Wave Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — Five women run Los Angeles County, controlling the Board of Supervisors for the first time since its inception in 1852.
The executive office of the board released an official photo featuring the all-female board wearing white to commemorate this year’s 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment into the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote.
Given the need for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic the photo is a composite. It features iconic imagery from each district, including the Watts Towers, the Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier and the poppies in riotous bloom in the Antelope Valley.
The picture includes newly elected Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who was sworn in Dec. 6 to represent the Second District, a position held by Mark Ridley-Thomas for the last 12 years.
“It is an honor to serve alongside this dynamic group of leaders,” Mitchell said. “Yes, our entirely women-led board is historic and so is this moment, when our residents need government to serve like never before.
“We each bring a unique lived experience, expertise and understanding of what’s at stake for our constituents, and all of this prepares our board to guide L.A. County through these unprecedented times.”
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis will take over as chair of the board Dec. 8, filling a post that rotates among the supervisors.
“This is history — or, better yet, herstory,” Solis said. “We’ve shattered a glass ceiling right here in Los Angeles County. For girls and women everywhere, this demonstrates that no dream is too big. At a time when we are facing so much uncertainty, I’m thankful for colleagues who are committed to investing in communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting homelessness, creating affordable housing, assisting women-owned small businesses, and bolstering our safety net programs.”
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said women in power bring a different perspective.
“Women in positions of political power often pay more attention to the real life needs of women and children, which creates help for everyone in our communities,” she said. “I look forward to working with this all-woman board knowing that our work together will help address historic inequities that have made it hard for women to keep their heads above the poverty line, feel safe in their homes and communities, and meet the twin challenges of work and family.”
Supervisor Janice Hahn recalled her father Kenneth’s long history with the board.
“I grew up seeing my dad, the original Supervisor Hahn, serve on this powerful board of five men,” Hahn said. “Serving on a board of five women means a lot to me personally, but what I want most out of this historic moment is for girls and young women to see us and know that they are full of potential. Being a woman is not a disadvantage in leadership — it is an asset.”
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who directed the board’s response during the first nine months of coronavirus pandemic as chair, was elected to a second term during this year’s primary.
“It’s a privilege and honor to have been re-elected to the Board of Supervisors,” Barger said. “I look forward to continuing to collaborate with my colleagues as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of all Los Angeles County residents.”