Good Government

Supervisor Knabe To Answer Questions Live Online Tonight

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe will be holding an online town hall on Wednesday, August 4, at 6:30 p.m., answering questions from the public live on

To view the town hall, go to, and click the play button around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday the 4th. Questions for the Supervisor can be submitted in advance on Twitter @donknabe or emailed to

Constituents can view the online town hall through Facebook by going to and clicking the play button. Utilizing this feature will allow anyone to send a question to the Supervisor for him to answer immediately and allow them to chat with other viewers about the topics discussed by the Supervisor. Viewers will only be able to submit a live question and chat if they have a Facebook account, but anyone can still watch the live town hall without needing a Facebook account.

Any organization wishing to simulcast Don’s live Q&A can embed the video stream from the following link:

Since his first successful online webcast earlier this year, Supervisor Knabe remains the only member of the Board of Supervisors to host open question sessions online with constituents.

“We have learned much since our first online town hall, and I hope our new changes will allow even more Fourth District residents to participate,” said Supervisor Knabe. “This time, the town hall will be in the evening to accommodate people who cannot watch during work and we have created a way for people to email questions in advance, without requiring a Facebook account.”

If you’re not already following Supervisor Knabe on Facebook, become a fan and gain access to exclusive content, including videos, photos and news alerts, visit and click the “Like” button at the top of the screen.


Goal of creating 10,000 temporary jobs in Los Angeles

Supervisor Knabe is joined by Supervisors Yaroslavsky and Ridley-Thomas in presenting Congresswoman Judy Chu a plaque celebrating the goal of creating 10,000 temporary jobs in Los Angeles County. While in Washington, D.C., the Supervisors placed a high priority on encouraging lawmakers to extend the funding that pays for the 10,000 Jobs Program, keeping thousands of workers in their new jobs for one more year.

Knabe Statement On Probation Credit Card Fraud Allegations

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe issued the following statement regarding new allegations of credit card abuse within the County’s Probation Department:

The decision to have criminal prosecutors investigate these allegations of credit card fraud by a handful of individuals within the Probation Department is absolutely the right thing to do and a justified move. I fully support the District Attorney’s effort to swiftly respond to this criminal activity.

The minute you begin issuing credit cards under the name of a government agency, you start a slippery-slope that can often lead to exactly this type of fraud. Credit cards need the tightest of controls and checks, and that clearly failed here. Government employees need to have the highest responsibility for every taxpayer dollar they spend, and even more so in times of extremely tight budgets such as this.

Fortunately, we have appointed new leadership within the Probation Department over the last several months. Chief Blevins and his team are strong reformers and have been given a clear mandate and power to take disciplinary actions and make the changes needed to bring this type of mismanagement to a swift end.

Knabe Will Not Support Motion To Boycott Arizona

The Board of Supervisors today will consider a motion by Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky to boycott the State of Arizona. In response to the motion, Supervisor Don Knabe issued the following statement.

While I agree with my colleagues on the Board that our national immigration system is broken and in desperate need of repair, I do not agree with their response to Arizona’s recent legislation (SB 1070), and I will not support their motion on Tuesday. To simply call for a boycott of an entire state is a rash and misguided reaction to what they view as a bad law.

Los Angeles County is currently facing tremendous fiscal challenges with our own dysfunctional State government, which we are attempting to work through. This motion takes away from these efforts, and will distract from what we are elected to do for the residents of this County. This motion will not put one more Sheriff’s Deputy or Firefighter on the street, or keep open one more library, park, or health clinic. That is our elected responsibility – not to tell Arizona or any other State how to run their government. I would not want them to tell us how to run Los Angeles County.

This motion will come and go, and we will still have a State with a $20 Billion hole, which they are trying to fill with dollars from Cities and Counties due to their inability to balance California’s budget.

May Revise Impact

Over the last two years, we have been dealt nearly $500 million in funding cuts by the State of California to critical local programs that impact the lives of every County resident, including public health, mental health, and social services. Beyond these $500 million cuts, State leaders have also raided our coffers by borrowing an additional $360 million in local property tax revenue. Now, with the release of the State’s Budget Revision last week, Los Angeles County residents are poised to suffer from hundreds of millions of dollars in additional local cuts, potentially pushing community programs to the breaking point and pushing thousands of criminals out of State prisons and into local jails.

The Governor’s 2010-11 May Budget Revision, projects an overall $19.1 deficit, which includes $7.7 billion in the remainder of this current fiscal year and $10.2 billion in fiscal year 2010-11. Closing the deficit relies heavily on $12.5 billion in proposed additional funding cuts to health and social service programs.

