CONGRESSMAN LIEU CONVENES ELECTED OFFICIALS COUNCIL ON VETERANS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LOS ANGELES – Yesterday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | CA-33) convened the inaugural meeting of the Elected Officials Council on Veterans (Council). A first of its kind coalition, it brought together elected leaders from all levels of government to address the needs of local Veterans.
More than a dozen elected officials from throughout Los Angeles County participated in the meeting, along with housing providers and over two dozen senior staff from various government offices. The goal of the Council is to better leverage and pool respective resources to maximize their delivery to Veterans.
Congressman Lieu said, “I am confident that the members of the Council will work together to accelerate our mutual goal of ending homelessness among Veterans using the Housing First model.”
A presentation was given by a nationally recognized panel of experts from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They included: Mr. Vincent Kane, a national expert on Veterans homelessness and Special Assistant to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald who was appointed to develop and implement the Homeless Plan as well as oversee the creation of the Master Plan for the West LA VA Campus; Dr. Jonathan Sherin, a national expert on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Veterans and subject matter expert for the former plaintiffs in Valentini v McDonald; and Heidi Marston, Special Assistant to Secretary McDonald detailed to Los Angeles to assist with the Master Plan outreach efforts by the VA.
During the meeting, the panel presented VA’s efforts to address Veterans homelessness in Los Angeles County using the Housing First model and providing permanent supportive housing for the most vulnerable and chronically homeless Veterans. They also shared updates on the status of the West LA VA Master Plan and recommended that the Council submit comments and suggestions into the Congressional Record.
Following the presentation, a discussion followed where the Department of Veterans Affairs requested leasing authority to enter into public private partnerships. Congressman Lieu’s legislation, H.R. 3484 – the Los Angeles Homeless Veterans Leasing Act of 2015, is currently pending in the House of Representatives, and would give the VA the authority to enter into leases for the construction of supportive housing. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced companion legislation in the Senate. In early December, the House Veterans Affairs Committee will conduct a hearing on Lieu’s bill.
The following elected officials were represented at the Council:
- Representative Tony Cardenas (CA-29)
- Assemblymember Richard Bloom, District 50
- Assemblymember Matt Dababneh, District 45
- Assemblymember David Hadley, District 66
- Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, District 11
- Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu, District 4
- Mayor of Beverly Hills Julian Gold, M.D.
- Vice Mayor of Beverly Hills John Mirisch
- Mayor of Santa Monica Kevin McKeown
- Mayor of Hermosa Beach Carolyn Petty
- Mayor of Malibu John Sibert
- Mayor of Lawndale Robert Pullen-Miles
- Palos Verdes Estates City Councilmember Betty Lin Peterson
- Santa Monica City Councilmember Ted Winterer
- Staff from the Office of Representative Judy Chu (CA-32)
- Staff from the Office of Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
- Staff from the Office of Representative Linda Sanchez (CA-38)
- Staff from the Office of Representative Adam Schiff (CA-28)
- Staff from the Office of Representative Brad Sherman (CA-30)
- Staff from the Office of Representative Steven Knight (CA-25)
- Staff from the Office of Representative Julia Brownley, (CA-26)
- Staff from the Office of California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon, District 24
- Staff from the Office of California State Senator Ben Allen, District 26
- Staff from the Office of California State Senator Fran Pavley, District 27
- Staff from the Office of California Assemblymember Autumn Burke, District 62
- Staff from the Office of California Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, District 54
- Staff from the Office of California Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, District 53
- Staff from the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
- Staff from the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
- Staff from the Office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, District 3
- Staff from the Office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, District 5
- Staff from the Office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price, District 9