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.