The Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors unveiled the official photo featuring an all-women Board of Supervisors for the first time since the Board’s inception in 1852. The official Board photo features newly elected Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell who will represent the Second District
It also features Supervisor Hilda L. Solis front and center as she will lead the Board in the coming year as chair.
“This is history – or, better yet, herstory,” said Solis, supervisor for the First District. “We’ve shattered a glass ceiling right here in Los Angeles County. For girls and women everywhere, this demonstrates that no dream is too big. At a time when we are facing so much uncertainty, I’m thankful for colleagues who are committed to investing in communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting homelessness, creating affordable housing, assisting women-owned small businesses, and bolstering our safety net programs.
“The pandemic has hit women and children the hardest – the economic toll, particularly on mothers of young children, will take immense focus to overcome. We know that women legislators introduce and pass more legislation dealing with issues related to women and children. That will be even more true now in Los Angeles County with five female Supervisors. Each one of us have our own unique talents and interests, but we’ll come together to meet the needs of the 10 million people who call Los Angeles County home. Women are rising, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside compassionate, strong, and intelligent women in this new era for Los Angeles County.”
Earlier this month, Martin Jenkins, California’s first and only African-American Supreme Court Justice, swore in Mitchell, a former California state senator, to the board. Mitchell is the second Black woman to serve on the board that oversees Los Angeles County’s robust $36 billion budget, the largest for a county government in the country. The first Black woman to serve on the board of supervisors was Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke. She served twice: from 1992 to 2008 and from 1979-1980.
Mitchell succeeds Mark Ridley-Thomas in representing the Second District, which runs from Wilshire Center and the Miracle Mile south to Carson, west to Mar Vista and east to Lynwood. Ridley-Thomas had held the seat since 2008 and was barred from running for re-election because of term limits.
“It is an honor to serve alongside this dynamic group of leaders. Yes, our entirely women-led board is historic and so is this moment, when our residents need government to serve like never before. We each bring a unique lived experience, expertise and understanding of what’s at stake for our constituents, and all of this prepares our board to guide LA County through these unprecedented times,” said Mitchell.
“Women in positions of political power often pay more attention to the real life needs of women and children, which creates help for everyone in our communities,” said Sheila Kuehl, supervisor for the Third District. “I look forward to working with this all-woman Board knowing that our work together will help address historic inequities that have made it hard for women to keep their heads above the poverty line, feel safe in their homes and communities, and meet the twin challenges of work and family.”
“I grew up seeing my dad, the original Supervisor Hahn, serve on this powerful board of five men,” said Janice Hahn, supervisor for the Fourth District. “Serving on a board of five women means a lot to me personally, but what I want most out of this historic moment is for girls and young women to see us and know that they are full of potential. Being a woman is not a disadvantage in leadership—it is an asset.”
“It’s a privilege and honor to have been re-elected to the Board of Supervisors. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with my colleagues as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of all Los Angeles County residents,” said Kathryn Barger, supervisor for the Fifth District, who was re-elected for a second term.
The new iconic and historic board photo also marks a few other firsts. With social distancing rules in place, the Board photo was put together as a composite instead of an in-person group photo for the first time in the board’s history.
The white ensemble worn by the board is also a tribute to another historical moment this year – the 100th anniversary of the formal adoption of the 19th Amendment into the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. The image backdrop represents all five districts blended to symbolize a united county.
“We are thrilled to be able to share an image that captures the essence of true leadership and a historic time for the board,” said Celia Zavala, executive officer of the board. “Los Angeles County residents will get to know each one of these incredible women as people they can count on to lead us during these critical times.”