Hahn Throws Support Behind New Effort to Hire Spanish Speakers at Metrohttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/5mz0399_crop.jpg560448Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
San Pedro, CA – Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn has thrown her support behind a new program designed to ensure Metro recruits and hires more Spanish speakers.
“These jobs and opportunities at Metro should be open to everyone, regardless of what language they are most comfortable speaking,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Spanish speakers have been here throughout our history, and have been key to making Los Angeles County thrive. They ride Metro, they are excellent candidates for these jobs, and they should not be excluded.”
Hahn believes Metro’s own workforce should reflect the communities it serves. However, long-standing hiring policies have required applicants to read, write, and understand English and have prevented many people for whom English is a second language from applying. A new program, Bienvenidos a Metro, will offer flexibility with this language requirement and expand employment opportunities to Spanish-speaking residents.
Today, at Metro’s Board of Directors meeting, Hahn touted the importance of the new Bienvenidos a Metro program and co-authored a motion, authored by Mayor Eric Garcetti and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis, Supervisor Holly Mitchell, and Metro Director Fernando Dutra, which directs Metro to work with the County of Los Angeles to improve outreach to Spanish language media and explore partnerships with the Office of Immigrant Affairs.
This initiative could be an important tool in Metro’s efforts to tackle an ongoing shortage of bus and rail operators which has forced Metro to reduce bus and rail service.
Metro will conduct a feasibility study during the first year of the program’s launch to identify languages in addition to Spanish that the program should expand to include in order to improve Metro’s recruitment of potential bus and train operators.
Hahn Motion will Bring Metro Career Opportunities to Southeast LA County, Gateway Cities Communitieshttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/themes/blade/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg150150Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Cerritos, CA – Today, the Metro Board advanced a motion by Supervisor Hahn to create new access to career opportunities at Metro specifically for communities in Southeast LA County and the Gateway Cities. Hahn’s motion seeks to bring trainings that right now are only available at one school in downtown Los Angeles to communities like those along the proposed route for the West Santa Ana Branch rail line at schools like Cerritos College and Rio Hondo College.
“When it is complete, the West Santa Ana Branch rail line will serve Southeast LA and Gateway Cities residents – and I think the project’s good-paying jobs should go to them too,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “The problem is many Metro jobs require training that is only available in downtown LA. That means these jobs are inaccessible for many Southeast LA and Gateway Cities residents because we do not yet have high-quality transit to serve them. That needs to change and that is why I am going to bring training opportunities to schools along the rail line like Cerritos College and Rio Hondo College.”
“The West Santa Ana Branch project provides unprecedented opportunities to grow our local economy through job creation. Our communities have waited decades for this project, and we stand ready to work with Metro to provide a trained and motivated workforce that will make the West Santa Ana Branch project a reality,” said Senator Bob Archuleta.
The motion, which was spearheaded by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Senator Bob Archuleta and co-authored by Metro Directors Solis, Dutra, Dupont-Walker, and Krekorian, was unanimously approved by Metro’s Operations, Safety, and Customer Experience committee.
The motion now heads to the full Board for approval next week. If it is approved, Metro staff will update the Board on their progress toward program objectives in June 2022.
LA County Supervisors back Newsom’s CARE Court Planhttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/themes/blade/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg150150Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors threw their support behind Governor Newsom’s recently unveiled CARE Court proposal, a new framework to address the growing mental health and homelessness crisis in California.
The Board unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and coauthored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger which directs the LA County CEO’s office to send a letter of support to the Governor from the Board, directs County departments to assist in the development of the CARE Court program, and advocates for the necessary ongoing funding to successfully implement the program.
“Some of the most vulnerable people suffering on our streets are also suffering from severe mental illness or addiction and we have not had the tools to help them,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “The CARE Court proposal is that missing link. My colleagues and I are not only throwing our support behind the Governor’s effort, but we are also ready to help design this program and make it as effective as possible.”
