Tag Archives: Janice Hahn

Los Angeles Board of Supervisors Votes to Cancel Plans to Build Women’s Jail in Lancaster

17 Feb

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, after more than two and a half hours of public comment and before an audience of hundreds, voted on Tuesday, Feb.12, on the motion of the Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, to cancel the plans to build a woman’s jail at Mira Loma in Lancaster, California.

Before public comments, Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn said more than 150 people were to speak.

Of the speakers providing public comment, about six spoke in favor of the project, mostly from the building trades unions.  The others spoke against the plan to build the women’s jail.


Crowd gathers, before the press conference, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, outside the meeting of the Board of Supervisors to protest the building of women’s jail in Lancaster; photo by Barry Saks

To hear the entire Justice LA press conference, click here,

Earlier on the steps outside, Justice Los Angeles and its coalition members, held a press conference, emceed by Eunisses Hernandez, who is the Los Angeles Campaign Coordinator for Just Leadership USA and who said she is a member of the Executive team for the Justice LA Coalition.  Before the press conference, Hernandez, 29, said, “I am here today because I would like the county to prioritize building community-based services in all the districts of the county, instead of focusing on building…one main central facility.”  Hernandez added what is needed are “regional community centers that provide mental health services, health and human services, employment services.”  She was confident the plan would be voted down.  She supported the motions for the studies addressing the problem, “about four.”

After the press conference those gathered marched into the building chanted “Care not cages,” led again by Reggie Bush.




Before the press conference, rallies were held.  At the first, about 50 people, led by Reggie Bunch, the crowd briefly chanted: “Hey, hey, ho, ho, this jail system has got to go;” “Women’s jail has got to go; Men’s central jail has got to go, no more jails, no more jails.”  This toxic jail system has got to go.”  They also chanted: “We need care, we don’t need cages.”




At the second, immediately before the press conference, the protesters outside had grown to more than 100, sometimes chanting, “Jobs not jails,” sometimes chanting, “No more prisons, no more jails” and other times, “We need healing, mental health.”  The chants ended with “Black lives matter here” and “Brown lives matter here.”

Before the press conference, James Nelson, 52, said he was wrongly convicted of murder in 1986 and served 29 years.  I got out because I demonstrated I was suitable for parole.”  Nelson, who is featured on the Dignity and Power Now website, said black and brown are being “locked up” for profit, including the mentally ill, that the mentally ill need services, not criminalization.  Nelson said he first volunteered at DPN, but now works full-time for it.  He said DPN was a grassroots organization.  He said he was planning to speak before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.


Formerly incarcerated James Nelson, who said that he was wrongly convicted of murder and that he got out because he demonstrated he was suitable for parole, planned to speak, on Tuesday, Feb.12, before the Board of Supervisors; photo by Barry Saks

Also before the press conference, Mateo Nagassi, 40, said while he has never been incarcerated, he has two brothers, who are now in state prison, one serving 20 years and the other 24 years.  Nagassi, who identified himself as a member of Reform LA Jails and Dignity and Power Now, said besides being there because of his two brothers, he wants “to stop this cycle of incarceration.”  He added, “We need to start at the bottom, local and move countywide and then statewide.”  He also said instead of spending the money on more prisons, the money would be better spent on focusing on rehabilitation, treatment of addiction and on homelessness.




Long Beach Students March for Their Lives

26 Mar

More than a 1,000 students, parents and their supporters, in solidarity with the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 24, rallied twice at Bixby Park, with a march in between, to end gun violence.

Student leader Kelly Chinchilla, who is a student in the Long Beach Unified School District, emceed the rally, which included speeches by student leaders and local elected officials.  Among the elected local officials who spoke were Mayor Robert Garcia, 3rd District Councilwoman Suzie Price, Long Beach Unified District President Megan Kerr and Los Angeles County 4th District Los Angeles Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Hahn told the crowd that tougher gun-control ordinances for Los Angeles County will be forthcoming, without being specific, which will limit where and what kind of gun  may be purchased and how old someone must be to purchase a gun.

Besides the speeches, there was poetry and music.

The rally’s program began with Isaiah Walker, who teaches at Wilson High School and the director of the school’s gospel choir.  Walker said he is passionate about social justice. He then sang Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come.’

Chinchilla, who is also a member of Californians for Justice, at the end of the first rally and just before the march admonished the audience to not walk in the street, to not obstruct traffic and to not engage with any counter protesters.

The marchers headed on Ocean Blvd. toward downtown.  Once downtown, they turned north toward Broadway.  On Broadway, the marchers headed back to Bixby Park.

Jennifer Allyn carrying her sign at Long Beach March for Our Lives

Jennifer Allyn, with her sign, said, “I’m marching so my kids will never text me under a desk.” Photo by Barry Saks

The audience for the second rally at the park had shrunk to about three hundred.  Again, like the first rally, student leaders from the different schools spoke or performed their poetry.  Not all the speakers at the second rally were student leaders.

Alan Lowenthal, the representative from the 47th Congressional District spoke.  Lowenthal told the audience, “This is an historic moment that we are living through…I’m just honored to be part of something that was created by students, organized by students, carried out by students and will lead the nation to change.  The last time we had a student movement like this is we stopped the Vietnam War, we changed the major civil rights of this nation to protect all.”

At the end of the second rally, Chinchilla reiterated the students’ demands: ban the sale of assault-style weapons; prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines; and, close the gun-show loophole.

Ben Rockwell at Long Beach March for Our Lives

Long Beach resident and longtime civic activist Ben Rockwell in his wheelchair with sign, on Saturday, March 24, before the first rally; photo by Barry Saks.

Before the protest, while the student leaders were setting up, Josie Hahn, a 17-year-old student at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, said, “We are here, of course, to march for our lives because recently there has been the Parkland shooting and we want our voices to be heard that guns in schools and kids dying with gun violence is no longer OK.”  She added, “As a student at Long Beach Poly, there is always gun violence around the neighborhood.”  More particularly, she said that a couple of weeks ago, as she and others were driving to Poly, she saw on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Martin Luther King Blvd., five police cars.  She later found out that there were three shootings around the school that time.  Hahn, who said she joined the Women’s March, later as part of the first rally’s program, read one of her poems.

One supporter, who was present with her son for the first rally was Candyce Simpson, 50.  Simpson, who has been a LBUSD high school counselor for 22 years and lives in the city of Signal Hill, said, “I’m here to support students…They shouldn’t be scared to go to school…I think they’re going to make the biggest change.  It always comes from them…We don’t support them with social and emotional counseling.  We just test them more.”