L.A. COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS APPROVES ANTI-DISCRIMINATION MOTION TO CURB SCAPEGOATING OF MUSLIMS
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an anti-discrimination motion introduced by Chair Hilda L. Solis on Dec. 15, urging County residents to resist calls to scapegoat American-Muslims and individuals of Middle Eastern descent. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl co-authored the motion.
“This motion is about preventing more tragedy. Our history is peppered with instances where we have irresponsibly scapegoated minority groups as a response to tragedy,” Chair Solis said. “Anger and fear are understandable reactions to what happened in San Bernardino, but we cannot permit these feelings to grow into hate or bigotry against individuals who had nothing to do with this senseless violence. As public leaders, our responsibility is to counsel reason, good judgment and peace.”
The motion asks the Board to condemn the terrorist attacks, but also to recognize that no religion or race or ethnicity is responsible. The motion also directs the County to undertake outreach and education efforts to combat Islamophobia, xenophobia, discrimination, hate and bigotry. Local law enforcement is also asked to report back to the Board with information on recent hate crimes.
“This is a time that asks all Americans to strive to be our best and bravest and wisest selves. Although the tragic shooting in San Bernardino frightened many people, we cannot respond with hatred and violence. Rather, County government must ensure that threats or acts of hate violence are responded to swiftly and appropriately,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said.
A diverse group of faith leaders came out to the Dec. 15 Board meeting to support the motion.
The Board of Supervisors aims to combat discrimination and xenophobia that may cause hate crimes and further rend the social fabric of Los Angeles County.To read the motion, click here.
L.A. COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DEDICATES $5 MILLION TO EXPAND PROGRAMS FOR HOMELESS YOUTH
On Dec. 15, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis requested that $5 million of Homeless Prevention Initiative funds be set aside for the expansion of programs that help decrease homelessness among youth in Los Angeles County.
“Homeless youth form a group that is not as visible as other groups; it is often assumed that once they leave school or work, they go home. But, for too many, that is simply not the case,” said Chair Solis.
The County is drafting a set of strategies to reduce homelessness through an intensive, inclusive planning process known as the Homeless Initiative, which will include recommendations to establish a Transition Age Youth Resources Center.
“We can help prevent runaways and homeless youth from becoming the chronic homeless of the future by adequately investing in solutions that help them get off the streets and onto a path that will lead them to a healthy future,” said Chair Solis.
Approximately 1.7 million runaways or homeless youth under the age of 18 live in Los Angeles County, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Twenty-five percent of former foster youth reported they had been homeless at least one night within 2.5 to 4 years after leaving the foster care system.
Approximately 100,000 children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation each year, with homeless and runaway youth being the most vulnerable. The motion, co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, aims to protect these youth by minimizing their exposure to traumatic and dangerous experiences.
“If we are serious about ending our homeless crisis, we have to focus on preventing people from falling into homelessness in the first place,” said Supervisor Kuehl, co-author of the motion.
To read the motion, click here.
“SERVICE TO OTHERS,” THEME OF COUNTY’S 15TH ANNUAL CESAR CHAVEZ COMMUNITY SERVICE WEEK
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 15 voted to commemorate the life and service of labor leader Cesar Chavez with its 15th annual Cesar Chavez Community Service Week, which will begin March 24 to March 31. This year’s theme will be “Service to Others.” Chair Hilda L. Solis introduced the motion.
“Cesar Chavez valued serving those who were less fortunate than himself, which is why he dedicated his life to improving the quality of life for our most vulnerable – migrant farmworkers,” said Chair Solis. “He held fast to this belief until his death and we honor him by acting on this principle.”
During the week-long celebration, the County will host activities that include volunteer opportunities, a food and fund drive, free cultural events and art and literacy programs for youth at County parks, libraries and at probation camps. To read this motion, click here.
ARTS EDUCATION SUMMIT 2015: NURTURING YOUNG ARTISTS
Dedicated to providing students with educational opportunities in the arts, Arts for All hosted the “Arts Education Summit 2015: Building Momentum in L.A. County,” where 200 advocates, educators and elected officials gathered at the Skirball Cultural Center to share ideas about advancing arts education.
The Dec. 4 summit also featured more than 100 students performing jazz, musical theatre, poetry, steel pan drumming and a contemporary dance piece presented by the La Puente High School Dance Company.
Arts for All is the Los Angeles County initiative dedicated to making the arts core in kindergarten through twelfth-grade public education. Staffed by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Arts for All partners closely with 62 of the 81 County school districts, as well as three charter networks, to strategize ways to embed the arts in student learning.
In the First District, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District was one of 10 districts to initially join Arts for All more than a decade ago. The district is currently working with Arts for All to revise its arts education plan. With Arts for All's support and guidance, the school district has strengthened its arts programming, including La Puente High School's academic, conservatory-style dance program that focuses on college preparedness, as well as meeting the California state standards for dance.
The district is also part of the first cohort of the Technology Enhanced Arts Learning (TEAL) project. Developed by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the County Office of Education, TEAL provides professional development and online resources to help teachers integrate the arts into lessons across all subjects.
The momentum for arts education is growing in the First District. These initiatives encourage youth to pursue careers in the arts.
(Photo credit: Gennia Cui)
CHAIR SOLIS SUPPORTS EXPANSION OF SMART TEAMS TO EFFECTIVELY HELP HOMELESS
De-escalating potential confrontations between police and the homeless who suffer from mental illness is a crucial element that makes the SMART program an important community resource.
On Dec. 16, Los Angeles County Board Chair Hilda L. Solis joined Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in announcing the expansion of this effort.
“The County’sSMART team model — known as MET in the County — effectively diverts mentally ill individuals from the criminal justice system and into treatment programs with the potential of helping many turn their lives around,” Chair Solis said. “The city of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles both stand united in the belief that assisting mentally ill homeless individuals through treatment programs - instead of incarcerating them due to addictions and other behavioral patterns - is a more humane manner of treating these individuals, and in the long run, will help them gain access to housing and other vital services,” Chair Solis said.
SAVE THE DATE
Pico Rivera: New Year’s Eve Party
Pico Rivera Youth Center
8421 San Luis Potosi
Pico Rivera, Ca, 90660
Wed., Dec. 30
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
New Year’s Eve Los Angeles - NYELA
Music Center and Grand Park
200 N Grand Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Thurs., Dec. 31
8 p.m. - 1 a.m.
East Los Angeles Field Office
4801 East Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Phone: (323) 881-4601
Fax: (323) 887-7286
Hall of Administration Office
856 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 974-4111
Fax: (213) 613-1739
El Monte Field Office
3400 Aerojet Avenue, Suite 240
El Monte, CA 91731
Phone: (626) 350-4500
Fax: (626) 448-1573
Southeast Los Angeles Field Office
2677 Zoe Avenue
Huntington Park, CA 90255
Phone: (323) 881-4601