Supervisor Janice Hahn Becomes Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Supervisor Hahn assumes Chair of the Board.(credit:David Franco)
This week, Supervisor Janice Hahn assumed the Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The chair is a rotating role and Supervisor Hahn will hold the position for one year. Supervisor Kathryn Barger became the Board’s Chair Pro Tem.
After assuming the chair, Supervisor Hahn gave short remarks on the significance of the role.
Transcript of remarks:
When I was born in 1952, my dad was already planning his run for the Board of Supervisors. My mom said when she brought me home from the hospital, the living room was essentially a campaign headquarters.
I basically grew up in this county family. So today becoming the chair and the face of this county is a poignant moment for me.
We often remind people that LA County is the biggest county in the nation– bigger than all but eight states. It puts in perspective the massive operation that we are charged with running, but it doesn’t capture what makes Los Angeles County great: the people who dedicate their careers to working here and the spirit with which they do their work every day.
Like the firefighters and sheriff’s deputies who worked days and nights on end battling the Woolsey Fire and getting people out of harm’s way.
Or the county nurses and doctors who give every patient the best treatment available regardless of their income or whether they can afford insurance.
Or the mental health professionals on the START Team who are preventing school shootings by intervening at the first sign of trouble and putting a student back on track for success.
Or the caseworkers and outreach workers across county departments who have helped lift 10,000 people out of homelessness and into permanent housing in just 15 months using Measure H funding.
And of course the men and women who work on our staffs here at the Hall of Administration and our field offices, connecting constituents with services they might need and going above and beyond to help.
100,000 people work for LA County and they are the backbone of what makes this county extraordinary. I will never forget that.
This doesn’t mean we don’t have our fair share of problems. But I know we are ready to meet each big challenge with an even bigger solution.
I am inspired by the heads of each of our departments! You never say never, you face each obstacle like a challenge you have been dared to overcome, and you make this county as daring as it needs to be to solve problems no one else has even attempted! When I see you at work it puts a smile on my face. You are so good at what you do. You are experts in your fields—and we are so lucky to have you.
I am also inspired by the women and the man up here on the dais beside me.
Supervisor Solis, you have broken glass ceilings your entire career both in Los Angeles and in Washington and now you are a role model for Latinas across the nation to look to. You are fierce champion for your constituents and always remind us how the policies we decide here impact our undocumented residents. I know we are both happy to have left Washington DC and be back in LA, but it is a thrill for me to serve beside a presidential cabinet member and when anyone asks I always tell them you are my favorite Supervisor.
Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas—Our most senior member of the board. You have a reputation for taking on the toughest but most necessary work and I will always be appreciative that you allowed me to coauthor the motion to put Measure H on the ballot during my very first meeting as a Supervisor. Your leadership, especially on the issue of tackling our homelessness crisis, has been so essential You make us a better, more courageous board. PLUS– you have been a great seatmate at these board meetings and somehow always find a way to make me smile. Shh don’t tell the others– but you are by far my favorite.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl– Thank you for bringing a little sparkle to our weekly meetings! You are an unwavering progressive voice on this board and an advocate for equality for all people regardless of sexuality or gender identity. Your confidence is undeniable and you are a force to be reckoned with! Plus, when people ask me if you’re my favorite I say OF COURSE! I can’t believe I get to serve with Zelda!
And last but not least… my Chair Pro Tem– Kathryn Barger. Who better to fill the role than my favorite Supervisor! And not only are you well-liked on this board, you have a reputation among all of our staff for being kind and approachable. You were a staffer yourself and you know this county and this role so well. You are an asset to this Board and I am so glad that you will be my Chair Pro Tem.
At the most basic level, being chair means running our weekly meetings and ensuring that the residents who take time out of their days to join us not only feel heard– but are heard. Our decisions are only improved by the information we receive from the people who are most impacted by them. I take this responsibility very seriously and it will be my goal to ensure we are not only as accessible as possible, but as transparent as possible to the people who hold us accountable.
These are trying times in this country but I continue to believe that LA County is a model for the nation, and that this board in particular, is a model of governance.
Thank you all for your support– and I am looking forward to the upcoming year.