Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said Monday she is committed to redoubling her social justice efforts.
Kuehl, whose Third District includes Santa Monica, which was hard-hit by looting and other vandalism amid a weekend protest against police brutality, began her morning convening her entire staff by phone.
“Many of them have spent decades in the trenches as activists and advocates. Some of them have personal experience of the corrosive effects of white supremacy and racism. Like so many in L.A. County today, they are carrying a heavy burden of grief and anger,” Kuehl told City News Service. “In our meeting, amidst tears, anger and uncertainty, we pledged to redouble our efforts to build a more just and peaceful Los Angeles.”
Like the rest of her colleagues on the Board of Supervisors, Kuehl is part of the county’s Economic Resiliency Task Force, which is set to meet Tuesday morning. The planned agenda includes briefings on reopening sports venues and on the state of the corporate, restaurant/hospitality and film/entertainment/theme park sectors by industry leaders, including Casey Wasserman, CEO of Wasserman Media Group, and NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell.
A question about whether the task force is likely to shift its focus in the wake of this weekend’s civil unrest was not immediately answered by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who chairs the group.
Kuehl, meanwhile, laid out her own priorities for the immediate future.
“In addition to helping constituents who are afraid or whose businesses were damaged over the weekend, we will be prioritizing work on COVID-19 recovery plans to ensure that those plans do not further exacerbate racial injustice and economic inequality,” Kuehl said.
“We are developing next steps for advancing the plan for alternatives to incarceration adopted by the board in March so we can create a `care first, jails last’ system that will provide care and treatment instead of jail whenever possible,” she said. “After decades of a community safety strategy organized around police and punishment, we must build new models for community health and safety.”
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