COVID’s job losses and business hardships hit economically disadvantaged hardest; recovery plans can address equity issues and create a better life for all
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) released an in-depth report on the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the most viable pathways for recovery for the County’s industries, workers, and communities.For the first time, the report identifies that LA County lost 437,000 jobs in 2020, will have 354,000 fewer living wage jobs in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic economy, and that 738,672 living wage jobs need to be created for the entire LA County workforce to achieve a satisfactory standard of living.
The full 50-page report, entitled “Pathways for Economic Resiliency: Los Angeles County 2021-2026,” may be downloaded here. A shorter 18-page executive summary is available here.
The report was commissioned by WDACS and was drafted by the nonprofit Los AngelesCounty Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). It is designed to inform investment by LA County to restore economic health and address inequalities that existed before the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a data-driven foundation for equitable recovery strategies. The report provides recommendations to address the pandemic’s toll on the LA County economy, including strategies to improve equity, retrain workers for well-paying industries, bolster capital and support services for small business, and close education and access gaps that are limiting prosperity and growth.
“This pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, people of color, and households with lower incomes. As a former U.S. Secretary of Labor who worked to bring this nation out of the depths of the Great Recession, I know that the County of Los Angeles’ response to a post-COVID economy must be infused with equity and targeted to help those who are hurting the most,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “For many years, LA County has prioritized equity and helping the most vulnerable populations in our communities. Later today, I am bringing forth a motion to the Board of Supervisors that, if passed, will act quickly to implement many of this report’s recommendations. If approved, the motion will enable LA County to lay a foundation for better jobs and a higher quality of life for all.”
“The LAEDC report on the impact of COVID-19 on our small businesses and workforce reaffirms the need for urgent action, with a focused attention on communities of color and minority and women owned businesses,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “While we continue to protect the health of our communities we must also safely put in place the recommendations shared for workforce development trainings, small business support and strategies for attracting family sustaining jobs in order to create an equitable recovery.”
“In every crisis, we try to find an opportunity,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “LA County has lost a devastating number of jobs, but, in planning our recovery, we can, and should, prioritize investments in small and minority-owned businesses, stabilize workforce housing, develop job training in sectors that we know will continue to grow, expand childcare because it’s so essential for working parents, and move toward providing universal broadband access.”
“Low income workers, people of color, and women have borne the brunt of the economic pain of this pandemic,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “When we rebuild, we must keep them in mind and build a modern economy that works for our workers and that allows families in Los Angeles County to not just get by, but thrive.”
“As Los Angeles County continues to face the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must consider all opportunities to strengthen and improve our economy,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Swift action is needed to help workers, businesses, and organizations navigate the impacts of the public health crisis and ensure we emerge stronger and more resilient than before.”
“The report’s recommendations set a foundation for a 21st Century workforce that is built on equity and living wages,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of LA County WDACS. “COVID-19 exacerbated existing inequities in our society: people of color, women, less educated workers, and those without savings all experienced a harsher impact. Thank you to Supervisor Solis for bringing forward a motion today that charts a path to a brighter, more equitable, and sustainable future for all LA County workers.”
Some of the report’s findings include:
- As of September 2020, employment in LA County was down 9.8% compared to 2019. Of the 716,000 LA County jobs lost in March and April 2020, only 28.7% (213,000) of these jobs had returned by the end of September 2020.
- Unemployment in LA County was largely driven by layoffs in industries not deemed essential, especially those employing lower skilled workers, such as hospitality, retail, and personal care.
- Of those filing for unemployment insurance in California, 65.3% were people of color, 56.9% had an education attainment of high school or lower, and female workers filed for unemployment at a rate that is 6.4% higher than males.
- Younger workers (who generally have the least savings of any age group) had the highest rates of filing for unemployment: 28.1% of young workers ages 25-34 filed for unemployment, compared to rates under 18% for workers over 35.
- The racial wealth gap widened: in California, 37.6% of Black workers, 26.3% of Hispanic workers, and 22% of white workers filed for unemployment during the pandemic. 88% of Black workers with a high school education in California filed for unemployment.
- 20% of communities lack broadband access, most often in communities of color with high unemployment rates.
- From February 2020 to November 2020, it was estimated that over 20,000 Los Angeles County residents became homeless.
- Over 25% of people experiencing homelessness have no prior employment experience; of those who did have employment experience prior to COVID-19, two of their top four employment industries were retail and food service – which were heavily impacted by COVID-19.
- 62% of businesses in LA County have less than two months cash on hand.
- An estimated 15,000+ businesses have already permanently closed because of the pandemic, with tens of thousands of businesses at risk of permanent closure.
The report identifies responses that not only fuel economic recovery, but also address underlying inequity that existed prior to 2020, including the following partial list of recommendations:
- Prioritize training programs and related funding measures (such as Measure J) to put displaced workers on career pathways with strong hiring forecasts, and target growth industries such as healthcare (such as in Supervisorial Districts 1 and 5), construction (such as in Supervisorial Districts 1 and 2), and warehousing/transportation (Supervisorial District 4).
- Develop employer-driven programs at training facilities and/or at community colleges that focus on in-demand skills.
- Investin small and minority-owned businesses with grants, rental assistance, housing vouchers, and transitional housing targeting most impacted populations (such as in Supervisorial Districts 2, 4, and 5) and women-owned businesses (such as in Supervisorial District 3).
- Support businesses that were closed due to the pandemic to re-start their old business or launch a new one with start-up grants and training programs (notably Supervisorial Districts 1, 2, and 4).
- Prioritize access to broadband internet utilizing subsidies and regional infrastructure to improve access to work-from-home jobs and remote learning.
- Expand childcare access through vouchers, provider grants, and new services including transportation, so that more parents from traditionally disadvantaged communities have the option to work and earn income.
- Expand awareness of the Safer at Work LA campaign to help businesses to open with less COVID-19 transmission risk to their staff, patrons, and the community.
- Invest in the expansion and enhancement of an online system to match displaced workers with up-skilling programs and job opportunities.
- Invest in outreach programs with local partners to enroll displaced workers, jobseekers, and potential employers.
- Leverage private sector support and employee hiring subsidies to encourage companies in high growth industries to equitably hire displaced workers.
The report also includes extensive data analysis by LA County Supervisorial District, including: individual industries and their employment trends; well-paying occupations and related hiring, wage and skills profiles; demographics including educational attainment and poverty; concentrations of small business by geography; rent burdens by geography; economic trends by each of the 88 cities and much more.
Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
Critical funding helped to save an estimated 5,700 jobs and $99.5 million in retained revenue
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the County of Los Angeles announced that $46.2 million of federal CARES Act funding has been distributed to more than 1,400 community-based businesses to help retain or hire employees, implement COVID-19-related safety measures, and comply with local health orders. At the direction of the Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services (WDACS), along with REDF, a venture philanthropy focused on building the employment social enterprise sector, partnered to provide these CARES Act funds to small businesses, social enterprises, B corporations, non-profits, and Community Business Enterprises (CBEs) located in economically disadvantaged communities throughout Los Angeles County.
“Small local businesses and their employees are dealing with profound uncertainty in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a shuttered economy,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, and Supervisor to the First District. “These businesses anchor our families, contribute to the historical identity to our communities, and invigorate development in every corner of our County. Many have been directly impacted by the economic fallout and have also struggled to gain equal access under federal aid efforts. While we were successful in supporting many small businesses in disadvantaged communities, advocacy around further federal relief is critical in order to alleviate the economic inequalities this sector continues to be confronted with.”
“This funding is critical for small businesses and organizations throughout LA County that have been balancing following COVID-19 guidelines to protect the health of our communities while fighting to keep people employed and their doors open,” said Supervisor Holly Mitchell. “I am thrilled that the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services has been able to expand the reach and impact of the CARES Act. This work cannot be done without Federal funding. We know that $46 million must not be viewed as the ceiling but instead as part of an on-going commitment to protecting local government services, small businesses and non-profits that are the lifelines of our communities.”
“This very welcome announcement demonstrates the County’s ongoing commitment to responsibly helping small businesses during the pandemic,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “My thanks go to the many businesses struggling in my district and across the County. We will continue to push to achieve greater help across the board.”
“Through no fault of their own, these small business owners have been devastated,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “I hope that through these grants we can shore up these businesses, preserve what these small businesses owners have worked so hard to build, and save jobs in our communities.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our County,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “This was an important effort by the Board of Supervisors to make these grants available to help small businesses get through these difficult times.”
“LA County businesses are struggling, but because of the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, we were able to help thousands of small businesses,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “For many, this funding was the difference between staying in business or shutting down. We were able to support more than 1,400 small businesses, with a special focus on those with a social mission. This money went where it could do the most good.”
The businesses that received funding represent a wide variety of products and services, from restaurants to education and childcare to retail.
- More than 1,400 small businesses and non-profit organizations were awarded funding, out of more than 2,400 total applicants. This is a 60% acceptance rate.
- 34% of funding went to businesses or non-profit organizations led by people of color
- A total of $46.2 million was awarded to businesses and non-profit organizations throughout all five Supervisorial Districts in Los Angeles County, helping to avert more than 5,700 layoffs (estimated)
- $33.3 million was awarded to small businesses
- $12.7 million was awarded to social enterprises, B-Corps, and CBEs
“This grant allowed us to deliver meals and groceries to hundreds of seniors, adults with underlying health conditions, and families who have tested positive for COVID,” said Becky Teter, Executive Minister of 5,000 Pies. “This grant has been a blessing for us, not only to keep operating and our workers employed, but to also care for those in need. Amidst worldwide struggle against this virus, being able to continue making food with love has provided joy to many in our community.”
“We worked hard to transparently and equitably support businesses during the application process,” said Greg Ericksen, Associate Director, Regional Partnerships for REDF. “This included establishing a County hotline with live staff members to help navigate the application process and requirements, recorded training videos, hosting an educational webinar for potential applicants, and creating a dedicated webpage with the resources and information needed to apply.”
WDACS, in partnership with REDF, established three grant opportunities to provide economic recovery support to small businesses that have been financially impacted by COVID-19, and their employees. Funding was granted for the following three categories:
- Pandemic Relief Funds (Up to $5,000) to help businesses offset costs related to compliance with local health orders and recommended safety measures.
- General Employer Assistance Grants (Up to $30,000) to help support all Los Angeles County businesses impacted by COVID-19 for a variety of eligible uses.
- Social Impact Grant Funds (Up to $60,000) to help Social Enterprises and Social Community Business Enterprises (CBEs), which includes designations for Woman Business Enterprises (WBE), Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), or a certified B Corporation.
Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
LOS ANGELES, CA –Today, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), along with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), announced the launch of Safer at Work LA campaign. Safer at Work LA is a creative new countywide initiative to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at worksites/businesses by keeping everyone safer while at work, including essential workers who remain at work despite the pandemic.
Safer at Work LA builds a shared responsibility approach between businesses, employees, customers, and their communities to keep one another as safe as possible during the challenging months ahead. Through this campaign, the County is giving small businesses, micro enterprises and essential businesses along with their workers information on how to slow the spread of COVID-19, emphasizing that LA County respects and protects its essential workers. So far, 59 cities, 8 business chambers, and 61 businesses have agreed to champion the Safer at Work campaign. For more information about Safer at Work LA, please visit Saferatwork.LA.
“Our essential workers, by definition, are integral to the functioning of our healthcare system, food supply chain, government operations and much more. Keeping them safe is more important now than ever before,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “The Safer at Work LA campaign is a critical reminder that worksites and businesses, as well as customers and employees, must collectively work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.”
“All over the County we are seeing an astounding rise in case numbers. The Safer at Work program fosters mutual responsibility by providing businesses with the support they need to maintain safe workplaces,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “Every single one of us – customers, employees, business owners, community members – has an obligation to make sure that those on the front line are protected. My special thanks go out to the 59 cities, 8 business chambers, and 61 businesses that have stepped up and pledged to keep everyone safe through the Safer at Work campaign. ”
“This latest surge is dangerous. We must do everything we can to keep essential businesses as safe as possible – for employees and customers alike,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Through Safer at Work, we are giving essential businesses the tools they need to not only keep their doors open, but also be our partners in the fight against this virus.”
“Everyone has a shared responsibility to protect one another and our local economy,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “The County is working to support essential businesses, essential workers, and the customers that rely on them, throughout this pandemic by providing easily accessible tools and resources.”
“Every day we work with LA County businesses to overcome the struggles they have encountered through this pandemic,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “For essential workers who have to be at work, being Safer at Work is essential. The Safer at Work campaign is just one of our efforts to make it easier for employers and employees to understand their responsibilities to remain healthy and safe from COVID-19. Safer at Work encourages employers to implement COVID-compliant best practices, gives essential workers the tools they need to maintain a safe workplace, and invites customers to do their part to help rebuild our local economy.”
“Thousands of small businesses have told us their dreams and life savings are on the line, as are the health of their employees and customers without whom there is no future for their enterprises, so they want all of us to be in the fight to preserve the health and safety of everyone in the workplace,” said LAEDC CEO Bill Allen. “We have the messages and tools to kick off this campaign, and we are asking every employer and every Angeleno to adopt and support this campaign and truly keep each other safer at work.”