On March 3, 2022, Governor Newsom announced a new proposal called the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Court which would use the judicial system to compel people suffering from severe mental illness and/or addiction into treatment and, for those who are unhoused, into housing. Although the full details of the plan are still being worked out, the proposed CARE Court appears to offer a much-needed tool to provide mental health treatment, substance use treatment, and housing to those individuals who are most vulnerable and in need.
“The new CARE Court model fills a critical gap,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “For years, our hands have been tied when it comes to helping people experiencing homelessness that can’t care for themselves. We need to remove barriers so we can serve the mentally ill individuals who are abandoned on our streets. CARE Court is a step in the right direction.”
Individuals with untreated severe mental illness or substance use disorders too often end up on the streets in Los Angeles County, in the County jails, or in the County hospitals with ailments that have been exacerbated by neglect.
Here in LA County, Supervisor Hahn has championed local Homeless Courts which use a similar model to the CARE Court to effectively connect people with the care and services they need. She has supported a Homeless Court program launched by Redondo Beach in 2020, funded a new Homeless Court in Long Beach, and is helping the City of Torrance start their own Homeless Court this year.
Supervisor Hahn Names Leader of Workers’ strike Woman of the Yearhttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/themes/blade/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg150150Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Norwalk, CA – During today’s meeting of the LA County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Janice Hahn named Cristina Lujan Woman of the Year for the Fourth District. Lujan emerged as a leader of a recent workers’ strike for fairer compensation at the Jon Donaire Desserts in Santa Fe Springs.
“I was honored to have had the chance to walk the picket line with the workers of Jon Donaire Desserts, side by side with Cristina. Now it’s our turn to honor her,” said Supervisor Hahn after announcing the designation.
Lujan and her fellow members of the Bakery and Confectionery Workers International Union of America at the Jon Donaire Desserts plant in Santa Fe Springs were on the picket line for 113 days, including through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. An agreement was reached with management late last month that gives workers better wages and benefits, more reliable schedules, and safer working conditions.
A daughter of Mexican immigrants who grew up in Whittier, Lujan now calls Norwalk home. She has worked at Jon Donaire for 19 years. Outside of work, Lujan enjoys reading and spending time with her children, Angela, Efren, and Jose Luis.
“She embodies the sacrifice and commitment to justice that should be an inspiration to us all,” added Supervisor Hahn. Lujan’s commitment to her work, to making her workplace fairer for all, and to her family serves as a reminder of the immense role that women play in making our communities thrive.
Lujan, as well as the honorees from the other Supervisorial Districts, will be honored in a ceremony on Monday, May 9, organized by the Los Angeles County Women’s Commission.
Board of Supervisors Condemn Russia, offer Support for Ukrainian Refugees, Take Steps to Divest from Russiahttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/GettyImages1358161887-15dbe340-0950-4153-bfca-924b417c3d1e.webp724483Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Los Angeles, CA — Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, offer support to Ukrainian refugees and Ukrainians living in Los Angeles County, and take steps to divest from Russia.
“Over the last several days we have witnessed the incredible strength, bravery, and unwavering patriotism of the Ukrainian people,” said Supervisor Hahn, who authored the motion. “On behalf of the 10 million people of Los Angeles County, including the 26,000 Ukrainian-Americans who call LA County home, we not only condemn this unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression, we will send an even stronger message by divesting from Russia and from companies that do business with Russia. As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians flee the violence, we offer our support for resettling refugees in the United States and stand ready to help.”
“The horrific offenses Russia is committing against Ukraine are appalling and intolerable,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Although we are located half a world away, our county has an opportunity to take action by divesting all its funds from Russian and its allies’ assets. We have to fight injustice with every tactic available to us. There is no question in my mind that this is the right and moral thing to do.”
The motion, which was authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and amended by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, does the following:
Directs the County CEO to send a letter to Anatoly Antonov, Russian Ambassador to the United States relaying the County of Los Angeles’s position on the Russian War of Aggression against Ukraine and urging his government to immediately commence peace talks with the Ukrainian Government to prevent any more deaths of civilians on both sides;
Directs the County CEO to send letters to President Joe Biden and the Los Angeles County Congressional Delegation, asking the President to provide Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforcement Departure for Ukrainian Nationals and especially for family members of American Citizens or Permanent Residents of Ukrainian decent to allow them to relocate to the United States. In addition, asking the President and Congress to provide additional funding to the 9 non-profit groups tasked by the United States Department of State with resettling refugees in the United States;
Direct the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs’ Office of Immigrant Affairs in collaboration with the Office of Emergency Management to work to provide information to Los Angeles County residents seeking information and assistance for friends and family members;
(Barger Amendment) Instruct the CEO to write a five-signature letter to LACERA (the group which manages the retirement funds for LA County employees) requesting that LACERA apply its announced Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) investment policies in support of divesting investments from Russia; also divestment of investments in other nations that are determined violate such LACERA ESG investment policies;
(Barger Amendment) Instruct the CEO and County Counsel to report back in 14 days on the feasibility of prohibiting County contracts to companies doing business with Russia.
Supervisor Hahn Congratulates Santa Fe Springs Bakery Workers on Ratifying Agreement, Ending Strikehttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/BC2_4206-1-1024x683.jpg1024683Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
482935 Jon Donaire Labor Strike 01-04-22 (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles County)
Santa Fe Springs, CA – LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn is congratulating the Jon Donaire Desserts workers who have approved an agreement and ended their strike after 113 days on the picket line.
“These women and men have spent 113 long days on strike,” said Supervisor Hahn. “They spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, birthdays, and every day in between on the picket line– often in the cold and in the rain. This victory belongs to them.”
The Jon Donaire Desserts production plant is located in Santa Fe Springs. The workers, most of them women, are part of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 37, and were on strike since early November. They primarily mass produce ice cream cakes that are sold at locations including Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone, Red Robbin, Walmart, and Vons. This job is labor intensive, with as many as 38 cakes per minute moving down the production line, and these workers had been routinely forced to work mandatory overtime with little to no notice.
Hahn Calls Relaxed Indoor Mask Mandate a Step in the Right Directionhttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/themes/blade/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg150150Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
San Pedro, CA — Today, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn is calling the new LA County Public Health Order which relaxes the existing indoor mask mandate a “welcome step in the right direction.” The new order will allow businesses verifying vaccination status to make masking optional for fully vaccinated individuals.
“I still think that the better and less confusing approach would be to fully align with the State of California, but this is a welcome step in the right direction as our cases decline and we learn to live with this virus,” said Supervisor Hahn.
The new LA County mask rule differs from the State of California’s guidelines which recently made indoor masking optional for all vaccinated individuals in most indoor settings.
As 7th Anniversary of Torrance Refinery Explosion Approaches, Hahn Renews Effort to Ban MHFhttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/NEWS_161029809_AR_0_JRKLXVOQTOKW-1.jpg879583Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Torrance, CA — As the 7th anniversary of the 2015 Torrance Refinery explosion approaches on February 18th, Supervisor Janice Hahn is renewing her effort to require local refineries to convert from deadly Modified Hydrofluoric Acid (MHF) to safer alternatives.
“The 2015 explosion at the Torrance Refinery was bad, but it easily could have been catastrophic,” said Supervisor Hahn. “A heavy piece of debris came inches away from hitting a tank of MHF that day. We can’t assume we will be so lucky next time, whether that is another refinery accident, an earthquake, or God-forbid, an attack. MHF is too dangerous to have in our refineries and our communities will not be safe until it is gone.”
MHF is a highly toxic chemical that is used to make high-octane gasoline. At room temperature, it can form a dense ground-hugging cloud that could be deadly to anyone who comes in contact with it. Even a small accidental release of MHF during refinery operations could be catastrophic and result in mass casualties. Only two refineries in the State of California, the Torrance Refinery and the Valero Refinery in Wilmington, continue to use MHF.
Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn addressing head on the public safety concerns regarding the continued use of MHF at local refineries. The approved motion includes:
1. A five-signature letter from the Board of Supervisors to Governor Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta calling on the State to take all possible actions to require refineries in California to convert from MHF to safer alternatives.
2. Instructs County Departments to review existing health and safety measures relating to MHF, review the risk management, emergency response and notification plans for an unplanned release of MHF, and request an update from SCAQMD Refinery Committee on the status of the 2019 proffer and the progress of commercially available alternative technologies.
3. Direct the Office of Emergency Management, in coordination with relevant departments to provide a written report to the Board in 180 days with recommendations on how to enhance risk management and emergency planning and any other steps the County should take to protect the health and safety of communities living near the two refineries until MHF can be phased out.
4. Directs the County of Los Angeles to support any new State or Federal legislation that requires refineries to convert from MHF to safer alternatives; and authorize the County’s Sacramento and Washington D.C. advocates to take all appropriate legislative advocacy actions to advance this effort.
Hahn Motion Ensures County COVID Response Meets Needs of Immunocompromised and Disabled Residentshttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/210122135027-01-vaccine-in-arm-los-angeles-jan2020-exlarge-169-1.jpg780438Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Los Angeles, CA – Today the LA County Board of Supervisors passed a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn to ensure the County’s pandemic response and recovery strategy prioritizes the needs of its immunocompromised and disabled residents, including through expanding access to PCR testing, in-home vaccinations, PPE, and more.
“This virus doesn’t affect all people equally, which means the way we handle our response to and recovery from it shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Supervisor Hahn. “From providing vaccinations and rapid tests at home for residents with disabilities to making sure the PPE we’re giving out is appropriate for those with visual impairments, when it comes to ensuring all our residents have what they need to feel protected as we recover from this pandemic, LA County should lead the way and set the bar high.”
Hahn’s motion instructs the County Departments of Public Health and Health Services to expand access to a variety of services needed by immunocompromised and disabled residents, including in-home vaccinations, at-home rapid and PCR tests, appropriate personal protective equipment (such as face coverings with clear see-through windows), and COVID-19 educational materials that accommodate people who are hard of hearing or visually impaired.
It also directs the County’s Commission on Disabilities to work with the Executive Director of Aging and Community Services on exploring the feasibility of creating a task force to review the County’s COVID response and recovery plans and provide recommendations on how the County can better meet the needs of immunocompromised residents and residents with disabilities.
“As we move forward towards a diverse and inclusive environment, the disability community will have a voice,” said Carlos Benavides, President of the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities and one of the Commission’s Representatives from the Fourth District. “This noble gesture elevates the concept and idea of total inclusivity regardless of one’s functional capabilities and limitations. Thank you, Supervisor Hahn, for this motion.”
People with disabilities and chronic illnesses have disproportionately higher rates of hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19, with the CDC reporting that 90% percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations are people with underlying conditions.
Hahn Marks One Year Anniversary of LA Foundhttps://hahn.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/IMG_2288-1024x683.jpg1024683Emily LintnerEmily Lintnerhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/85cfc18eb3c8162c132df3fbc9545eee?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA — Today, Supervisor Janice Hahn marked the one-year anniversary of the L.A. Found program by visiting Alex Vargas, a man with Alzheimer’s who is one of 12 people who have been found safely using the program. With L.A. Found, LA County has distributed trackable wristbands to individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and autism so that they can be located if they wander away.
Wandering is a common problem associated with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and autism. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 60% of people with dementia will wander at some point while a study by the Interactive Autism Network found that 49% of children with autism will engage in wandering behavior. While most of these individuals are recovered, wandering cases can end in tragedy.
Supervisor Hahn launched the L.A. Found in September 2018 with the goal of finding people who wander and reuniting them with their families. It uses a system of voluntary, trackable bracelets provided by LA County to individuals with Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia, or another cognitive impairment that puts them at risk of wandering. Each bracelet corresponds with a unique radio frequency. When a person wearing a bracelet goes missing, the LA County Sheriff’s Department Mental Evaluation Team can use a handheld receiver or receiver mounted on a helicopter to track the person’s location.
