LOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — This past Thursday, Calif. Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), and Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) held a joint hearing of the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments and the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, which explored approaches to improve governance in the County of Los Angeles and other large counties. The hearing examined whether Californians, especially those residing in high-population counties, would be better served by expanded governing boards and/or an elected county executive.
“I am grateful to Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León for approving and attending the joint hearing of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments and Governance and Finance Committees today on the important issue of representative governance of the counties,” said Senator Tony Mendoza.
The hearing demonstrated that counties are established by the state that and their governance is constantly subject to state statutory changes. This occurred most recently in Senate Bill 958, which changed Los Angeles (LA) County’s redistricting system. Also, expert witnesses agreed that LA County’s Board of Supervisors needs to separate its executive and legislative functions and that a county executive position should be created, whether it is elected or appointed.
Furthermore, a number of witnesses strongly supported the need to expand the LA County Board of Supervisors for two reasons: first, to ensure that currently represented “protected groups” such as African Americans, continue to be represented on the Board given the changing demographics of the county, and, second to provide better representation to additional “protected groups” such as Asian Americans and Latinos the who are currently underrepresented.
“I intend to follow up with a legislative proposal that will make LA County’s Board of Supervisors more representative and responsive to its constituents, while also creating a county executive, both with strict cost controls and adequate implementation time for these changes,” said Senator Mendoza.
“I look forward to listening carefully to all parties to ensure that we bring consensus to the issue and that this change, the first of its kind in 150 years, will bring about a more just and democratic system of governance for the residents of Los Angeles County,” added Senator Mendoza.
Senator Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles native and former elementary school teacher in East Los Angeles, represents the 32nd Senate District encompassing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.