Small businesses provide the majority of jobs in the United States. Unfortunately, according to recent surveys, a high percentage of small businesses do not expect to survive through the pandemic. LA County has already lost thousands of lives, approximately 15,000 small businesses have experienced closure, and hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs to COVID-19. However, in addition to the recent Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s restrictions, we know that wearing a mask, washing our hands, and practicing social distancing keeps us safer at work.
Safer at Work LA utilizes a three-prong approach to support employers, employees, and customers:
- Safer at Work LA provides employers with the information and resources they need in order to create a safer work environment.
- Safer at Work LA provides employees with the information and resources they need to protect themselves, their co-workers and customers.
- Safer at Work LA provides customers with clear and friendly directions on how to be safer patrons at our diverse businesses. All patrons will be encouraged to follow easy best practices while shopping local businesses.
Utilizing materials from the campaign, Safer at Work LA will also rely on trusted community members to use their social networks to drive a community level approach that hinges on all of our shared responsibility during this pandemic. With this community support, creative public art inspired by the rich tradition of historic Los Angeles sign-making will be visible in local neighborhoods to encourage all of us to do our part.
The Safer at Work LA initiative’s toolkit of support for small businesses includes:
- A robust hub of multilingual communication tools, accessible at SaferAtWork.LA, for local businesses to download, print, or order to share accurate, easy-to-understand COVID safety communications with employees, customers, community members, and others
- Digital assets designed to take advantage of all platforms, including digital billboards, social media, local radio and TV spots, and more
- Creative earned media through public art interventions (e.g., wild postings, murals, chalk art, etc.) that focus on unique industries and communities, and reinforce our shared responsibility to keep each other safe, especially at work
- Multilingual small business assistance training webinars and one-on-one consulting offered by LAEDC for small businesses experiencing pandemic-related challenges
- Resources can be accessed on the campaign’s website, SaferAtWork.LA, as well as the Los Angeles County Disaster Center helpline (1-833-877-8008). Businesses in need of consulting are encouraged to contact LAEDC directly at email@example.com.
Together, we will keep everyone in LA Safer at Work.
For up-to-date news and resources, please visit LA County’s COVID-19 website by clicking here.
Contact: Michael Kapp, Director of Public Affairs
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the LA vs. Hate Coalition, led by the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) and the LA County Human Relations Commission, announced the inaugural United Against Hate Week in the County of Los Angeles. Through a unique, community-building blend of art, social media, and educational resources, the LA vs. Hate Coalition is urging communities to reject hate and bigotry and promote inclusion. From November 30 through December 6, United Against Hate Week will invite LA County residents to take action against hate by going LAvsHate.org or by calling 211-LA to report hate incidents. Reporting hate to 211 can be done anonymously, 24/7, in any language, and callers can receive free counseling, support, and other assistance.
“Addressing hate comes from within our communities through a commitment to stand up for one another at the ground level,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “United Against Hate Week” is an important opportunity to engage our local residents and provide tools and resources so that our communities can stand in solidarity against hate.”
“As the song from South Pacific goes, ‘You have to be taught to hate,’” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “This means that, if hate is learned, hate can be un-learned. The best way to do that is to lift up our voices and make clear to everyone around us that, while we will often disagree, hate has no place in Los Angeles. I hope everyone will participate in the inspiring activities that have been organized for LA vs Hate week, and bring more love into the world in 2021.”
“Our diversity has made LA County an economic and cultural success,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting WDACS Director. “Especially within the context of a global pandemic and a national outcry that ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it’s more important than ever that we stand together, united against hate.”
“In the midst of racial unrest across the country, when hate activity is on the rise, and Asian Americans have been targeted with prejudice and discrimination related to the coronavirus, LA vs Hate offers people a chance to do something about it,” said Robin Toma, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations. “Our United Against Hate Week campaign calls on everyone to do something, big or small, and become connected to the overwhelming numbers of us who are against hate and bigotry, and for love and embracing of the diversity in our county.”
Following a motion from the LA County Board of Supervisors in September 2019 to address the rise in bias and hate acts, the LA vs Hate initiative was established. LA vs. Hate is a community-driven campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against and report acts of hate to 211-LA. LA vs. Hate also includes a network of community agencies that provide hate prevention and advocacy. For more information, including shareable community-centric graphics ready-made for social media, please go to www.LAvsHate.org.
United Against Hate Week was born in 2017 as a poster project in response to white supremacist groups who were planning rallies in Berkeley. Since then, United Against Hate Week has grown beyond posters and has spread to more than 60 communities across California.
“The United Against Hate Week may be more important than ever this year,” said John Baackes, CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly-operated health plan and a member of the United Against Hate Week Coalition. “The pandemic has created fear across the country, and there is evidence that fear leads to anger and hate.”
Inclusion and equity are vital to building healthy, resilient communities. United Against Hate Week provides Coalition members the opportunity to build stronger connections that will lead to year-round engagement in LA County’s unique and diverse communities. The Coalition includes civic leaders, educators, artists, health plans, immigrant rights groups, and more.
A press conference to launch United Against Hate Week will begin today at 1pm. Please click here to register (Password: HRCmedia123).
For a complete list of United Against Hate Week activities in LA County, please click here.
United Against Hate Week Coalition:
Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (Founder)
211 LA County
Antelope Valley Partners for Health
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council
Berkeley’s Office of the Mayor
Blue Shield Promise Health Care Plan
City of Los Angeles Civil & Human Rights Department
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LAHate Violence Prevention Partnership – LA
L.A. Care Health Plan
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Not in Our Town
San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center
Southern California Grantmakers
Special Service for Groups, Inc.
Western Justice Center
Record number of white supremacist hate crimes, crimes against the transgender community, and second-highest number of anti-immigrant slurs reported
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) released its annual account of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County in calendar year 2019. Since 1980, LACCHR has compiled, analyzed, and produced this annual report of hate crime data submitted by law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, and community-based organizations. While hate crimes remain virtually unchanged from the previous year, increasing 523 in 2018 to 524 in 2019, this high represents a 36% increase since hitting a 30-year low in 2013. With the leadership and support of the Board of Supervisors, LACCHR and its partners have worked to combat hate in LA County, including with the launch of the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative earlier this year.
To view the complete report, including hate crime maps, graphs and tables, please visit hrc.lacounty.gov. For specific race/ethnicity data and examples, please click here for anti-African American hate crimes, click here for anti-Latino hate crimes, and click here for anti-Asian hate crimes.
“During this pandemic, it’s as important as ever to engage in ongoing dialogue and collaboration,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I thank the Human Relations Commission for this important and timely work that seeks to protect life and property against crime in all of its forms.”
