Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Marks First 100 Days




                   Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

                                                     L.A. County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District


March 10, 2009                                                                                                                                               Contact:      Aurelio Rojas



Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Marks First 100 Days:

Lays Foundation to Reopen MLK Hospital


LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the first new member elected to the Board of Supervisors in a dozen years, today marked his 100th day in office, having laid the foundation for an agenda that includes greater access to health care, economic development, public safety and community empowerment in the Second District.


Following through on his promise to reopen “a new and vastly improved Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center with quality patient care,” the supervisor will soon disclose a major development to advance his top priority.  He previously directed the county’s chief executive officer to prepare reports designed to jump start the process and explore collaborative partnerships.


A long-time proponent of school-based health center, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas today introduced a motion directing county officials to report back with a plan, including a timeline for developing at least five projects in the county.  He earlier led an effort that will ensure free and low-income clinics in underserved communities receive a fair share of county funds and millions of dollars more.


With Los Angeles County seeking millions of dollars of federal stimulus money, the Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said that health care spending can be a catalyst for economic development in the Second District, which proportionally has the fewest hospital beds in the county.


Supervisor Ridley-Thomas also believes that, besides easing traffic, investing in transportation projects can provide economic stimulus.  During his first weeks in office, he assumed a leadership role in overseeing the Expo Light rail line, currently under construction in the second district. As a member of the Expo Authority, he led the effort to put construction contractors on notice that their assignments would be terminated, pursuant to action by the Authority, if they did not comply with local hiring requirement.


The supervisor also continued his leadership role in congestion pricing and traffic management on the I-10 and I-110 freeway corridor which could lead to a significant development at the Artesia Transit Center. He also accelerated the schedule and advanced planning for the Crenshaw corridor transit line.


The supervisor has also pledged to make county government more accessible and transparent. Toward that end, he has directed the county chief executive officer to pursue a change in state law that would allow the board to meet in any city or unincorporated area in Los Angeles County.


During his first 100 days in office, the supervisor also developed an effective working relationship with his colleagues on the board. At the supervisor’s sweating in, board president Don Knabe endorsed the supervisor’s efforts to reopen the MLK Medical Center.


The supervisor also worked with Supervisor Gloria Molina with on health care issue and resurrected Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s dormant efforts to hold board meetings outside the Los Angeles Civic Center.


The supervisor also assembled a staff that reflects his approach to rebuilding the MLK medical center and boosting the economy in the Second District. His top deputies have a range of experience in the private and public sectors as well as working with philanthropic foundations.


   Building on his theme of “Making a Difference: Empowering Communities and Delivering Results,” the supervisor sponsored several events and launched numerous other initiatives during his first 100 days in office, including:


·        Civic Engagement: Hosted his annual “Empowerment Congress,” which drew a record crowd of more than 1,200 residents, where they were briefed about the state budget crisis and its impact on the county.

·        Foreclosure Crisis: Co-sponsored with Neighborhood Housing Services, a foreclosure prevention summit at Compton Community College with more than 300 people seeking loan modifications.

·        Sustainability Practice:  Launched environmental initiatives to address the Inglewood oil fields in Baldwin Hills, and with the cities of Los Angeles and Compton to improve the Compton Creek tributary of Los Angeles River.

·        Public Safety: Introduced a "Gift for Guns" program -- in which 300 firearms and 2,000 rounds of ammunition were voluntarily surrendered to the sheriff's department in the Compton and Lennox areas in return for gift certificates – that will now be replicated countywide.

·             Joined Sheriff Lee Baca and members of the Florence-Firestone community to announce the successful culmination of a three-month process to enforce an injunction against the notorious Florencia-13 street gang.

·             New Media: Created a user-friendly website and Blog to empower residents of the Second District to take action.


With over 2.5 million residents, the Second District is the most diverse with respect to ethnicity and socio-economic status. The District includes the cities of Carson, Compton, Culver City, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lynwood, as well as portions of the City of Los Angeles and unincorporated sections of south and southwest Los Angeles County.


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