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LA Public Health Violence Prevention Program expands countywide

“It’s important that we provide spaces for our communities to connect and to be empowered with resources to help prevent/end violence”

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Martin Luther King Memorial at Kenneth Hahn Park (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – As a part of National Public Health Week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is announcing that the Office of Violence Prevention’s (OVP) Trauma Prevention Initiative (TPI), which provides a comprehensive, place-based model for violence prevention and intervention that invests in community-driven safety solutions, including peer outreach and local leadership, is expanding to five new communities across the County. 

Los Angeles County has seen an increase in violence over the past two years. Homicides rose 41% and gun homicides rose 39% in Los Angeles County in 2020 compared to 2019. The number of homicides in the first quarter of 2021 was 54% higher than the number of homicides in the first quarter of 2020, and 67% higher than in the first quarter of 2019. 

The effects of violence on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the County are physically, socially, and emotionally devastating. They are also unequal, as data on violence-related injuries and deaths makes it clear that people of color and people in communities that have borne the brunt of poverty, divestment, and racism are disproportionately impacted by violence.

TPI was first implemented in South Los Angeles communities in 2016. On July 13th, 2021, the LA County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to expand TPI to five new communities across the County and provide additional resources to South LA communities, including Westmont West Athens, Willowbrook, Florence Firestone, and unincorporated Compton. OVP partners with community members and stakeholders to adapt evidence-based violence prevention and intervention strategies to the unique needs of each community. 

The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) is advancing policy, practice and system change that works to increase access to safety, health and healing services and resources to all individuals regardless of race or zip code. This is best achieved by centering the voices of those most impacted by violence, investing in peer approaches and grassroots organizations, and uplifting trauma prevention and healing for both survivors of violence and those who work to address violence. OVP aligns county and community partners to bring a healing-centered and equity lens to address multiple forms of violence.

OVP’s approach to address violence includes the following strategies: 

  • Establishing Community Action for Peace Networks to build leadership, identify community priorities, and promote peace.
  • Street Outreach and Community Violence Intervention to respond to violent incidents and promote peace.
  • Hospital Violence Intervention to engage victims of violence in the hospital setting.
  • Hiring Peer Specialists with lived experience to support community engagement and intervention in each region.

TPI also collaborates with partners to support safe community hubs like the DPH Wellness Communities and School-based Wellbeing Centers, Libraries, and Parks and Recreation.

“It’s important that we provide spaces for our communities to connect and express what safety means to them and to be empowered with the unique resources they need to help prevent and end violence –this is why the expansion of the Trauma Prevention Initiative is vital. The Second District championed initial investments in this initiative and, as a result, we have taken a comprehensive approach to ending violence that centers community leaders and survivors in developing the solutions. I commend the Department of Public Health’s leadership in helping to make the Trauma Prevention Initiative more accessible throughout the County,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Holly J. Mitchell.

“When Public Health established the County’s Office of Violence Prevention, we prioritized a public health approach that could invest in community-led approaches to securing peace. Public Health believes violence is preventable and predictable. And that violence is the result of trauma,” Ferrer said. “If we can heal the wounds of trauma, we can help stop violence. The County’s Trauma Prevention Initiative is community-driven and centered on survivors. And key to this powerful work, are the members of the Community Action for Peace networks who are tireless partners in the neighborhoods, advancing peace goals, block by block.”

For other Public Health Week events and more information, visit: publichealth.lacounty.gov/phweek.

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Los Angeles County

Bruce’s Beach is returned to heirs undoing racially motivated land grab

Anthony Bruce, a family spokesman, said in a statement that the return means the world to them but it is also bittersweet

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"This is a day we weren't sure would ever come," said Anthony Bruce, a great-great grandson of Willa and Charles Bruce (Photo Credit: Mayra Beltran Vasquez/Los Angeles County)

MANHATTAN BEACH – In 1912 Willa and Charles Bruce bought two lots of land for $1,225 with the intent of creating a safe beachfront space for Black Angelenos. But their purchase was met with heavy opposition a July 27, 1912 Los Angeles Times article reported.

Undaunted the Bruce’s pushed ahead, “Wherever we have tried to buy land for a beach resort, we have been refused, but I own this land and I am going to keep it,” Willa told the Times.

For nearly ten years Willa & Charles’s property was a destination and haven for Black people coming there for recreation from all over the rest of southern California. But by 1922 issues with the local white neighbors and the police department began to mount, as the majority white population put pressure on the Bruce family to close down their enterprise.