“While the annual hate crimes reported remain steady this year, this number is still too high. Marginalized communities continue to be targeted and discriminated against. LA County must continue to combat racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and white supremacy,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, representing the First Supervisorial District. “I’m proud that the County launched the innovative LA vs. Hate campaign to urge residents to stand against hate. But this year’s hate crimes report show that we have more to do. We have to ensure that Los Angeles County is truly a place where everyone can be who they are without fear.”
“As stated in my July 21st motion to establish an antiracist policy agenda for Los Angeles County, Black people are disproportionately represented on the low end of several indices of social and economic well-being, including homelessness, COVID-19 fatalities, and joblessness. Sadly, racially motivated attacks are no different. According to the 2019 Hate Crimes Report, Black people were targeted in 47 percent of racial hate crimes, while constituting only nine percent of the County’s population,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “For those who believe that racism is no longer a problem, I invite you to review the examples this report provides of these vile and cowardly crimes, more than 70% of which were classified as violent in nature.”
“LA County has adopted and publicized a number of promising programs to promote inclusion, but the County cannot be fully insulated from the results of the torrent of hatred and intolerance that has emanated from the White House for four long years,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “I am deeply saddened by this year’s report, including recording the largest number of anti-transgender hate crimes ever, and I am hopeful that new national leadership will put this nation back on track to recognizing every person’s fundamental human rights.”
“These results are deeply troubling but match the trend we have seen from previous reports: Hate crimes in LA County continue to rise every single year,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “While the LA vs. Hate Campaign we launched in August has increased awareness around the importance of reporting hate and helped connect hate victims with supportive services, we have a lot more work to do make sure all of our residents know that the County is taking action to protect them from this growing threat – especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hate has no place in LA County. If you witness a hate crime, report it by calling 2-1-1 right away.”
The report’s significant findings include the following:
- There were 524 hate crimes reported in the County in 2019, a slight increase from the previous year. This is the largest number reported since 2009. For the past six years, hate crimes have been trending upwards.
- The overall rate of hate-motivated violence increased from 61% to 65%, the highest percentage reported since 2007.
- After declining two years in a row, white supremacist crimes jumped 38% in 2019.
- Racially-motivated offenses remained by far the largest category, constituting 49% of all hate crimes. African Americans only comprise 9% of L.A. County residents but make up 47% of racial hate crime victims. African Americans were also over-represented as victims of sexual orientation and anti-transgender crimes. Latino/as represented 25% of racial hate crime victims and were the most likely racial/ethnic group to be victims of violent racially-motivated crime (88%). Anti-immigrant slurs were used in 48% of anti-Latino/a attacks. Crimes targeting Asians and Pacific Islanders increased 32%, and anti-Middle Eastern crimes rose from 7 to 17 (an increase of 143%).
- Anti-transgender crimes rose 64% from 25 to 41, the largest number ever reported. The rate of violence was the highest of any victim group (92%).
- 75% of racial hate crimes and 32% of religious hate crimes were violent.
- Crimes targeting gay men, lesbians, and LGBT organizations comprised 19% of all reported hate crimes. 79% of these crimes were violent.
- There were 48 crimes in which alleged perpetrators used specifically anti-immigrant language. This is the second largest number of crimes reported with such slurs since this report started tracking xenophobic slurs in 2001.
- The largest number of hate crimes took place in the Metro Service Planning Area, which stretches from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights, followed by the San Fernando Valley region. However, if one compares the populations of the areas to the numbers of reported hate crimes, the Metro region had the highest rate, followed by Western region (which includes West L.A., Beverly Hills, Culver City, and a number of affluent beach communities).
- Hate crimes committed by gang members declined 37%. Anti-African American crimes committed by gang members plummeted 72%.
“Our diversity has made LA County an economic and cultural success,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS). “Especially within the context of a global pandemic and a national outcry that ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it’s more important than ever that we combat and report hate. We’re grateful to the Board of Supervisors for their foresight and direction to implement L.A. vs. Hate, and for their support of other efforts to eliminate bias and inequities in our society.”
“It is troubling that hate crimes in L.A. County have been rising for six years in a row,” said Robin Toma, LACCHR Executive Director. “We also saw the highest rate of violence in twelve years.”
“African Americans continue to be grossly over-represented in racial, sexual orientation and anti-transgender hate crimes,” said Commission President Guadalupe Montano. “We’re also alarmed about the record number of reported anti-transgender crimes.”
In response to the rise in hate, the Board of Supervisors directed LACCHR to develop an initiative to prevent and respond to hate incidents in the County, which resulted in “L.A. vs Hate.” The initiative has three components: (1) a community-driven marketing campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against and report acts of hate; (2) the first government hotline (via 211) for reporting acts of hate and providing assistance to hate victims; and (3) a network of community agencies that provide hate prevention and rapid response services. Since launching in June 2020, “L.A. vs Hate” content has been viewed over 186 million times and has been shared to a social media audience of over 7 million. Calls to 211-LA reporting hate acts have nearly doubled, from 60 in June 2020 to 118 in September.
For more information on the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative, including shareable graphics ready-made for social media, please click here.
Los Angeles County Joint Information Center – COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org
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Unique partnership launches new electric bus manufacturing training program and union contract
LOS ANGELES, CA – On the heels of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s landmark commitment to zero-emission transportation, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services (WDACS), Proterra, United Steelworkers (USW) Local 675, Jobs to Move America, and Citrus College marked ‘Manufacturing Day’ today by announcing historic investments into the development of a high-quality, highly skilled, electric bus manufacturing workforce.
The investments include a first-of-its-kind workforce training program in advanced electric bus manufacturing, and Proterra and USW Local 675’s first Collective Bargaining Agreement, ensuring worker voice and representation remain central to the long-term health and success of the company.
“Creating sustainable communities starts with education that leads to a well-paying career,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I am pleased that Citrus College, located in the Fifth District, collaborated with the private sector to train our workforce to fill modern, high-tech jobs that are desperately needed. This partnership between the public, private, education, and labor sectors is a model for success and a livable future.”
“Clean economy jobs are good jobs, and I will work to make sure our underrepresented communities are primed for these well-paying employment opportunities,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Chair Pro Tem. “As a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, I am proud to develop local programs that train all members of LA County’s workforce to tap into the clean energy economy. Our worker-centered efforts will put LA County back in the driver’s seat to growing a stronger, more inclusive middle class.”
