Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell has issued the following statement on her choice to abstain on a vote to extend law enforcement contracts for Metro transit services on March 23.
“A lot has changed since 2017 when Metro’s current public safety contracts with law enforcement were negotiated. Currently there remains a lack of clarity on the cost of extending these contracts or if the law enforcement agencies will comply with Metro policies and staff direction. These unanswered questions are why I could not proactively support Metro extending its current public safety contracts.
I support public safety that accounts for the experiences of our riders and transit operators, and that is aligned with Metro’s values for centering the humanity of the million people who rely on public transit. This is why I voted for the long-term solution of creating an in-house public safety team that is trained by Metro. Leadership matters, we have a new CEO, who is committed to a culture shift. Being trained alongside the teams serving our riders is an important distinction that might also save us funding to invest in more clean and secure bathrooms, transit ambassadors, and community vendors to be additive to law enforcement and our public safety strategies.
I respect and appreciate the community members and my colleagues who have provided diverse insights on this pivotal issue. I trust CEO Wiggins to engage in good faith negotiations with law enforcement and believe we will be better positioned to have answers to some of these concerns outlined when we reconvene on this topic in May.”
Mitchell is up for reelection next year and appears to be choosing her votes wisely so they don’t come back to haunt her in the March 2024 primary election.
Mitchell was hand selected by then outgoing County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas who campaigned alongside her for the seat once held by Kenneth Hahn and Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke. Michell’s ambitious former staffer, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, succeeded Sebastian Ridley-Thomas to represent former Assembly District 54, then she moved to the Senate seat formerly held by Mitchell. Kamlager is now in Congress in the seat formerly held by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.
Ridley-Thomas, Mitchell, and Kamlager were strong supporters of Isaac Bryan who succeeded Kamlager in the newly formed Assembly District 55. They are all strong advocates of social justice reform, racial equity and reinvestment of taxpayer dollars to their areas most vulnerable residents.
There was growing speculation that Bryan would run for Los Angeles City Council District 10 but he publicly squashed those rumors stating he had more work to do in the state legislature.
Ridley-Thomas’ public corruption trial is expected to go the jury today with a verdict likely to come down next week.