Investing in the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Our Communities

(left to right) Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas – Vote on a New Office to Promote Alternatives to Incarceration – Board of Supervisors meeting March 10, 2020. Photo by Bryan Chan / Board of Supervisors.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve experienced a long-awaited reckoning with the racialized violence African Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement and the broader economic inequities that define communities of color.

At its core, this push for change evidenced by protests and demonstrations across the globe highlight the need to not only reexamine our mechanisms for law enforcement accountability, but even more importantly, re-up our investments in community well-being. As a result, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has asked that the County’s CEO reexamine the FY2020-21 budget and make greater investments in programs that work, particularly within vulnerable and disadvantaged communities that have suffered from historic disinvestment. These areas include making good on our commitment to diversion from our jails; building up community-based alternatives to incarceration; and addressing the homeless crisis and the racial inequities that define the crisis.

“We must double down on investments that work, investments that communities say they need, and investments that we know will save lives,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “In times of crisis, our values must always lead the way.”

As the letter notes, LA County has many unmet needs, areas where many community investments have been initiated by the Board of Supervisors, but because of budgetary shortfalls, full implementation has yet to occur. As the largest and most diverse county in the nation, LA County has an obligation to make sure its budgetary investments reflect its values and offer the best and highest return for the communities we serve.

Read the full “Unmet Needs” letter.  Click here.