“The impacts of climate change are unrelenting and undisputable,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “As we heed the call to transition to cleaner and greener vehicles in order to reduce our carbon footprint, we have an opportunity to promote environmental and economic sustainability for our workforce who should be well-prepared to build such vehicles. The Electric Bus Manufacturing Technology training program meets this challenge by preparing our most vulnerable residents with the skills needed to thrive in a green economy. I applaud this diverse coalition that has come together to make sure that is the case.”
“This model partnership will help achieve multiple high-priority goals,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “It supports the growth of the County’s green infrastructure and the region’s manufacturing sector, while simultaneously providing training and quality job opportunities to disadvantaged workers. I am delighted to see economic opportunity and forward-thinking environmental policy go hand-in-hand.”
“We don’t have to choose between good jobs and clean air. We can and should have both,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This training program, in partnership with organized labor, ensures that we are not only investing in the zero-emissions vehicles of the future, we are investing in the good-paying jobs our communities need.”
“These agreements represent the future of the LA County workforce,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of LA County WDACS. “We have brought all partners to the table – public, private, labor, education – to create good-paying careers for traditionally underrepresented workers. In line with the Governor’s actions and the direction of the Board of Supervisors, LA County is building the technology and the workforce needed for a sustainable future.”
The Electric Bus Manufacturing Technology training program, which welcomes its first cohort of students on October 9, was developed to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and job quality in the green manufacturing sector by targeting historically underrepresented groups with barriers to employment. The customized, nine-week training program taught by Citrus College was designed in partnership with production and assembly management at Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty electric transportation, and will help fill union jobs manufacturing battery-electric buses at Proterra’s City of Industry facility.
“Electric vehicle technology is an opportunity to strengthen American manufacturing and create good paying, skilled jobs for Californians,” said Jack Allen, Proterra CEO and Chairman. “Proterra is proud to partner with Los Angeles County and Citrus College to invest in vital workforce development and training. We are excited to support the creation of more job opportunities in electric vehicle technology manufacturing through this innovative program and partnerships.”
“The USW is proud of the work that we did to come to this agreement with Proterra,” said Maria Somma, the Organizing Director for USW International Union. “This new contract increases wages and benefits and provides workers a voice on the job. We are excited to be a part of manufacturing clean energy technology while working together with Proterra to create a safe, healthy and prosperous future.”
“Citrus College is excited to be a part of this new training program,” said Michael Wangler, Dean of Career, Technical and Continuing Education at Citrus College. “Our automotive and diesel faculty were eager to help build this customized curriculum that will benefit the community, the environment and the local economy.”
Proterra and USW Local 675 also announced the signing of their first collective bargaining agreement. The collective bargaining agreement sets clear requirements on how workers’ voices will inform the development of training programs, working conditions, safety, and other important factors affecting working conditions. In 2019, Proterra signed Los Angeles County’s Fair Chance Pledge to incorporate Fair Chance hiring practices into the company’s recruitment process and promote the full participation of justice-involved individuals in our economy.
“Making workers and communities true partners in the transition to zero-emissions transit is a way to ensure that the growing clean economy does not leave behind working families from earning high, family-sustaining wages in a safe work environment with high labor standards,” said Héctor Martin Huezo, Senior Workforce Equity Coordinator at Jobs to Move America. “As more cities and states electrify bus fleets and take action to combat climate change, our coalition is working tirelessly to make sure that every single public dollar we invest in state-of-the-art electric buses creates good jobs, real benefits and training opportunities, like this one with WDACS, for communities who need access to good jobs and training.”
This partnership will further help Los Angeles County reach the goals outlined in its Sustainability Plan, as well as the recent Board of Supervisors’ motion for High Road Training Partnerships between industry, labor, community, and local colleges.
For the latest information on how the County is assisting businesses and building a Green LA County for All, please follow @LACBizDev on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If your business is interested in partnering with the County on a customized training program, please e-mail LACBizDev@wdacs.lacounty.gov.
Director of Public Affairs
New Workforce Partnership with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Addresses PPE Shortage and Youth Unemployment During Historic Pandemic
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services (WDACS), in partnership with Goodwill Southern California and the City of Baldwin Park, launched an innovative collaboration with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to essential healthcare workers. This partnership began on August 24, 2020. Through Los Angeles County’s Youth@Work Program, youth aged 14 – 24 assemble face shields.
Face shield materials are created with high tech 3D printers, assembled by youth workers, then donated to hospitals across LA County. Over 10,000 reusable face shields have been distributed to date, with another 20,000 expected through this program. To accompany shield production, LACI has designed an educational series introducing youth to career opportunities in cleantech, including project management, industrial manufacturing and industrial design.
Youth@Work places LA County youth in a paid job that leads to a long-term career pathway in high-growth in-demand industries. LACI unlocks innovation through startups, transforms markets with partnerships, and enhances community to create an inclusive green economy. This program is part of the LA County Works Initiative to train our workforce to get back to full employment.
“This partnership helps to address PPE shortage and youth unemployment” said Otto Solórzano, the Acting Director of WDACS. “We are helping healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic while preparing youth for jobs in the green economy.”
“When the pandemic hit we knew that LACI had to play a key role in helping our city,” said Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI. “Our advanced prototyping center has produced tens of thousands of face shields for essential workers while at the same time continuing to train LA’s future workforce. This work has been crucial to LACI’s mission and we are grateful to our partners for making this happen together.”
“I like knowing that the face shields are going to healthcare workers that really need them,” said Julieta G., a Youth@Work participant. “It’s really rewarding knowing what we’re making them for.”
“The City of Baldwin Park is proud to be part of this collaborative effort to employ local youth during the pandemic to manufacture personal protective equipment to essential healthcare workers,” said Mayor Manuel Lozano of Baldwin Park.
For the latest information on how LA County is assisting businesses and building a Green LA County for All, follow us at @LACBizDev on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If your business is interested in partnering with the County on a workforce program, e-mail us at BizDev@wdacs.lacounty.gov.
Director of Public Affairs
Innovative community-centric graphics to highlight LA County’s diversity and shared commitment to stopping hate
LOS ANGELES, CA: Today, the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), and the Commission on Human Relations jointly announced the launch of the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative to report and end incidents of hate and hate crimes in LA County. This announcement comes as 211-LA continues to receive reports of hate – from January through July 2020, 256 total calls reporting hate, including 27 calls as a result of COVID-19 – and is part of a multi-year mission by the Board of Supervisors to end acts of hate in the County.
For more information on the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative, including shareable community-centric graphics ready-made for social media, please click here.
“Los Angeles County stands united as a voice for victims of crime,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. “It’s our duty and privilege to join in this effort to encourage acceptance and advocate for victims. When our communities speak up for their neighbors, we are all stronger.”
