Supervisor Solis Calls for Immediate Action to Clean up Toxic Contamination Caused by Exide
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis at the Oct. 20 Board of Supervisors meeting called for immediate action to address the ongoing health impacts caused by the toxic contamination emitted by the Exide battery recycling plant. For 33 years, this plant operated without a proper permit from the state environmental agency and spewed out lead, arsenic, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and other poisonous chemicals into the environment. Experts estimate that nearby residents now have lifetime cancer risks that can be as high as 200 times more than the normal risk. Though the gaseous toxins have now dissipated, lead that remains in the ground continues to pose grave ongoing risks.
“This isn’t contaminated soil in a remote location. This contaminated soil is in yards and parks where kids play kick ball and ride their bikes and then track dirty shoes into the house. These children deserve to be able to play outdoors while not putting their health at risk,” said Supervisor Solis.
Environmental regulation and cleanup is by law a state responsibility. But while the dangers posed by Exide have been recognized for years, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has only cleaned the inside and outside of 44 homes of the 5,000 to 10,000 homes that they estimate will need cleaning.
“These families need action now. They don’t want to wait for another study or another test. They don’t care which agency takes the lead. If the state won’t act with urgency, we must,” said Supervisor Solis.
“We have to put the health of the residents first. I have met family after family who have children with development delays and disabilities. For decades, they have been given this reason or that reason to wait. Now, the only thing they want to hear, rightfully, is when the cleanup will be completed,” said Supervisor Solis.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote on Supervisor Solis’ motion on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Click here to read the motion.
Supervisor Solis' Motion Offers Help for Homeless Veterans
Since the County of Los Angeles is home to the largest number of homeless veterans in the country, the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 20 voted to develop a plan within 30 days that would follow the recommendations in the Home for Heroes report that was sent to the Board in August.
The motion also called for $5 million in homeless prevention funds to implement the plan. The Board directed County departments to develop the implementation plan. This motion was co-authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Supervisor Don Knabe.
“This motion was timely, as my colleagues and I recently met with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro to discuss homeless issues, including those faced by our veterans. With 4,343 homeless veterans in the County, I recognize this is an issue,” said Supervisor Solis. “Our veterans deserve better, especially given all the sacrifices they’ve made as they protected and defended our nation.”
Recently, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers, known as “VASH vouchers,” to County agencies that help chronically homeless veterans.
“These VASH vouchers provide homeless veterans with housing,” said Supervisor Solis. “However, significant barriers remain for homeless veterans as they try to obtain housing, even with a voucher in hand. That is why our motion earlier this year directed the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to provide recommendations on reducing those barriers to housing. Those recommendations will be implemented with this new motion and will hopefully provide our veterans with the housing that they need and deserve.” To read the motion, click here.
Creation of Economic Development Trust Fund: Advancing County's Bioscience Industry
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 20 approved the transfer of $965,000 to establish the County Economic Development Trust Fund, which will be used to facilitate economic development projects that help spur small business growth and family-supporting jobs. The motion was co-authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
“This year, the Fund will advance Los Angeles County’s bioscience industry, establish a Manufacturing Business Loan Program, and support additional industry sectors with strong growth potential,” said Supervisor Solis. “This is an opportunity to help generate more high-quality jobs for the residents of Los Angeles County.”
The Trust Fund will also create a commercial corridor revitalization fund to support aging and dilapidated business corridors. The Community Development Commission will administer the County Economic Development Trust Fund, under the oversight of an advisory committee.
To read the two motions addressing the establishment of this fund, click here and here.
South El Monte
Community Vision of Rosemead Boulevard Along Whittier Narrows
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed SB 461, which transferred the jurisdiction of control of 2.6 miles of Rosemead Boulevard, or Hwy-19, to Los Angeles County, relieving the state of California from operating and maintaining a stretch of the busy thoroughfare adjacent to Whittier Narrows in South El Monte.
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis’ First District office sponsored SB 461, and on Oct. 21, she held a press conference announcing her vision of transforming Rosemead Boulevard from its current state as a busy thoroughfare into a safe street for pedestrians and equestrians as they make their way to Whittier Narrows.
“Whittier Narrows attracts more than one million people on an annual basis,” said Supervisor Solis. “However, accessing the park is very dangerous especially for pedestrians, bicyclists, equestrians and people with disabilities. My goal is to launch a community-driven plan that would transform this stretch of roadway into a true Complete Streets Corridor with protected bikeways and sidewalks and equestrian trails.”
Supervisor Solis is spearheading the implementation of the Whittier Narrows Vision Plan, which complements the surrounding Whittier Narrows Recreational Area – the largest park in the region – by enhancing recreational opportunities and access to the park.
Nurse-Family Partnership’s 15th Anniversary Celebration
The Los Angeles County Nurse-Family Partnership on Oct. 21 celebrated 15 years in serving expectant mothers throughout the First District and Los Angeles County. Based out of Westlake/Koreatown, the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a community health program serving low-income first-time pregnant women.
Expectant mothers are paired up with a registered nurse early in their pregnancies and receive continual nurse home visits, even after the birth of their child and through the toddler’s first year.
Having started as a pilot program of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in 1997, NFP now serves nearly 1,200 first-time mothers. NFP recently established a second program in the County, working closely with the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide services to expectant mothers attending LAUSD schools.
Nurses and clients were honored for their work and dedication at the mid-day ceremony in Chinatown, which included testimonies from several past clients praising the support NFP provided them and their families. Many have gone on to higher education and some have returned to support NFP to help ensure that other expectant mothers can continue to benefit from their services.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors honored County NFP Director Jeanne Smart for her efforts in providing assistance for mothers and for future generations of Los Angeles County! For more information on NFP, click here.
Business Friendly City
LA County Finalists
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) announced the finalists for its 2015 Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County Award. There are two categories: one for large cities and one for smaller cities. Five cities with populations under 67,000 were announced as finalists, and we are proud that four of the five are in the First District!
A new Azusa is emerging, with a promising future. The city understands the need to work with businesses to create a vibrant economy.
Commerce is a dynamic city, which has effectively revamped old, heavy industrial sites with high technology, office, warehouse and retail uses.
The city of Pico Rivera proudly serves its residents and ever-expanding business community, making it one of the most business-friendly cities in the County.
Vernon businesses employ more than 50,000 people from communities throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.
On Nov. 12, one winner from each category will be announced at the 20th Annual Eddy Awards® at the Beverly Hilton. Inaugurated in 1996, the Eddy Awards® gala celebrates 20 years of recognizing leadership in economic development. For event information, please contact Rick Moelis at (213) 236-4812 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The LAEDC is a private, non-profit organization established in 1981 under section 501(c)(3).