LA County supervisors push for initiative to help women in poverty

Thursday, December 15, 2016
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With a historical female majority, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is pushing for a new initiative to aid women living in poverty.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With a female majority for the first time in history, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is pushing for a new initiative to help local women living in poverty.

"There are elements of poverty for instance that relate more to women than to men. More woman than men have responsibility for children," Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said.

Kuehl, along with Supervisor Hilda Solis, co-authored a five-year county initiative geared to researching and addressing the disproportionate disadvantages burdening women in the county,

"We need to have a gender lens on everything we do so that we understand. Are we asking people to come and pay their taxes, but we don't allow them to bring their children? Well, are they supposed to leave them in the hall?" Kuehl said.

A task force will be formed to research areas such as equal pay, poverty and retirement saving.

Solis expressed her desire to create jobs and educational opportunities for women while granting them a chance to enter nontraditional fields.

Though the supervisors noted that it took a female majority on the board to push women's issues into the limelight, pressure was also fueled by the results of the recent presidential election.

"The election really woke us up for many of us in many different ways ... It said, 'You know what, I don't have to be the bystander.'" Solis said.

Many women in Los Angeles have become inspired by the board's actions and hope other leaders discover more ways to open doors for women.

"I have a 2-year-old son who is going to grow up in a world that hopefully will continue to have female leaders (and) that will continue to be inspired by them," Bell Gardens resident Brenda Lopez shared.