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Leading 5th District Candidates for the Board of Supervisors Will Consider How to Improve the Lives of Los Angeles County's 2.3 Million Children

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 6, 2016 / PRZen / LOS ANGELES -- The leading candidates competing for the fifth district seat of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will debate their positions on children's issues on May 10 at 7:00 p.m. at Pasadena City College.

The fifth district contenders will be asked pointed questions about improving the lives of children across Los Angeles County, which is home to the largest child-welfare and juvenile-justice systems in the nation.

The forum is hosted by Fostering Media Connections - publisher of The Chronicle of Social Change - and sponsored by Southern California Grantmakers (SCG). The three-person moderating panel includes Daniel Heimpel, founder of Fostering Media Connections (FMC), Alex Johnson, executive director of the Children's Defense Fund-California, and Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, former commissioner of the county's Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection.

"We are pleased to have the top candidates on the same stage so we can see what their plans are when it comes to protecting L.A.'s children," Heimpel said. "I am looking to see who has the best solutions to some of the most serious issues facing the county's children and youth."

Los Angeles County has a population greater than all but seven states in the country, and the Board of Supervisors oversees a budget of more than $28 billion. The county currently dedicates about a quarter of its budget, or $7.7 billion <> , to programs and spending that support children and families, according to a 2014 report from the county's chief executive office. To that end, the Board of Supervisors plays a critical role in making sure the county's children are healthy, safe and able to thrive.

"The forum will offer an opportunity to hear from the candidates on how they plan to level the playing field for Los Angeles County children and youth," said Johnson. "With more than 1 in 4 children living in poverty and juvenile justice and child welfare systems that are disproportionately impacting our children of color, the next Supervisor will need to lay out concrete solutions to improve outcomes for children and youth."

The fifth supervisorial district has long been an important part of the county's efforts to help its most vulnerable children and found itself at the heart of controversy in 2013, when 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez died at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend in Antelope Valley. The incident spurred the creation of the county's new Office of Child Protection (OCP).

In April 2016, Los Angeles County and a group of local philanthropic institutions - led by SCG - launched the first-ever Center for Strategic Public-Private Partnerships in a jointly established and funded effort that focuses on child welfare issues. This new office is collaborating with the Board of Supervisors, other county agencies and community-based organizations to better meet the needs of the region's most vulnerable children.

"Protecting our children is a vitally important issue for our membership," said Christine Essel, president and CEO of SCG. "This forum enables us to hear firsthand how the candidates for this powerful county seat would tackle the challenges inherent in our child welfare and juvenile justice system - and improve the lives of children and families in our communities."

As the largest supervisorial district, the fifth district encompasses the San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena, the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, as well as some parts of the San Fernando Valley.

Residents of the fifth district, children's advocates, service providers, members of the media and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Candidates who have confirmed their participation in the forum include:

· Kathryn Barger, chief of staff to current Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich

· Elan Carr, Los Angeles County deputy district attorney

· Mitch Englander, Los Angeles City Council

· Bob Huff, California state senator

· Darrell Park, entrepreneur

WHERE: Lillian Vosloh Forum, Pasadena City College

1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106-2003 <tel:91106-2003>

WHEN: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM

NOTE: Press welcome. Please RSVP at [email protected] or online at

About Fostering Media Connections (FMC): FMC harnesses the power of journalism and media to advance child welfare and juvenile justice reform by covering emerging solutions to the systems' challenges. FMC accomplishes this mission by reporting and producing in-depth news stories, which are published in The Chronicle of Social Change. FMC also trains student journalists, policymakers and social workers in solution-based journalism. Learn more at <>  and <> . Follow online: @ChronicleSC and @FosteringMC.

About Southern California Grantmakers

Southern California Grantmakers (SCG) is the regional association for philanthropists and grantmakers working to make a difference in local communities and around the world. Founded in 1973, the organization's members include corporate giving programs, family foundations, individual philanthropists, private, independent, operating and community foundations as well as grantmaking 501(c)3s. SCG connects grantmakers across Southern California through sector-wide conferences, trainings, networking opportunities and funder convenings - providing space for collaboration and coordinated action on critical issues. SCG's membership represents eight counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. For more information, visit and follow SCG on Facebook and Twitter (@socalgrantmaker).

About The Children's Defense Fund-California

The Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) is a state office of the Children's Defense Fund, a national child advocacy organization founded by Marian Wright Edelman that has worked relentlessly for over 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. With offices in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and Long Beach, CDF-CA champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty, ensure all children have access to health coverage and care and a quality education, and invest in our justice-involved youth.

Media Contact
Fostering Media Connections
Christie Renick
213.265.7707 <tel:213.265.7707>

Source: Fostering Media Connections


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