Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
L.A. County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2009
Contact: Aurelio Rojas 213-280-6579
James Bolden 213-200-5314
SUPERVISOR RIDLEY-THOMAS APPLAUDS BOARD'S SUPPORT URGING
FIRST 5 LA TO PRESERVE BLACK INFANT HEALTH PROGRAMS
Ridley-Thomas thanks Supervisor Don Knabe, chairman of First Five LA Commission, for his support
LOS ANGELES – At the direction of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to ask First 5 LA to consider a one-year, $766,058 agreement with the county to support five community-based agencies that provide services to address disparities in birth outcomes among African American women.
The Supervisor thanked Supervisor Don Knabe, who chairs the First 5 LA Commission, for supporting the motion that directs the County Department of Public Health to use the First 5 LA funding as a match to draw down $575,713 in federal funds to close a $1.3 million local budget gap in the Black Infant Health Program.
The budget Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed last month to close the state’s $60 billion shortfall eliminated State General Funds for various programs, including the infant health program ($3.9 million statewide).
Los Angeles County received $1.3 million to support five community-based agencies to provide services to pregnant and parenting African Americans.
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas indicated that the cuts will directly affect African American women in poverty that are currently being assisted throughout their pregnancy.
“This could result in an increase in infant mortality, and an increase in the disparities in birth outcomes between African Americans and other race/ethnicities in Los Angeles County,” the Supervisor said.
The First 5 LA Commission is scheduled to take up the issue at its September meeting.
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