Since the program launched, 12 people with bracelets have gone missing and all 12 were found safely using the LA Found program.
“I launched L.A. Found because I knew that we could find people, give families and caretakers some peace of mind, and ultimately save lives,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “One year since it’s launch, we have been able to reunite 12 missing people with their families and provide peace of mind to families and caretakers across the County.”
The most recent save was of Alex Vargas. Alex is 75 and suffers from Alzheimer’s and is one of 358 people enrolled in the L.A. Found program. On August 11, 2019, Alex wandered away from a home he and his wife, Rose, were staying at in Long Beach. The Sheriff’s department was able to activate his trackable bracelet and locate him shortly after 2 am.
“Realizing your husband with Alzheimer’s is missing from your home in the middle of the night was a terrifying experience for Rose,” said Supervisor Hahn. “But I am so grateful that through the L.A. Found program we were able to find Alex quickly and reunite him with his wife. This program works. If you have loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or autism, I encourage you to learn more about L.A. Found and see if it is right for your family.”
On the one-year anniversary of having launched L.A. Found, Supervisor Hahn went to the home of Alex and Rose Vargas in Rancho Palos Verdes with Kirk Moody. Kirk Moody’s late-wife Nancy Paulikas disappearance in 2016 inspired the creation of the L.A. Found program.
“The LA Found Program has given our family piece of mind in knowing that someone will be there to help my husband should he need it,” said Rose Vargas. “It is difficult, and honestly impossible to be attentive to a person 24/7. This is and has been our safety net. I helped find my husband when he wandered. We are forever grateful to all the individuals that were instrumental in developing this program!”
“LA Found is proving to be a tremendous benefit to at-risk adults and their caregivers in LA County,” said Kirk Moody. “Supervisor Hahn and the board are to be commended for getting this program up and running in such a short time. We look forward to increasing the awareness of LA Found in the public’s eye through additional interested entities – outside of county government – so that many more people can take advantage of it.”
The L.A. Found program is available to residents Countywide through law enforcement partnerships with the LA County Sheriff’s Department. If a person goes missing in a jurisdiction within the County not covered by the Sheriff’s Department, the local law enforcement agency contacts the Sheriff’s Department to activate the trackable wristband.
“To date, the entire LASD Mental Evaluation Team (34 field teams), LASD helicopter crews, and three Department Search & Rescue Teams have been trained in the use of locator equipment for Project Lifesaver – the technology used to locate missing persons who are participating in the L.A. Found program in LA County,” said LA Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant John Gannon. “LASD responds to help find missing persons in any of the 88 cities in the County when called upon 24 hours daily. Team members have had remarkable results in locating critical missing persons who were truly at risk due to wandering. We are certain several of our located patients may have otherwise suffered harm without the use of LA Found wristbands to find them. Two were in remote areas where they would not have otherwise been seen and at least one was lying down out of view, so traditional searches might have missed them. We highly support LA Found in the memory of Nancy Paulikas and the hope that no other family ever have to suffer like her husband Kirk. Our personnel have been inspired by Kirk and the leadership of Supervisor Hahn to bring this program to LA County, where it’s truly making a difference and saving lives!”
The Sheriff’s is aided through a partnership with Los Angeles County’s Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) Department and their dedicated LA Found unit. WDACS was tasked with developing how LA Found can fit within the County and has worked closely with their law enforcement partners in developing the protocol, working with families, distributing the bracelets, and ensuring that families are linked up to all of the resources they can be linked up with. The collaboration has been so successful and unique that Project Lifesaver International asked that WDACS the LASD MET attend their annual conference, to provide an overview of LA FOUND, as well as share best practices and lessons learned with other cities and counties nationwide.
Caretakers of someone prone to wander should visit https://lafound.lacounty.gov/ for more information about the program and how to enroll in the program.