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What's Behind The Push By LA County's Supervisors To Consider Expanding Board — Long Off The Table

The five Board of Supervisor districts show incorporated cities in white and unincorporated areas in blue.
(Courtesy L.A. County)
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Let’s start the day with the pop quiz. How many Los Angeles County residents are there to one member of L.A.’s governing body?

LA Board of Supervisors to expand

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The answer is about 2 million. Each member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is accountable for about 2 million people. This held me up: That’s more than the populations of 13 states, including West Virginia, New Hampshire, and Hawaii!

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Right now there are just five members who serve on the governing body that oversees many of the county departments and programs that we interact with in our daily lives. They also approve county budgets, serving as the authoritative figurehead of executive, legislative and quasi-judicial matters in the most populous county in the U.S.

But now, due to calls for government reform after the L.A. City Hall scandal in October, this all might change. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has voted to start a process that could expand its size.

My colleague Frank Stoltze explains what the supervisors’ motion yesterday calls for and what it will take for expansion to happen. This comes at a time when L.A. city officials are also looking to expand the 15-member council after concerns about the power and influence the few councilmembers have over their large constituent populations, about 260,000 residents each.

The pro-expansion forces say it will make it easier to address specific region, racial and community needs. It also creates opportunities for marginalized and underrepresented groups to be heard and gain representation.

Read Frank’s story to learn more about what’s next for the L.A. Board of Supervisors.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More news

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • California’s COVID emergency declaration ended yesterday after three years. LA County emergency ends at the end of this month (aka March). My colleague Jackie Fortiér has more information about what these expirations mean for residents. 
  • The L.A. District Attorney’s Office announced Maurice Hastings, a man who spent 38 years in prison for murder as factually innocent on Tuesday. My colleague Frank Stoltze has more information on the determination and Hastings’ case. 
  • All 600 of the Irvine middle-schoolers returned home safely after being stranded in the San Bernardino Mountains for several days. Last week’s snowstorm made traveling back to their homes difficult with obstructed roads in the mountains. 
  • San Bernardino County residents are under a state of emergency due to the winter storm. My colleague Gillian Morán Pérez has more information on what you need to know about what this emergency declaration means and what local authorities are saying about bringing relief and resources to the mountain communities. 
  • L.A. car wash workers not only graduated with knowledge on how to detail cars, they also learned about their labor rights. My colleague Nate Perez has more insight into the CLEAN Carwash Worker Center’s auto detail program and how they ensure students leave with the knowledge on how to be protected from wage theft. 
  • Pasadena hasn’t had a shelter for bad weather since the onset of the pandemic. The Pasadena City Council is now looking for places to have one. But there’s one thing: once they find a shelter, it won’t be open until next year. Gillian Morán Pérez has more information as to why. 
  • President Joe Biden faced criticism from some Supreme Court judges in regards to student loan debt forgiveness on Tuesday. The court’s conservatives said Biden needed Congress to approve the $400 billion in federal spending. 
  • A newly released state audit of the Orange County Power Authority, the county’s clean power agency, found evidence that backed up concerns about lack of transparency, among other things. My colleague Jill Replogle has more about the audit findings. 
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On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced his plan to nominate Julie Su to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Labor. If confirmed by the Senate, the former California labor official will be the first Asian American secretary in Biden’s cabinet. 

Wait... one more thing

The Suicide Squad's legacy

In this photo illustration, a pair of golden records are floating over and to the left of a what appears to be a satellite, which is at the bottom right.
This image highlights the special cargo onboard NASA's Voyager spacecraft: the Golden Record. Each of the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977 carry a 12-inch gold-plated phonograph record with images and sounds from Earth. An artist's rendering of the Voyager spacecraft is shown at bottom right.

It’s that time of the week again where we hop in my yellow DeLorean coupe lowrider to explore a part of significant L.A. history. Today, we are wrapping up the latest season of the LA Made: Blood, Sweat & Rockets series.

In this episode, host M.G. Lord starts us off in August 2022, at the 45th anniversary of the twin Voyager spacecraft launch mission. The probes traveled to where no other earthly object has traveled before, becoming the farthest human-made objects to exist away from Earth. Inside each capsule is a Golden Record, so that if there are indeed aliens, they could listen and see the sounds and images we have on Earth (maybe they’ll get back to us humans in a couple of light years).

Lord reminds us that this historical spacecraft mission has enabled scientists to discover outer space in new ways and had a starting point right here in Pasadena with the Suicide Squad. Their mission was simple: to explore the great unknown in the skies for peaceful purposes, not to cause harm.

She also talks to current Jet Propulsion Laboratory employees who research our universe, possible life beyond earth and robotics. There are now more women in leadership roles (even though Lord notes that there could be more!).

Lastly, she talked about how Squad member and occultist Jack Parsons’ contributions may just be an overstatement. Listen to the last episode of Blood, Sweat & Rockets here.

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