“In Los Angeles County, there is no place for hate. Now more than ever, we must all work together to combat the pandemic and take care of one another. The alarming spike in hate incidents in our County, particularly aimed at our Asian Pacific Islander communities and communities of color, requires a robust and creative response. That’s why I am proud of the LA vs Hate campaign’s innovation for partnering with local artists and organizations like Las Fotos Project to perform art interventions and produce marketing materials which aim to combat hate,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.
“The L.A. vs Hate initiative is just one of the many strategies the County has embarked upon to dismantle racism and bias in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and community gathering places,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This work preceded recently elevated demands for racial justice and aligns with the County’s current efforts to establish an antiracist policy agenda. The L.A. vs Hate initiative provides every Angeleno with tangible actions to undertake if they witness or are victimized by a hate crime or bias-motivated incident.”
“Over the last four years, we have watched as a few prominent Americans have repeatedly condoned hate speech and violence against others,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “This campaign reasserts that we are a nation of empathy, inclusion, tolerance and love, and provides a creative counterforce to hateful messages that have grown more and more frequent and loud.”
“Even before this pandemic began, hate crimes in LA County were on the rise, reaching their highest point in a decade last year,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “All of our residents need to know they are valued, that they belong, and that the County is taking action to protect them and respond to this growing threat. By stressing to our local communities the importance of reporting hate and connecting hate victims with supportive services, the LA vs. Hate campaign is one way that we will achieve that goal.”
The “L.A. vs Hate” campaign has three components:
- a marketing campaign to provide awareness of the dangers of hate and the importance of reporting hate;
- the ability to report acts of hate and bias motivated bullying, and to connect victims with needed resources via case managers, by calling 211-LA; and
- a network of agencies to provide assistance and prevention strategies to prevent hate.
By inviting artists and their communities to participate in art interventions inspired by the principles of “L.A. vs Hate,” the campaign uses art and community organizing to reach County residents in an authentic and meaningful way. Through this virtual medium, the campaign builds understanding within individual, diverse communities about what constitutes hate and how to report it.
“Standing up to hate is not easy – but by supporting our communities in their efforts to resist and report hate, we are confident that L.A. County will become a more safe and inclusive space for the more than 10 million people who live here,” said Robin Toma, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations.
The strategies and programs offered by the network partner agencies reflect deep experience in serving a wide range of diverse County residents, including those vulnerable communities who are particularly targeted for hate acts in the largest number of 211 calls: youth of color, immigrants, disabled youth, and since COVID-19 related backlash, Asian-Americans. Some of the network partner agencies include the Anti-Defamation League; Antelope Valley Partners for Health; Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A. (CHIRLA); Hate Violence Prevention Partnership of L.A. (includes Bienestar, Brotherhood Crusade, California Conference for Equality & Justice, and Muslim Public Affairs Council); Not In Our Town; and San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, Inc.
“ADL Los Angeles is proud to be a part of L.A. vs. Hate as it reflects ADL’s tradition of calling out what divides us and shining a light on what unites the diverse communities that are the fabric of Los Angeles. L.A. vs. Hate will empower communities to identify hate and to mobilize effectively to counteract it,” said Matt Friedman, the Senior Associate Regional Director for ADL Pacific Southwest Region.
Individuals reporting to 211-LA may choose to report anonymously. Callers are also offered the option to be referred to follow up services including legal aid, trauma counseling, and advocacy support. In the first six months of this year, 87% of residents calling 211-LA to report hate requested follow up services.
For over 70 years, the LA County Commission on Human Relations has worked to inform, support, train, and mobilize county residents to transform prejudice into acceptance, tranquility into justice, and hostility into peace.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, LA Native American Community-Based Organizations, and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell partner to remind Los Angeles’ Native communities to protect themselves against the pandemic
LOS ANGELES, CA: In response to the continued rise of confirmed Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission (LANAIC), in collaboration with local American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) community-based organizations and LA City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (CD-13), has launched a video PSA to provide critical messaging to Los Angeles’ AIAN community.
Click here to watch the PSA.
The one-minute PSA focuses on encouraging one of LA’s highest risk and under-counted communities to continue to utilize best health and safety practices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. “For Our Ancestors. For Our Families. For Our Future,” the tagline of the PSA, serves as a reminder and powerful call to action for community members to continue to leverage their collective strength and resiliency during this crisis. The PSA features local Native community members that represent the diversity of Los Angeles’ urban Native community, as well as centers the first peoples of the LA Basin – the Tongva, Chumash, and Tataviam.
“We know that any messaging to our community is best delivered via trusted messengers,” said LANAIC Chairwoman Chrissie Castro (Navajo). “What’s beautiful about this effort is that our Native organizations came together to produce and share this culturally appropriate message. It reminds our community that embracing healthy practices, including our cultural ways, is a way to honor our ancestors, to protect ourselves, our community, and our future.”
As of July 11, Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health reports 112 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9 deaths within the AIAN population. Local Native leaders believe the data is underreported, due to ongoing AIAN misclassification in data collection and reporting, as well as disproportionate risks for COVID-19 among the AIAN population.
At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the LANAIC acknowledged the potential disproportionate risk the virus posed for Los Angeles’ AIAN population and convened the LA Native COVID Response Working Group – a collective of LA-based AIAN serving organizations. Together they have been working collaboratively throughout the pandemic to provide resources and support to the community. According to the LA County Department of Public Health’s Office of Women’s Health, the LA AIAN community experiences numerous health and economic risk factors, many which make them vulnerable to the impacts of the COVID pandemic including:
- Disproportionate rates of underlying medical conditions that may lead to a compromised immune system, such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease.
- Higher mortality rates from coronary heart disease and diabetes compared to all other races (157.8 per 100,000 population, and 58.2 per 100,000 population, respectively).
- AIAN adults are more likely to be uninsured (25% of AIAN adults 18-64) than all other adults in LA County (21.5%).
- 56% of adult AIAN households report incomes of less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
“Health and mortality data for AIAN is notoriously misclassified and underreported. Use of the more restrictive AIAN only definition effectively cuts the size of the AIAN population in half, while misclassification in mortality data can lead to underestimates as high as 50%.” said Dr. Andrea Garcia (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara), who also serves as a LANAIC Commissioner. “Knowing that we have had to actively combat demographic erasure by continually educating and advocating for use of proper definitions of AIAN speaks to one of the many ways that systemic racism has historically and continues to affect our community through the pandemic.”
