Contemporary off of flipping a seat from Republican to Democrat, Katrina Foley is now Orange County’s latest supervisor – and he or she’s vowing to make progress on coronavirus vaccine entry, homelessness and racial disparities within the legal justice system.
However as one in every of 5 supervisors, how a lot of an influence will she have?
It’s the primary time in a long time that Democrats have two seats on the highly effective OC Board of Supervisors – which controls $7 billion in taxpayer spending and oversees all the things from public well being to homeless companies to spending on jails and prosecution.
Foley spoke with Voice of OC in an interview Thursday as she was getting ready for her public swearing-in ceremony at present, which is scheduled to be live streamed here beginning round midday.
Right here’s what she needed to say:
What are the largest adjustments the general public can count on, now that you just’re taking workplace?
“My prime precedence goes to be public well being and enhancing the group’s well being. So, whether or not that’s mass distribution of the vaccine extra vast, extra rapidly – and definitely focused to our most susceptible communities extra successfully; or entry to well being care, homelessness companies to assist stabilize individuals’s lives; or high quality of life enhancements which can be typically neglected however that influence individuals’s psychological well being, their confidence, their feeling of safety – issues like graffiti abatement.”
You’ll be one vote out of 5 on the Board of Supervisors. What are you able to really get accomplished?
“I don’t see it like that. I see it as, we’re 5 individuals, all representing distinct districts, and we have now definitely alternatives to work each collaboratively in addition to individually in our personal districts. So I’m going to do my finest to realize each. And I believe there’s loads of areas the place collaborations will happen – within the house of group parks, local weather motion, and housing and homelessness. Simply to call a couple of.”
The highest problem OC residents care about – in line with the most recent Chapman College survey – is housing and homelessness. What are the concrete steps you’re going to take to deal with these?
“Effectively you’re going have to remain tuned for that. I’m not ready to provide you any concrete steps, aside from to inform you that that’s going to be the highest precedence for my crew. And I’m hiring coverage advisors and forming a working group that can very particularly handle these points and convey forth suggestions. And we shall be engaged on that instantly.”
On homelessness, does something come to thoughts as a giant roadblock to creating progress that you just’d need to deal with?
“No, I can’t reply that query right now. So it’s untimely to reply that query particularly. However what I can inform you is that I believe there’s some low-hanging fruit that we will establish methods to get individuals off the streets and into housing via rental help applications, higher partnerships with our federal companions for vouchers, and partnerships with our residence communities for serving to individuals get stabilized into housing.”
On Covid, what are the principle steps you’re going to take?
“Once more, it’s untimely. However I shall be saying tomorrow my chief Covid restoration officer, and that particular person shall be tasked with serving to us to instantly arise an excellent website within the district, and to instantly work on ensuring that we have now group vaccination websites in each metropolis within the district, particularly in these neighborhoods the place Covid has hit the toughest.”
In electing you, voters within the 2nd District changed one in every of OC’s highest-profile masks skeptics with somebody who helped result in one of many first metropolis masks mandates in OC, which had a $100 high-quality connected to it. Is that correct?
“It’s a significant shift – and whereas I’m on this interview, I’m sporting this masks! No one will coming in our workplace with out a masks. The masks save lives, and there’s simply no motive to not put on a masks at this level. And the scientists worldwide have definitely really helpful that.”
The Board of Supervisors handed a resolution this week saying they won’t stand idly by amid racism, and that they’d work to attempt to basically dismantle racism and racial disparities in policing, significantly in the case of psychological well being and drug dependancy. Do you assist that? And if that’s the case, what concrete steps do you need to see taken?
“Yeah, I believe that we’ve seen through the pandemic that racism is rooted in a few of our programs….It’s embedded, and we should root it out. And so I’m happy with the board for taking a robust place in opposition to racism.
Now we have a gorgeous, numerous group in Orange County, particularly in District 2. And my workplace will mirror that range. Our crew goes to be a various crew. And we’re right here to serve everybody – no matter race, nationwide origin, sexual orientation, gender, age, incapacity, economics. We’re right here to serve the individuals.
And so far as the general public questions of safety, in week 3 I shall be saying our public security coverage advisor and they are going to be working collaboratively with our community of nonprofits, our legislation enforcement, and our legal justice attorneys to develop high quality plans for adjusting some reforms that shall be very workforce development-driven.
As a result of I do know from my private expertise serving to youth in our group that for those who don’t have housing, and also you don’t have a job – otherwise you don’t have any coaching so as to have some hope for the longer term, that’s an enormous deterrent to you eager to proceed to be a law-abiding citizen.”
Voice of OC revealed in a story yesterday that the number-one most prosecuted crime in Orange County is possession of drug paraphernalia like meth pipes. Historically it’s been low-income individuals of colour who’re disproportionately prosecuted for these sorts of low-level nonviolent drug crimes. What do you consider this being OC’s most prosecuted cost? Is that one thing you need to look at?
“We shall be taking a look at all the elements, and our crew shall be making suggestions for reforms. Nevertheless it’ll be a collaborative strategy. As a result of we should work collectively for this stuff. My aim is to carry unlikely allies collectively to resolve issues – whether or not it’s legal justice, homelessness, well being care, housing, local weather motion – it’s good to have many voices with totally different views on the desk so as to discover frequent floor.”
Something you need to add as you prep in your public swearing in?
“I’m simply able to get to work on behalf of the individuals of Orange County and District 2. My week has been spent with briefings studying all about what’s and isn’t taking place within the district, and I’m anxious to start out working higher for the residents of the district and the companies and supporting our cities in a extra significant means.”
Nick Gerda covers county authorities for Voice of OC. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.