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Morning Brief: Our First Female Fire Chief, Target’s Minimum Wage, And Baby Bald Eagles

LAFD Deputy Chief Kristin Crowley smiles and poses in her uniform.
LAFD Deputy Chief Kristin Crowley attends The 2019 MAKERS Conference at Monarch Beach Resort on Feb. 7, 2019 in Dana Point.
(Rachel Murray
Getty Images North America)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Mar. 2.

Over the past several years, the L.A. Fire Department has faced allegations of sexism, racism, harassment, hazing and assault among its ranks. Now, a new appointee hopes to change that — Kristin Crowley was confirmed yesterday by the L.A. City Council as the department’s first female and openly gay fire chief. 

Crowley, a 22-year veteran of the department, previously served as the city’s first female fire marshal, and currently serves as a deputy chief. She is part of just 3.5% of women in the entire department.

During Crowley’s confirmation hearing, L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez expressed her support and optimism.

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“It's so fitting for this nomination to come to Council today, on the first day of Women's History Month,” Martinez said. “Our city's fire department has gone 136 years without a woman in its highest office, and today we're going to find it to be able to turn the page … I know, Chief Crowley, that little girls across the city are watching today and finally knowing for sure that they too can one day become the fire chief of LAFD.”

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During her speech, Crowley pointed to the toxic culture at LAFD as one of her top priorities for change, saying she plans to promote a "work environment that is free of harassment, discrimination and hazing." 

"Our efforts will be maximized by making sure diversity is celebrated and valued and that equity and inclusion are intertwined into every policy, procedure and practice," Crowley added. "There are opportunities for growth, innovations, accountability, and the creation of systemic equity and inclusion across the LAFD.”

Crowley will replace outgoing Chief Ralph Terrazas, who is retiring towards the end of March.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... Baby Bald Eagles!

Two bald eagles hang out in their nest in Big Bear
A still from the Eagle Cam in Big Bear Valley. Jackie and Shadow are expecting their eggs to hatch any day now.
(Friends Of Big Bear Valley

Jackie and Shadow, a pair of bald eagles in Big Bear Valley, became local celebrities last year when many lovers of nature, animals and babies alike watched with bated breath as the two incubated their eggs. Sadly, none of those eggs survived, but now, experts at the Friends of Big Bear Valley nature center say the couple’s three new eggs should start hatching this week.

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