For more information on COVID-19 resources and services visit: https://lanaic.lacounty.gov/covid-19-resources/
About the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission: The LANAIC was established in 1975 under a joint ordinance of the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles. The Commission consists of five members appointed by the LA County Board of Supervisors, five by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, and five individuals elected in American Indian and Alaska Native community-wide elections. The primary purpose of the LANAIC is to improve the health and well-being of the Los Angeles American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) community, accomplished through many strategies, including but not limited to increasing the acquisition of funding resources available to the AIAN community, advocating for policy that will improve the health and well-being of AIANs, and gathering and disseminating information about AIANs in Los Angeles County. In performing these functions, the Commission represents the interests and concerns of AIAN of all tribal and cultural backgrounds, religious convictions, gender identities, and social circumstances.
About the LA Native COVID Response Working Group: In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the LANAIC formed the LA Native COVID-19 Response Working Group (Working Group). The Working Group consists of leadership from American Indian Changing Spirits Residential Recovery Center, California Native Vote Project, Indigenous Circle of Wellness, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s American Indian Counseling Center, Pukuu Cultural Community Services, Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, Southern California Indian Center, Torres Martinez Tribal TANF and United American Indian Involvement, Inc. The Working Group provides up-to-date information on resources and services on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lanativecovid19.
LA City/County Native American Indian Commission
(213)-738-3241 or email@example.com
Initiative will provide three meals per day to older adults while supporting local workers and stimulating the local economy
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the County of Los Angeles announced participation in the State of California’s ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative. With the support of the Board of Supervisors and with a partnership between the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) and the Office of Emergency Management, LA County will provide three home-delivered meals a day to qualifying older adults and adults over 60 who are high-risk as determined by the CDC, while also stimulating the economy by bringing employees back to work from the restaurant, hospitality, and transportation industries.
Individual participants may apply for ‘Great Plates Delivered’ by calling 2-1-1. To be eligible for participation, individuals must meet requirements that includes age, inability to prepare or obtain meals, and are not currently receiving assistance from other state or federal nutrition assistance programs. Click here for a full list of requirements.
Restaurants interested in participating in the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ program should fill out an interest form by clicking here. Food providers will be selected based on factors that include their ability to meet volume and nutritional standards, and prioritize local jobs, worker retention, worker health and safety, and standards of equity and fairness in employment practices. The County is finalizing additional criteria which will be posted on this webpage in the days ahead.
LA County is launching the first phase of ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative with a partnership with UNITE HERE Local 11’s Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) as WDACS continues to work to expand the program with partnerships with local restaurants. HTA offers the only hospitality/food service training program in California that focuses on union employment, providing participants with an opportunity to secure career pathways with good wages and benefits. HTA will utilize its network of hotels and commercial kitchens to provide three meals a day to 1,500 individuals across the County.
The County will also partner with restaurants/food service providers, including small neighborhood food establishments, to provide meals through the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ program. To the extent possible, the County will assign participants to restaurants located in the same city or neighborhood.
“L.A. County is proud to partner with hospitality workers, restaurants, and cities to implement this innovative program to provide meals for seniors who are most in need,” Supervisor Barger said. “This collaborative effort bolsters local business, supports the regional economy, and ensures the well-being and care of at-risk seniors. This act of unity and creativity, which benefits so many in our community, is a win-win.”
“The Great Plates Delivered program will allow us to expand the capacity of our current senior meals programming so that low-income older adults with health conditions could more easily adhere to physical distancing and infection control protocols,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “This program will also provide an economic stimulus to local businesses struggling to keep their doors open, so this is a win-win for all of us.”
“Since the inception of this pandemic, our elderly population has been the most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted community by COVID-19,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This program will not only allow seniors to get the nutrition they need while at home, but will provide employment opportunities for union workers who need it the most.”
“With the speed of a great short order cook, the County has launched the Great Plates Delivered program,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “Eligible County seniors will now be able to get three square meals a day and the program will help keep our local restaurants in business as well. My deep thanks to the state, county leaders and our local food partners for getting this program up and running in a flash.”
“Through ‘Great Plates Delivered’, we will deliver meals straight to people who need to stay in their homes while also providing business to local restaurants that are struggling,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Even though we are starting a phased reopening, the virus remains a serious health threat and we need to make sure people at higher risk can stay home.”
“This innovative program creates jobs for union and restaurant workers to craft nutritious meals and deliver them to older adults,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of the LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services. “This is part of our continued effort to maximize the impact of every taxpayer dollar. We are creating jobs and combating hunger at the same time.”
Cities also have the option of implementing their own ‘Great Plates Delivered’ programs. As of now, the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Bell Gardens and La Puente plan to implement local programs. Click here for a full list of participating counties and cities. LA County will implement
‘Great Plates Delivered’ in all cities and unincorporated areas in LA County that do not have their own locally operated programs. ‘Great Plates Delivered’ is jointly funded by FEMA (75% match), the State (18.75%), and local jurisdictions (6.25%). Per FEMA, the program will run until June 10, 2020. It is anticipated that the State will seek two additional 30-day extensions from FEMA which, if approved, would extend ‘Great Plates Delivered’ to as late as August 10, 2020.
For more information about the ‘Great Plates Delivered’ initiative in LA County, please click here. This webpage will be updated with new information as this new program is rolled out.
Comprehensive Community-Informed Report Provides 34 Recommendations to Advance Equity, Transparency, and Accountability in Policing
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations released “Redefining Policing with Our Community,” an extensive report on policing and human relations in LA County with 34 recommendations for change. It seeks to “build a new normal that prioritizes human dignity and repairs the damage done by discriminatory policies and practices.”
The Policing and Human Relations project was launched in 2015 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Watts Rebellion. The report was developed after conducting seven public hearings across each of the five LA County Supervisorial Districts. The process included 42 stakeholder feedback sessions; targeted meetings with women of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, more than 50 community-based organizations, County residents, and advocates. The Human Relations Commission also convened meetings with the LA County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, and other city-based police departments throughout the County.
“Redefining Policing with Our Community” may be downloaded by clicking here.
“To assess policing in LA County 50 years after the Watts Rebellion was an ambitious undertaking,” stated Commissioner Isabelle Gunning, chair of the Commission’s Committee on Policing and Human Relations, which led the development of this report. “Through this Report, our hope is to bring about systemic and cultural changes in policing that will honor George Floyd and the many others whose lives have been lost or damaged.”
Informed by community and key stakeholder perspectives, “Redefining Policing with Our Community” focuses on the primary intercept points of the criminal justice system: prevention, community intervention, and law enforcement response.
The report, which reflects the experiences and reform priorities of key stakeholders and County residents, is centered on nine broad strategic aims, which include: increasing transparency and accountability, revising use-of-force policies, ending overpolicing and underprotection of vulnerable communities and enhancing community-based alternatives to law enforcement.
