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First ever LGBTQ+ advisory board to the LA County DA’s office sworn-in

The Board will advise the District Attorney’s Office regarding policies, priority issues, and best practices related to LGBTQ+ Angelenos

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LADA George Gascón (center) and some of the newly sworn-in members of the first LGBTQ Advisory Board (Left to right) Stella Ursua, Ari Gutiérrez Arámbula, Bamby Salcedo and Skylar Myers. (Photo credit: LA County District Attorney’s Office)

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday the creation of the office’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Advisory Board, one of several Advisory Boards that will provide valuable community input into his work building a safer and healthier county for all.

“The contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people have made to society make up a rich part of U.S. history.  Sadly, LGBTQ+ people have long been subjected to public hostility, discrimination, and violence,” Gascón said.  “This new Advisory Board creates a precedent for this office to truly listen and learn from the LGBTQ+ community and inform my policies.”

The Board will advise the District Attorney’s Office regarding policies, priority issues, and best practices related to LGBTQ+ Angelenos and the criminal justice system. The Advisory Board will meet regularly, seek input from the greater community, and provide regular feedback on improvements to better serve LGBTQ+ residents and all those who come into contact with the office, as well as improve diversity and inclusion within the office itself. 

The LGBTQ+ Advisory Board members include:

• Bamby Salcedo, Chair (she/her/ella) is the President and CEO of the [email protected] Coalition, a nationally recognized organization that advocates for and addresses the issues of transgender Latinas throughout the United States. Salcedo is a passionate and celebrated transgender Latina activist and has collaborated with local and national organizations to establish services and visibility for numerous LGBTQ+ issues and topics.

• Vincent Jones, Vice-Chair (he/him) is the CEO of the The Citizen Jones Companies, a collection of socially minded businesses created with the spirit of doing good, having fun and helping others do the same. He is a recognized leader in the LGBTQ+ community for his work in philanthropy, non-profits, politics, government, communications, travel and social entrepreneurship.

• Allison Blaylock (she/her) is the President of the OUTreachCenter in Lancaster. She also advocates for the awareness and ending of domestic violence within the LGBTQ+ community through the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STOP program.

• Chela Demuir (she/her) is the Founder of the “TransGivingDinner,” a dinner with all the traditional trimmings of a holiday meal that is now celebrated in various states across the country. Demuir is also a founding member of Trans Pride LA and Unique Woman’s Coalition. 

• Ari Gutiérrez Arámbula, MBA (she/her/ella) is an Advocate for the Latinx LGBTQ+ community. Through her career in marketing and advertising, Gutiérrez Arámbula has been able to influence her business, communications and political networks to empower Latinx LGBTQ+ people and their families, as well as producing the Latino LGBTQ+ Pride Festival and co-founding the HONOR Political Action Committee and the Latino Equality Alliance.

• Joey Hernández (they/them) is Director of Policy and Community Building Department at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Hernández has engaged in LGBTQ+ rights advocacy for over 15 years and they currently direct the Center’s policy advocacy, grassroots community organizing, and international programs to protect and expand the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

• Skylar Myers (they/them) is a Victims Rights Advocate for the Anti-Violence Project at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Myers’ work with the LGBTQ+ community has involved serving as a homeless youth advisor and mentor and empowering marginalized and often victimized communities for more than a decade.

• Brad Sears, J.D. (he/him) is the Founding Executive Director and David Sanders Distinguished Scholar of Law & Policy at the Williams Institute and is the Associate Dean of Public Interest Law at UCLA Law. Sears has published a number of research studies, primarily on discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV; taught courses on LGBTQ+ and disability law at various law schools; and has testified before Congress and state legislatures, authored amicus briefs in key court cases, helped to draft state and federal legislation and has been frequently cited by national media.

• Stella Ursua (she/her/hers) is the Board President/Chair at the LGBTQ+ Center Long Beach and Programs & Partnerships Manager of GRID Alternatives-Greater Los Angeles. Ursua can be found in equity-challenged and/or environmentally disadvantaged communities, working to build more awareness for social issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, environmental health, green neighborhoods and careers, and ensuring that all community members have access to the programs, services, education, knowledge and skills that will help them thrive.

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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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