with community partners to help our tenants preserve healthy and stable households in L.A. County. I applaud the Board of Supervisors’ leadership in this ground-breaking initiative and hope to see our most vulnerable renters take advantage of this most critical public service.”

“Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is a proud member of the Renter’s Right to Counsel – LA, and we believe that Stay Housed L.A. County is an excellent first step to getting eviction prevention and defense representation to all Angelenos who need it,” said LAFLA Executive Director Silvia Argueta. “LAFLA is pleased to be working with our partners including Bet Tzedek, Community Legal Aid SoCal, Housing Rights Center, Inner City Law Center, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, Public Counsel, BASTA Universal!, and Eviction Defense Network, as well as tenant organizations.”

“In these unprecedented times we need unprecedented solutions,” said Shane Murphy Goldsmith, President and CEO of the Liberty Hill Foundation. “Stay Housed L.A. County is a first-of-its-kind collaborative effort between tenant organizers, legal service providers, and the County to keep tenants in their homes and off the streets. We are proud to partner with trusted, community-based organizations to reach and educate hundreds of thousands of tenants about their rights and, as well as connect them to legal services to help renters exercise their rights.”

Participating community-based organizations include: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Communities for a Better Environment, Coalition for Economic Survival, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, Eastside LEADS, Inquilinos Unidos, Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action, Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), Los Angeles Tenants Union, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE).

According to a UCLA study, about 365,000 L.A. County residents are at risk of evictions due to the COVID-19 economic recession. The Board of Supervisors extended the Los Angeles County Temporary Eviction Moratorium through Sept. 30, which instituted temporary tenant protections related to COVID-19 countywide, excluding jurisdictions that have enacted their own protections.

Stay Housed L.A. County serves as an important resource for tenants who are facing housing uncertainty — including bilingual residents and those with undocumented status — about their rights and who need legal support navigating their interactions with their landlord and the legal system. When tenants have legal representation, a family’s chance of avoiding homelessness due to eviction increases by over 70 percent.

Stay Housed L.A. County is a partnership between community organizations, legal service providers, and the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs that offers L.A. County renters information about their rights and legal assistance to a limited number of tenants to help prevent evictions and keep people in their homes. For more information visit stayhousedla.org.

The Los Angeles County Rent Stabilization Program oversees and enforces the County’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance and Mobilehome Rent Stabilization Ordinance, supports the Rental Housing Oversight Commission, administers the County’s Expanded Eviction Defense Program, and oversees the County’s Eviction Moratorium.

Below is the full recording of the virtual press conference hosted September 14, 2020.

Celebrating Essential Workers on Labor Day

Today we celebrate Labor Day. Workers have always been, and continue to be, the unsung heroes of our society. In this difficult moment they have been especially important helping us all adjust to this new normal in so many ways.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we conceptualize what is essential work and who are essential workers. Now more than ever, we must protect our workers. I encourage you to show your appreciation today for the workers in your communities. With deep appreciation and sincere gratitude, I say thank you to all our workers on this Labor Day.

Drive-In Movie Nights

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is hosting Drive-In at the Park, a series of FREE movie nights kicking off with a sold out screening of Cool Runnings at Exposition Park on September 5, 2020.  Register now for upcoming screenings here: http://ticketfairy.com/rsvp

Complimentary sliders, candy and popcorn will be provided.

Space is Limited so select your date and RSVP! One ticket per vehicle and walk ups are not permitted.

Presented by Supervisor Mark Ridley – Thomas, Chevrolet and OZO.

All events are curated in an infrastructure of socially distanced culture to keep our guests and community safe and healthy.

LOCATIONS & DATES

SOLD OUT: September 5 – Cool Runnings
Exposition Park
3998 Hoover St, Los Angeles, CA 90037
Green Parking Lot

SOLD OUT: September 26 – Sister Act
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall
4020 Marlton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90008
(Cinemark Theatre upper parking deck)

October 2 – Remember The Titans
Kenneth Hahn Park

October 3 – Moana
Magic Johnson Park

905 E El Segundo Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90059

ATTENTION

For the Health and Safety of our customers and employees we kindly ask you to follow the following Covid-19 guidelines while attending Movies in the Park.

