A Reimagining that Prioritizes Community Health and Wellbeing

Statement by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on the
Reimagine L.A. County Charter Amendment

“I believe it is our collective intention to ensure that Los Angeles County’s budget reflects the diverse needs and values of our constituencies, but many of us know there is more work to do to drive towards a more equitable Los Angeles County.

“Just last week, we adopted an antiracist framework which I expect will change how we govern and make policy moving forward.

“In calling for change, it is completely fair to heed the call for long-term accountability.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas participating in the July 26, 2020 Live Virtual Board of Supervisors meeting. Photo by Aurelia Ventura/Board of Supervisors

“I welcome feedback from the voters to make sure that this Board of Supervisors is guided accordingly. But in the interim, the sense I have from communities that are trying to survive, the families trying to stay above water, is that more needs to be done at every level of government.

“Let’s not let a year go by without making changes to our budget that more clearly align with our values, and with the needs of our most vulnerable constituents. We have an opportunity, when we approve the Supplementary Budget in the coming months, to make refinements and to continue reimagining how LA County’s safety net can best fulfill its purpose.

“That reimagining should be consistent with the priorities outlined in the charter amendment before us.

“A reimagining that de-emphasizes the punitive system and reemphasizes the rehabilitative and restorative. A reimagining that truly prioritizes community health and wellbeing.

“Let’s move swiftly to advance these funding priorities now. It’s not just our prerogative, but our responsibility.”