Among the proposed cuts to programs that are run by Counties across California are $1.6 billion from CalWORKs, completely eliminating the program. CalWORKs provides cash grants and welfare to work services to over 1 million Californians in low-income families. Locally, 320,940 children in 167,617 families in Los Angeles County would lose over $1 billion in cash grants.

Additionally, $637 million would be cut from In-Home Supportive Services Program funding, and $73.6 million in funding for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants, which would eliminate the program.

$654 million in funding will be cut or redirected away from Mental Health programs and funding would be cut Statewide by 60-percent for Counties providing Federally-mandated mental health services. These cuts would result in over $239 million in funding cuts to the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

We are also facing $523 million in certain Medi-Cal cost containment measures, plus $1.2 billion in cuts to subsidized child care and other childhood development programs.

The Governor is also proposing to transfer an estimated 15,000 non-violent felons to local jails, for an estimated State General Fund savings of $244 million. Even though the State would see savings from this move, the cost burdens of housing these inmates would fall to local taxpayers. Our Sheriff’s Department is estimating that this proposal alone would cost the County an additional $100 million, and result in severe overcrowding of local jails.

In every case, these cuts will have a tremendous effect on the County of Los Angeles and the people we serve.

Your County leaders are currently investigating the impact these proposed funding cuts will have on County programs and services to residents. We will continue fighting to protect the funding we need continue these critical programs for County residents.

Child Support Services Outreach Event

Parents who owe past due child support are invited to a special community outreach event on Saturday, April 3. Parents will be able to make payment arrangements, have a suspended license released and receive information about services offered by Los Angeles County departments.

The Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department (CSSD) is holding Let’s Seal a Deal on Your Past Due Child Support, at the South Coast Botanic Gardens from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Staff from CSSD will be present to talk to parents about their child support cases and negotiate arrangements for past due payments. Payments can be made by cash, check or credit card.

Parents also will be able to get job and free service information offered by other County Departments including: Public Social Services, Military and Veterans Affairs, Community and Senior Services, and Children and Family Services.

The Department of Child Support Services wants to help parents act responsibly in eliminating past due child support which is important for their families, said CSSD Deputy Director Lori Cruz, who will be present at the outreach. This is a special opportunity for parents to come in and talk to us and work out some arrangements.

CSSD assists families and children in Los Angeles County with free child support services. CSSD basic services include establishing, modifying and enforcing child support obligations including medical support. Other services include free paternity testing, collecting child support and locating parents.

The South Coast Botanic Gardens is located at 26300 Crenshaw Boulevard in Palos Verdes Estates. For more information visit or call (866) 901-3212.

County Hosting Census Assistance Centers

The County of Los Angeles will host centers within a number of its facilities to assist residents who have questions about the Census, need help in filling out their Census forms, or need a Census form.

Questionnaire assistance centers will be staffed by Census representatives to answer questions regarding the Census form. Be Counted Sites will provide residents with a new Census form if they have lost their form or never received one. Hours vary by location, and some sites will serve only as a questionnaire assistance center or a Be Counted Site, so residents should call before visiting.

There are 67 centers located at County libraries, parks, health centers, senior centers and fire stations open to assist the public. In addition, the County Public Social

Services Department will provide assistance at 21 of its offices to clients already visiting those facilities.

Fourth District Census Assistance Centers

Deane Dana Friendship Park: 1805 W. 9th St., San Pedro – (310) 519-6115

Rancho Los Amigos: 7601 E. Imperial Hwy., Room 103, Downey – (213) 974-1148

Los Nietos Senior Center: 11640 E. Slauson Ave., Whittier – (562) 699-9898

Office of Public Safety: 12951 Juniper St., Downey – (213) 974-1148

Registrar Recorder/County Clerk: 12400 Imperial Hwy., Norwalk – (562) 562-2704

San Pedro Service Center: 769 W. Third St., San Pedro – (310) 519-6091

Schabarum Regional Park: 17250 E. Colima Rd., Rowland Heights – (626) 854-5560

Hermosa Beach Library: 550 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach – (310) 830-0231

Lomita Library: 24200 Narbonne Ave., Lomita – (310) 830-0231

Paramount Library: 16254 Colorado Ave., Paramount – (562) 868-0770

Los Nietos Library: 11644 E. Slauson Ave., Whittier – (323) 722-5621

Hacienda Heights Library: 16010 La Monde St., Hacienda Heights – (626) 960-2861

Rowland Heights Library: 1850 Nogales St., Rowland Heights – (626) 960-2861

County Names New Chief Probation Officer

Donald H. Blevins, who has been credited with turning around Alameda County’s Probation Department, will become Los Angeles County’s Chief Probation Officer on April 19. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week appointed Blevins to head the department at an annual salary of $227,000. He replaces Robert Taylor, who retired earlier this month.