  • Vehicles must be parked 6 feet from each other.
  • You must view the movie from inside your vehicle.
  • When outside your vehicle you must wear a mask
  • When outside your vehicle you must practice social distancing of 6 feet.
  • Restrooms will run at 50% capacity.
  • We want to thank you for following these guidelines and allowing Movies in the Park to operate. If you do not follow the guidelines you will be asked to leave without refund.

Register here: http://ticketfairy.com/rsvp

Supervisor Provides 10,000 N95 Masks to Public Defenders

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in partnership with Moldex donated 10,000 N95 masks to the Los Angeles County Public Defender Union Local 148.

“Public Defenders are a lifeline for many, providing legal representation to those who cannot afford it, and ensuring they get a fair trial,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “With this mask donation, we are helping to keep our Public Defenders, their clients, and others protected from COVID-19.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles County Public Defenders Union Local 148 has been advocating for stronger health and safety protocols for courtroom personnel, clients and the public.

“With over 15% of our workforce affected, 100 quarantined members and dozens of confirmed positive cases, this donation is critical for our members,” said Nikhil Ramnaney, President of LA County Public Defenders Local 148. “We are serving on the frontlines of this pandemic in crowded courtrooms, representing clients who have little or no access to proper sanitization in crowded jails. We would like to thank the Supervisor for his unwavering commitment to supporting our members and our most vulnerable system-impacted communities.”

“Public Defenders are on the front line of Los Angeles County’s Justice System, and it is now in the era of COVID that our calling as Constitutional Warriors is on full display! I am thankful to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for his gift of 10,000 N95 and for once again raising up our constitutionally mandated work and for championing our communities. The N95 masks will help protect our public defenders and recognizes that we are frontline workers! With public defenders in court every day and with trials resuming across the county, these masks come at the perfect time,” said LA County Public Defender Ricardo D. Garcia.

Over the last several weeks, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has been working with Operation USA, Servicon and Moldex to distribute thousands of masks across the County’s Second Supervisorial District. This latest mask donation comes just weeks after Supervisor Ridley-Thomas authored a motion, along with Supervisor Kuehl, that called for enhancing health and safety measures in Los Angeles County courthouses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying due process should not unnecessarily expose people to the coronavirus.

Los Angeles County to Expand Worker Protections Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas gives a Ralphs supermarket cashier a gift bag containing free masks. Photo by Aurelia Ventura/Board of Supervisors

During one of the most unprecedented and challenging moments for workers in the history of Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to expand worker protections. The motion, authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, establishes the Office of Labor Equity to promote and enforce the County’s labor laws as well as lead policy research and development with a focus on racial, health, and economic equity.

“As we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the health and financial well-being of our residents, it seems more important than ever to further explore how we can better support our workforce,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This pandemic is dynamic – and has pushed us to be dynamic in our response, specifically to support our workforce, many of whom are providing essential services and keeping our economy afloat.”

According to the motion, Los Angeles County has experienced unemployment rates of approximately 20% over the past few months, and the total unemployment claims in the State of California since March 8, 2020 has surpassed 7.1 million. A July 2020 study by the California Employment Development Department Labor Market Information Division indicated that workplace transmissions account for almost half of COVID-19 cases, and these impacts are particularly felt among the Latinx and Black workers that represent a disproportionately large portion of the essential workforce.

“It’s even more difficult these days to be a low-wage essential worker,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “You are barely able to make it financially and to make it even worse, your employer has made clear they will not enforce COVID-19 public health guidelines. Your dilemma: should you risk your job or your life? That’s why we want to make sure that employees can report violations of our County Health Orders and feel confident they will not face retaliation from their employer. By creating an Office of Labor Equity, we can make sure that workers will have their rights protected and not have to jeopardize their jobs in order to protect their health and safety.”

“As evidenced by numerous low-wage worker studies, we know that communities of color and workers in low-wage industries have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” stated Betty Hung from the UCLA Labor Center.  “Establishing an office of Labor Equity in Los Angeles, focused on creating strong worker protections, is critically important as we grapple with the economic and racially disparate impacts of COVID-19. We know that as we rebuild, we can’t go back to our past practices.We must rebuild stronger and with our most vulnerable workers at the center in order to advance economic and racial equity.”

Studies by the Brookings Institute and Harvard Business Review have shown that strong worker protections decrease turnover and increase productivity, preserve employer-employee relations, and attract economically complex industries that accelerate regional economic growth.

“This is not only a necessary investment in our most vulnerable workers,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.  “This is a prudent investment in the future of our region.”