Beachcombing

By: 
Jay Beeler, Publisher

Janice Hahn is following in the footsteps of her father by becoming the 4th District Supervisor for Los Angeles County. Last month she was sworn in by her brother, Judge Jim Hahn, in the county building named for her father in recognition of his 50 years in public office.

Previously the Democrat served five and one-half years in the US House of Representatives with the Port of Los Angeles within her district. “I enjoy non-partisan local government,” she told Long Beach Rotarians at the Jan. 11 meeting on the Queen Mary. “Congress was difficult to forge a common bond with people across the aisle and in 2011 it was the most politically grid locked congress seen in some time.”

A member of the Rotary Club of Lawndale, she said “I try to apply Rotary’s 4-Way Test to everything I do. But in Congress they failed. It was never the truth, it was never fair to all concerned, never brought goodwill and certainly not beneficial to all concerned.”

Hahn described the County of Los Angeles as the “safety net for those who have no place else to turn, who have reached the end of their rope physically, emotionally, financially, emotionally. We exist to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks.”

Homelessness is the number one, priority issue for Hahn, along with traffic and public safety. “Forty-seven thousand homeless people were sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles County last year. This is a problem that I want to focus on. If we had a flood, fire or earthquake, we would be helping 47,000 people who were displaced,” she said, adding that the agencies that address the problem are overwhelmed.

A few weeks ago county supervisors voted to place a quarter-cent sales tax on the March ballot, which would raise $355 million annually to help non-profit organizations get these people off the streets permanently. Hahn said the money would go for housing, mental health, foster kids in transition and similar programs.

Hahn agreed with Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, who in his Jan. 10 State of the City address stated “Every person on the streets has a name and they need to be treated with dignity and respect.” She pledged to try to solve the homelessness problem within her first four years.

During the Q&A session one local retailer pointed out that LA County’s sales tax would be at 10.25 percent on July 1, compared to Seal Beach at 7.75 percent, creating an economic disadvantage to retailers in Long Beach. It was suggested that it would be better redirect other funds versus raising sales tax, but Hahn said it would be up to the voters to decide.

When queried about the incoming Trump administration she noted: “I’m just so happy that I’m not there. My timing was impeccable. We have a very divided country. We might have the same goals, just two different ways to get there.”

Hahn would like to see Trump fix the infrastructure in this country, like the 70,000 deficient bridges that exist, as well as take on tax reform.

“I’m going to give him a chance to do the things this country is crying out for and I wish him well,” she said.

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 publisher@beachcomber.news

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