The report’s 34 recommendations advance action-oriented solutions that reflect broad community agreement, including the reallocation of resources for economic investments to improve and expand social safety nets, alleviating militarized community occupation, and the utilization of a culturally competent justice framework.
Some of the 34 recommendations include:
- Changing federal and state laws, in addition to local law enforcement policies, to end qualified immunity, and provide public access to information about police officers involved in both complaint and misconduct investigations, including their prior history and the results of those investigations;
- Significantly increase funding, including the reallocation of law enforcement budgets, for non-law enforcement community-based initiatives, such as: drop-in and sobering centers, and community response teams that proactively address core issues of poverty, education, health, safety, and youth development programs;
- Assign use-of-force investigations to independent special prosecutors housed outside of law enforcement agencies and the district attorney’s office; and
- Require deeper analysis and more frequent dissemination of data collected through the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) to eliminate anti-Black racism, bias, and discrimination.
“It is unconscionable that our communities of color are treated differently on account of race and ethnicity, and this plays out every day in their interactions with our criminal justice system. We need to push for true police accountability and denounce police brutality and harassment,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Our black and brown families should not live in fear of being racially profiled when they go out for a walk or a jog in our neighborhoods. We must take bold action to redefine public safety and ensure that the criminal justice system works for all of us, regardless of race. Now is the time to dismantle institutional racism and put an end to systemic inequities that are jeopardizing the lives of so many innocent individuals within our black and brown communities.”
“Recent events have provoked a conversation about how we expand alternatives to law enforcement and how we continue along the continuum of reimagining public safety,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Many of the recommendations laid out in this report are yet another opportunity for the County to invest in change that is systematic, lasting, and that gets to the root of the issue rather than skimming the surface.”
“This report is one more call to action at a critical moment in the County’s rethinking of our justice system,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “Many of the recommendations echo guidance offered to the Supervisors in the Alternatives to Incarceration “Care First, Jail Last” report last March. What we need to do to improve community health and safety is clear. Now it’s time to move forward quickly to implement these reforms.”
“This report provides an important perspective emerging from the Commission’s extensive engagement with community and law enforcement,” said Connie Rice, renowned civil rights attorney and member of President Obama’s taskforce on 21st Century Policing. “It calls for changes that can move us forward on the urgent transformation in the culture and mission of policing that we so desperately need.”
Hearing transcripts, stakeholder feedback, and other supplemental materials collected as part of this report are available for review on the Commission on Human Relations’ website at hrc.lacounty.gov.
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations’ mission is to transform prejudice into acceptance, inequity into justice, and hostility into peace. It is dedicated to promoting positive human relations on a foundation of protection for human rights in an increasingly complex and multicultural county. The Commission works to develop programs that proactively address racism, homophobia, religious prejudice, linguistic bias, anti-immigrant sentiment, and other divisive attitudes that can lead to intercultural tension, hate crimes, and related violence. Partnering with schools, cities, community-based organizations, youth, academics, policy makers, businesses, law enforcement, and other leaders, the Commission brings key players together to resolve immediate intercultural conflicts and to work toward the longer-term aim of eradicating bias and prejudice.
Director of Public Affairs
Employer Assistance Grant Fund supporting local businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises impacted by COVID-19
LOS ANGELES, CA – On Thursday, April 9, the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) launched the Los Angeles County Employer Assistance Grant Fund to provide grants up to $10,000 to local businesses to help support them through the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing funding provided by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Employment Development Department (EDD), and in partnership with the Robert’s Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), WDACS has completed awarding $500,000 to local businesses in this first-of-its-kind program in the State of California.
The Los Angeles County Employer Assistance Grant Fund was awarded to 59 entities ranging from local small businesses, non-profits, and social enterprises impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 39 of the businesses receiving awards are minority-, women-, and/or Veteran-owned. A wide range of industries were represented, including Hospitality, Travel, Entertainment, Professional Services, Education, Tech, Legal, Environment, Healthcare and Non-profits. Businesses receiving awards were located throughout all five Supervisorial Districts in the County of Los Angeles.
Grant recipients received up to $10,000, allowing businesses to remain open, enabling employers to retain workers and to continue to provide valuable services to their local communities and to vulnerable populations. This investment in LA County’s small business community has averted an average of five layoffs per organization, for a total number of 311 jobs saved. As a result of the infusion of funding provided by the Employer Assistance Grant Fund, it is anticipated that total amount of revenue retained among all the awardees is nearly $1.5 million.
“The Employer Assistance Grant Program in LA County has helped our small businesses during this time of economic uncertainty,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Small business is the backbone of our economy and these grants helped in a concrete way, highlighting our County’s commitment to economic resiliency and recovery.”
“I fully recognize that our local businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises are the backbone of our regional economy,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Chair Pro Tem Hilda L. Solis. “This program helped 12 small businesses in the First District receive nearly $100,000 in grant funding, which avoided 58 potential layoffs. I will do all I can to ensure that our small businesses in underserved areas get the support they need and deserve to get through this crisis.”
“The support we can offer small businesses in this moment of crisis is as vital. Ninety percent of businesses in Los Angeles County are small businesses. They power our local and regional economies,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “From the mom and pop store, to the small dance studio — we have to continue to make sure when COVID-19 is gone, they remain.”
“Businesses have been hit very hard by the COVID19 crisis and I am glad that LA County has been able to make some quick grants through this fund,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “These grants are just one of many steps being taken to support small businesses, and these awards to 11 Third District businesses, social enterprises and nonprofits will avert approximately 55 layoffs.”
“We have been able to use these grants to keep some small businesses afloat and save local jobs, but there are so many more businesses that have been devastated by this pandemic and need help,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “There is a huge amount of work ahead of us, but the County is doing everything we can to help local businesses and workers during this crisis.”
“COVID-19 has been especially hard on our small businesses,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “To help, WDACS has responded quickly by launching this innovative program to provide funding where it could do the most good. Our team is working tirelessly to bring other resources and supportive services to employers and workers who are struggling, and the Employer Assistance Grant Fund was just the start.”
“REDF is proud to partner with the County of Los Angeles to quickly distribute funds so that social enterprises and other small businesses emerge from the COVID-19 crisis strong,” said Carla Javits, President and CEO of REDF. “Social enterprise businesses – those that combine profit and purpose – are valuable assets to our communities addressing some of society’s greatest challenges. As the economy reopens, the jobs, supportive services, and training that employment social enterprises provide will be in even higher demand by people whose experiences with homelessness and the criminal justice system not only make it difficult to access employment, but have left them vulnerable to the pandemic.”
Businesses seeking resources and services to avoid closure or layoffs may contact WDACS by visiting workforce.lacounty.gov or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Public Affairs