In the 1920’s, like most of the rest of the United States, the Ku Klux Klan was very active in Southern California. Racially motivated animus was then in turn amplified by Klan activity and resulting press coverage, which according to some historians, had a bias towards white supremacist viewpoints.

In an interview last year a descendent of Willa and Charles told the BBC the local police department put up signs limiting parking to 10 minutes, and another local landowner put up no trespassing signs, forcing people to walk half a mile to reach the water.

Two Black couples on a walkway at Bruce’s Beach, ca. 1920; Charles and Willa Bruce, ca. 1886
Merriam Matthews Photograph Collection/UCLA; source unknown

After efforts failed to pressure the family into closing down their little resort, the Manhattan Beach City Council working with County officials seized Bruce’s Beach under eminent domain- laws designed to let the government forcibly buy land needed for roads and other public buildings. Officials claimed they planned to build a park which didn’t happen.

The city did nothing with the property and it was transferred to the state of California in 1948. Then in 1995, the state transferred it to Los Angeles county, with restrictions on further transfers.

California’s legislative leaders along with Governor Gavin Newsom passed a bill that removed the restriction on transfer of the property, making transfer easier, which was a result of Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn’s work to process the return the property to heirs of Willa and Charles begun in April 2021.

This week the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in approval of the plan to return the property to the Bruce family. The property will now enter escrow before officially transferring to the family. Once transferred, LA county agreed to rent the property back from the Bruce’s for $413,000 per year and will maintain its lifeguard facility there.

Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom signs bill allowing transfer of Bruce’s Beach to descendants of Charles and Willa Bruce on September 30, 2021 in Manhattan Beach
Photo Credit: Mayra Beltran Vasquez /Los Angeles County

Anthony Bruce, a family spokesman, said in a statement that the return means the world to them but it is also bittersweet.

“My great-great-grandparents, Willa and Charles Bruce sacrificed to open a business that gave Black people a place to gather and socialize, and Manhattan Beach took it from them because of the color of their skin,” he said. “It destroyed them financially. It destroyed their chance at the American Dream.”

Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles
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Los Angeles County

Heat Advisory issued as temps expected to be in triple digits

LA County will see hot & breezy conditions Monday. High temperatures will reach 90 degrees. Temperatures at night will fall to 64 degrees

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory warning for most of Southern California on Monday. Temperatures while remaining lower in the 80s and 70s in the coastal areas are expected to exceed triple-digits for most of the inland areas in the region.

Los Angeles and Orange counties will see hot and breezy conditions Monday. High temperatures will reach 90 degrees. Temperatures at night will fall to 64 degrees.

The valleys and Inland Empire will be very hot and windy Monday as temperatures soar to 105 degrees. Evening temperatures will drop to 72 degrees.

Beaches will see temperatures rising to 78 degrees amid breezy conditions on Monday. Overnight lows will dip to 64 degrees.

Look for a 20% chance of thunderstorms in the mountain communities on Monday, with temperatures reaching a high of 89 degrees. Temperatures will fall to 55 degrees at night.

Desert conditions will be sunny and windy on Monday, with temperatures expected to rise to 104 degrees. Nighttime temperatures will drop to 69 degrees.

Detailed Forecast

Today

Sunny and hot, with a high near 106. East northeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming north northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Tonight

Clear, with a low around 69. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east northeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Tuesday

Sunny and hot, with a high near 104. Southeast wind around 10 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

Tuesday Night

Clear, with a low around 68. West northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east southeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday

Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. East southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday Night

Clear, with a low around 62. Breezy.

Thursday

Sunny, with a high near 94.

Thursday Night

Clear, with a low around 58.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 92.

Friday Night

Clear, with a low around 57.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 90.

Saturday Night

Clear, with a low around 56.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 89.

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Los Angeles County

NBC News: LA’s DA Gascon under pressure from rising violent crimes

Violent crime is spiking in the streets of Los Angeles as robberies in broad daylight, heists on train tracks and homicides are on the rise

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Screenshot/YouTube NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt

LOS ANGELES – (NBC Nightly News) – Violent crime is spiking in the streets of Los Angeles as robberies in broad daylight, heists on train tracks and homicides are on the rise. Many long-time residents are more worried than ever. LA District Attorney George Gascon took office in late 2020, riding a wave of support for criminal justice reform but now, that support seems to have eroded as the crime surge continues.

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