California State Senator Holly Mitchell is running against Herb Wesson to represent Los Angeles Supervisorial District 2. She said she’s had an interest in her community and policy-making since a young age.
“The art of politics is really the process by which who gets what, when,” Sen. Mitchell said.
In 2008, while Sen. Mitchell was the Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Stairs, she sat in on a budget subcommittee hearing where elected officials decided to cut $1 billion from subsidized childcare.
“Quite frankly, I got mad enough to run, because I wanted to bring my experience running Crystal Stairs, working on behalf of vulnerable children and their families, to the decision-making process of the state legislature. That’s how I got here,” she said.
Sen. Mitchell said she’s spend the last 10 years in the legislature honing her leadership skills as Chair of the Budget Committee for the fifth largest economy in the world.
“My policymaking area, the 90 bills that are now law as a result of my efforts, really fall into the areas that the county has direct jurisdiction over: Foster care, juvenile justice, child poverty alleviation through CalWorks and CalFresh, expanding MediCal to all families who are income eligible, doing the work around health clinics,” Sen. Mitchell said.
“All of those areas that I focus my legislative experience on are the same areas that the county has direct jurisdiction over. I think also, recognizing the work that I have done, particularly around criminal justice reform and police transparency and accountability, is right on time now considering what we're facing across the country.”
Sen. Mitchell wants to make law enforcement more equitable, fair, and just.
“I was very pleased to be able to support and vote on and co-author several bills with regard to police transparency and accountability. I think we’re in a unique moment of time where elected bodies are going to have to figure out how to either work collaboratively with law enforcement or exert and pass legislation that reflects the needs of the community,” she said.
L.A. County's Civilian Oversight Commission has called for Sheriff Alex Villanueva's resignation. Sen. Mitchell said Sheriff Villanueva hasn’t actively engaged with the Commission and has denied the Inspector General access to crime scenes. In response, Sen. Mitchell and other state senators passed a bill empowering county boards of supervisors to establish commissions with subpoena authority. The Civilian Oversight Commission has this power.
“I think it’s time for the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to take a more proactive, direct approach,” Sen. Mitchell said. “I applaud the two members of the board who have really gone out on a limb to call for the Sheriff’s resignation. Now he’s a duly elected member [so] that might not happen. But I hope that sends a strong signal to him that there’s a deep concern about the course of business right now in terms of the organization that he’s leading. We support the men and women in blue on the street who are doing a very dangerous job every day. We certainly want them to be safe in the execution of their job, but the citizenry has to have a high level of confidence in law enforcement for public safety to truly work.”
In order to solve L.A.’s homeless crisis, Sen. Mitchell would focus on rapid rehousing and ensuring that people can remain safe where they are. In the City of L.A., Sen. Mitchell said every day 100 people are housed, an additional 102 people lose housing.
“You know the first job of the next supervisor and the board will be to really make sure we help L.A. County residents navigate their way through this. Public health and economic pandemic, and that’s going to have to deal with getting people back to work, getting our kids back in school safely, and making sure that people who are housing and food insecure have resources they need over the long term to really recover in a meaningful way. And frankly in my community, recovery needs to be making sure they are better positioned than they were before COVID hit in the first place.”
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