Newly elected LA Supervisor Holly Mitchell on reforming police and building more housing

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LA County has about 10 million residents, which is more than any other county in the United States. In fact, LA is twice as big as the second largest — Illinois’ Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago. 

State Senator Holly Mitchell just got voted onto the LA County Board of Supervisors to represent District 2, which includes Carson, Compton, Culver City, Inglewood, Koreatown, and other neighborhoods. She talks to KCRW about “defunding the police,” Measure J, and homelessness. 

Mitchell explains what the term “defund the police” means to her: “It's truly a battle cry … a call for standing up government systems that support people in crisis to prevent people from being system-touched in the first place.” 

She says it’s important to demilitarize the police, especially after seeing “the kind of equipment and artillery … that many law enforcement had and showed up [with] in recent months at protests.”

Additionally, she supports Measure J, which would require 10% of locally-generated revenue to go to community investment and alternatives to incarceration.

“When you invest in community and social programs and support programs and prevention programs on the front end, it has a direct impact on the outcome of peoples’ lives,” she says. 

As for homelessness in her district, Mitchell plans for the use of housing vouchers, construction of more housing, improvements to infrastructure, and more.  

It's not one reason that leads people to be unhoused. We have to have equally as complex, diverse responses,” she says.