LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Health and public policy advocates affiliated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) tonight cheered the news that a measure creating a Los Angeles City Health Commission to oversee delivery of health services to City of Los Angeles residents became law today. Facing a ten-day deadline for mayoral action, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti failed to sign or veto the measure, so it now becomes law.
Two weeks ago, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to adopt the measure, which first came before the Council in response to a ballot initiative spearheaded by five health and policy advocates affiliated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). The ballot measure, which would have likely appeared on the November 2014 election ballot, would have allowed Los Angeles voters to weigh in on creating such a Los Angeles City Health Commission.
Instead, on May 27th, 15 Los Angeles City Council members adopted the measure outright as written and submitted to voters for signature. Under the Los Angeles City Charter [Article II. Section 250. Sub (b)], the ordinance is then presented to the Mayor and,“…If the Mayor does not approve or veto an ordinance in accordance with this section within ten days after its presentation to him or her, the ordinance shall be as effective as if signed by the Mayor.”
“There is a truly new day dawning in the City and County of Los Angeles as a result of this L.A. City Health Commission measure becoming law today,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation and one of the five named proponents of the ballot initiative. “This commission offers a golden opportunity for increased accountability to City officials—and residents—regarding health services provided to city residents. This commission could and should be a partnership that improves health outcomes while better targeting and deploying health services to city residents. We are thrilled with its adoption into law and pledge to monitor its creation and progress over the coming months and years.”
Los Angeles County currently provides health services in 85 of the 88 cities in the County—including the City of Los Angeles—which represents 40% of the population of the County. The advocates behind the ballot measure believe that City of Los Angeles residents are often short-changed in health services provided by the County and believe a City Health Commission might provide a new level of accountability and oversight.
The Los Angeles City Health Commission will be composed of 15 members appointed by the members of the City Council. The Commission will be required to publish an annual health services plan regarding the health needs and goals of the City and also require the City Council to consider and respond to the Commission’s annual health services plan at a public meeting.
Background on the Ballot Measure to Create a L.A. City Health Commission
In April, the advocates submitted 103,093 voter signatures (needing 67,635 valid signatures) to qualify the measure. In early May, Jimmy Pak, Chief of the Election Division of the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office, issued a ‘Certificate of Sufficiency’ formally notifying proponents that a sufficient number of voter signatures the group had submitted in support of the measure had been validated, and that as a result, the measure qualified to be placed on a ballot before City of Los Angeles voters.
However, under election law, the measure also had to be placed before the Los Angeles City Council for its consideration. The Council had the option of either adopting the measure outright as written and submitted or allowing it to proceed to a formal citywide vote by Los Angeles residents. The Council unanimously adopted the measure.
According to the petition language submitted by the proponents of the measure to City election officials, the proposed ordinance, titled, ‘Creation of a Los Angeles City Health Commission. Initiative Ordinance,’ would:
“…create a Los Angeles City Health Commission composed of 15 members appointed by the members of the City Council. The proposed ordinance requires the new Commission to publish an annual health services plan regarding the health needs and goals of the City. The proposed ordinance requires the City Council to consider and respond to the Commission’s annual health services plan at a public meeting. The County of Los Angeles now provides public health services in the City. The proposed ordinance requires the Commission to review and report on a sample of the County’s contracts for health services in the City. The proposed ordinance requires the City Council to evaluate whether the City should continue to contract with the County for public health services and to study the feasibility of creating an independent City health department.”
|Ballot measure creating a Los Angeles City Health Commission to oversee delivery of health services to City residents becomes law.|
|WHEN:||TUESDAY, June 10th, 2014|
Ged Kenslea, AHF Dir. of Communications, (323) 791-5526 cell, (323) 308-1833 work
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 312,000 individuals in 34 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe.