Elect Holly J. Mitchell to push Los Angeles County in the right direction.
About the Position
Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by boards of supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities administered by their own city councils, as well as unincorporated areas directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically limited to three terms or 12 years in office total.
About the District
Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States. It encompasses a population of over 10 million, with significant Latinx, Black, and Asian populations. District 2 includes the cities of Carson, Compton, Culver City, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Los Angeles (portion), Lynwood, as well as a number of unincorporated areas within the county. The five-member board of supervisors is the governing body of Los Angeles County and manages a budget of nearly $35 million annually, which they administer with the support of the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office.
About the Race
State Senator Holly Mitchell is running against opponent Herb Wesson, member of the Los Angeles City Council. According to recent polling numbers, Sen. Mitchell is leading opponent City Council Member Wesson by a margin of 13 percent, with many voters in the district still undecided.
Sen. Mitchell’s campaign has raised $445,000 through June 2020 and has pledged to not take police or fossil fuel money. Her campaign, primarily funded by individuals, labor unions, and the campaigns of colleagues in the state legislature, has accepted several donations from corporate PACs. These PACs include Herbalife International Inc. PAC, and Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Political Action Committee, the employee PAC for the brands Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent a Car.
City Council Member Herb Wesson’s campaign has raised just over $550,000 in the same period and has not pledged to avoid any types of campaign contributions. His candidacy is supported by multiple independent expenditure efforts that spent over $1.2 million on his behalf in the primary, with $715,000 coming from three police officer unions. City Council Member Wesson played the key role in passing an amendment to the Los Angeles City Charter to reduce disciplinary procedures for Los Angeles police officers. Additionally, when he served in the Assembly, Wesson received over $10,000 in contributions from the private prison industry and supported private prisons with SB297 (The bill was vetoed by former Gov. Gray Davis).
About the Candidate
State Senator Holly Mitchell is a third-generation Angeleno and continues to live in Los Angeles, where she serves as a state senator for California’s 30th Senate District. According to campaign materials, Sen. Mitchell is running to represent District 2 on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in order to meet the real needs of local communities in Los Angeles County.
Sen. Mitchell was elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and moved to the Senate in 2013. She is currently serving her final term (2018–2022) as a state senator and is the first African American Chair of the powerful Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. During her tenure, Sen. Mitchell proposed a set of criminal justice reforms that were signed into law. The reforms consisted of 10 laws to reduce barriers for Californians affected by the criminal justice system by reducing sentence enhancements for low-level drugs, removing court fees for the innocent, sealing arrest records for people not convicted, ending the sentencing of juveniles to life without parole, and other advancements. She has been a notable progressive influence in other areas as well, with nearly 90 bills signed into law on issues that include homelessness, mental health, children’s rights, and job protections.
In office, Sen. Mitchell has scored an overall 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting record. Recently, Sen. Mitchell has taken a stand on a problematic statewide housing bill, working with a coalition representing low-income communities to demand stronger protections for low-income people, people of color, and other vulnerable people most strongly affected by the housing crisis.
Sen. Mitchell because of her track record as a champion for underrepresented and marginalized communities in California and her reputation as a strong leader on ethics for other legislators. The Los Angeles Times described her as “the Legislature’s moral compass.” Sen. Mitchell is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, Sen. Mitchell is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.
About the Misinformation
A website and TV ads mischaracterizing Senator Mitchell have been unveiled by her opponent, Wesson. The ads accuse Sen. Mitchell of personally supporting private prisons in return for “thousands” of dollars to her campaign. Her campaign reported returning the unsolicited $1,000 in question, and her voting record in the State legislature proves she has never supported private prisons. On the contrary, Senator Mitchell’s record shows she has been a staunch advocate for criminal justice reform and decarceration. Sen. Mitchell and other advocates have encouraged Councilmember Wesson to return the money he has received from the private prison industry, but he has not done so as of Oct 16, 2020.
About Courage California’s Endorsement
After a comprehensive review of Holly J. Mitchell’s record and consultation with local partners, we have determined that she is committed to criminal justice reform, environmental justice, racial equity and justice, and immigrant rights. Her experience in the community and in the California State Legislature combined with her pledges to refuse money from the fossil fuel industry and police are in alignment with the progressive future Courage California hopes to achieve in which special interests have no place in politics. Mitchell’s ideas and proposals are thoroughly well-thought out and demonstrate her strong, structural grasp on the issues Californians face. We are confident that she will co-govern in the interests of all Los Angeles residents. Courage California is proud to endorse Holly J. Mitchell for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.