On June 11, 2020, the Chief Sustainability Office released the first OurCounty Annual Progress Report with implementation updates and recommended next steps for specific actions within the Los Angeles OurCounty Sustainability Plan. This progress report builds on the OurCounty Priorities Report, published on February 14, 2020, and focuses on the 21 identified priority actions for the first year of the OurCounty plan implementation. However, the County also recognizes the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on County departments, community stakeholders, and residents, and the collective need to shift attention and resources toward emergency response efforts. Even with the current reality, the OurCounty progress report reinforces the commitment to meet the County’s long-term goals for a sustainable and equitable Los Angeles.
Community Health Councils submitted a letter in response to some of the priority actions and implementation updates highlighted in the progress report. In the letter, CHC underscored the need to address persistent health disparities which have only exacerbated due to the pandemic and identified specific recommendations to a few priority actions.
Recommendations focused on the following:
Goal 12: Action 150: Coordinate multi-jurisdictional efforts to seek local, state, federal, and philanthropic funding to support OurCounty initiatives, and provide technical assistance for smaller jurisdictions and tribal governments.
- CHC recommended several revenue generating options that could be considered and forming a collaboration with the Board of Supervisors and CEOs office to support implementation of actions in the sustainability plan
Goal 3: Action 49: Expand the number and extent of transit-oriented communities while ensuring that vital public amenities, such as parks and active transportation infrastructure, are included
- CHC recommended that the Department of Regional Planning increase transit-oriented community housing by working with local housing advocates and ensuring affordable housing needs of low-income communities and communities of color are honored
Goal 8: Action 100 (Offer free transit passes for students, youth, seniors, disabled, and low-income populations) and 105 (Implement the County’s Vision Zero Action Plan within unincorporated communities and work with local jurisdictions to implement transportation safety enhancements that reduce traffic injuries and deaths)
- CHC recommended the County work to increase free transit beyond the identified areas for all of the County’s student, youth, disabled, senior, and low-income riders
- CHC also recommended the Department of Public Works to continue efforts and uphold its commitment to end traffic deaths across Los Angeles County
Goal 10: Action 132: Implement Good Food Purchasing Policy and/or other model policies that promote local, fair, and sustainable production of agricultural products and seafood, prioritizing vendors with certifications for sustainable agricultural practices related to water, public health, energy use, pesticides, and workers’ rights
- CHC recommended the Office of Sustainability and the Department of Public Health to work with advocates and impress upon the Board why the Good Food Purchasing Policy must be implemented to ensure food insecurity is not worsened
CHC also provided a general recommendation for the County to engage in strong and ongoing public outreach campaigns, to ensure equitable access and representation of LA County residents in the plan’s strategies and next steps.
We will continue to provide updates on the OurCounty Plan and any actions taken to support its implementation.