Cited for his experience, managerial skills and leadership, Blevins has spent his entire 34-year career in the probation field, more than 14 years of which has been in management. Among his accomplishments in Alameda County were the introduction of evidence-based practices to move toward assessment-driven services to clients; collaboration to create a juvenile mental health court; expansion of service to sexually exploited minors; enhanced literacy program for juvenile hall youth; implementation of a kiosk reporting system for adult offenders; institution of cost-effective alternatives to detention, including electronic and GPS monitoring; and enhancement of revenue and fee collection.

Blevins said he would also emphasize evidence-based practices in Los Angeles County, which he described as basing department procedures and practices on what research has proven to be effective. Something might feel good, but does it work? With limited financial resources, the department must work more efficiently, he said.

Noting that the Los Angeles County Probation Department was the largest probation department in the world, Blevins said he considers his new job, an opportunity of a lifetime, and looks forward to helping the department get back on track. I like a challenge, and this is a challenge on a grand scale, he said.

Blevins said his strength is that he knows the probation field inside and out, starting out as a deputy probation officer in San Diego County in 1976 and reaching the position of probation director of the adult field services before going to Alameda County.

He is active in numerous professional organizations, including the National Institute of Corrections, the Chief Probation Officers of California, the California Parole, Probation and Corrections Association, the American Probation and Parole Association, and the National Association of Probation Executives.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology from the United States International University/Cal Western Campus-San Diego in 1974 and did graduate work in sociology in 1976 at the San Diego State University.

The Los Angeles County Probation Department, established in 1903, has a $692.8 million budget and 6,136 positions.

Renew A Federal Stimulus Program That’s Creating Local Jobs Now

By Don Knabe & Gavin Newsom

Despite hopeful signs that the worst of our nation’s economic crisis is behind us, unemployment rates across the nation remain stubbornly high.

In California, December payrolls were down another 40,000 jobs and at 12.4%, our joblessness rate remains among the highest in the country.

For the millions of Californians who seek the dignity of work and pride of a paycheck, a jobless economic recovery is no recovery at all. As local elected leaders, we see the human face of this lingering recession every day – the families and small business owners struggling to make ends meet.

That’s why we’re heartened by the renewed focus demonstrated by President Obama and Congressional leaders from both parties in Washington on helping local communities and our small and medium-sized businesses create jobs. There’s been much discussion lately about how many jobs have actually been created since last year’s passage of the $787 billion stimulus package. And in his State of the Union speech recently, President Obama called on Congress to pass a new federal jobs bill to help put people back to work. The new jobs bill is an enormous opportunity for lawmakers to give a boost to a little-noticed program from last year’s federal stimulus package that Los Angeles and San Francisco Counties are using right now to create thousands of private, nonprofit and public sector jobs.

The 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) set aside $5 billion nationwide – and $1.8 billion for California alone – to create what is called the "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund (TANF-ECF)." That’s federal stimulus jargon for a work-subsidy program that provides federal funds to pay 80% of the wages for unemployed workers with a dependent child, including subsidizing wages for private sector and non-profit employers. By combining this program with funding for youth employment, Los Angeles County has already placed more than 10,000 County residents in jobs. In San Francisco, we call the program JobsNow, and we’ve put more than 1,650 people back to work for more than 800 local companies and nonprofit organizations.

Sound too good to be true? Thousands of people now working under this program in San Francisco and Los Angeles Counties and other California counties prove otherwise. As a result of this federal stimulus funding, thousands of Californians who would otherwise join the unemployment rolls are supporting their families and local businesses are continuing to thrive.

The JobsNow Program in San Francisco and the 10,000 Jobs Program in Los Angeles County are exactly in line with the Obama Administration and Congressional leaders of both parties’ priorities when it comes to incentivizing job creation. But our success locally in putting people back to work could come to a screeching halt – and throw thousands out of work again – when the program expires this year on September 30.

Amidst a jobless recovery, it simply makes no sense to end this program.

Fortunately, in his proposed Fiscal Year 2011 budget, President Obama is supporting an extension of the program for one year, to September 30, 2011. California’s own Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein are also supporting amendments to extend the program in the federal jobs bill. Representatives Judy Chu and Pete Stark are sponsoring a similar proposal in the House of Representatives.

California is America’s largest economy. Economic recovery and job creation here will help drive economic and job growth across the country. We strongly urge Congress to include an extension for this program in the new federal jobs bill. Let’s continue a federal stimulus program that’s working exactly as it was intended – putting thousands of people back to work now.

Don Knabe is a Republican Los Angeles County Supervisor

Gavin Newsom is the Democratic Mayor of San Francisco