The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion by Supervisors Holly J. Mitchell and Lindsey P. Horvath calling for, in the first time in the history of the Board, an independent third-party review of its governance structure.
The report back will explore comprehensive solutions focused on increasing public transparency and input in the County’s policymaking and budget development process, including expanding the Board for greater representation.
“This is about ensuring that the foundation by which we make decisions on public policies and our $44 billion dollar budget are aligned with best governing practices to better serve the largest County in the nation” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Second District. “We hear from countless residents about being left out of their local government, making it clear that we can’t have an equitable County without meaningful and full public participation. The independent recommendations that we receive will inform how the Board can create a more inclusive process for solving the problems of today and tomorrow.”
“Today’s vote of approval is a monumental step toward a more transparent, accessible, and equitable County government. This vote is about doing everything we can to be an efficient government that is inclusive of all 10 million voices we represent,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, Third District. “I look forward to the recommendations that will come out of this motion addressing the size of the Board, public participation in the legislative process, and how campaigns are funded.”
The Executive Officer of the Board of Supervisors will launch a competitive search for a Request for Statement of Interest and report back in 180 days with options for an independent consultant to assess the Board’s governance structure against national best practices, examples of other County governance structures, and stakeholder insights in order to provide recommendations for a more inclusive and effective Board governance model.
Additional governance reforms that will be considered include but are not limited to increasing the timeframe for advance public review of Board motions, amending the Brown Act to continue virtual public comment for public meetings without the need for the emergency designation caused by COVID-19 and improving public deliberation in the County budgeting processes. The motion also calls for County Counsel and the County’s Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative to provide recommendations for campaign finance reforms related to Supervisorial elections.
Prince Osemwengie, Senior Policy Associate at Inclusive Action for the City, shared his support of the motion during the public comment portion of the Board’s meeting.
“This is the direction we need to be going in. Everyone is better served by having more access to weigh-in on the life changing decisions happening at the Board of Supervisors” said Prince Osemwengie. “I am confident that expanding representation and using proven solutions to increase public input is a win-win for all and will strengthen the County’s efforts in developing community-informed policy and program solutions.”
To read the full motion, click here.
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