Endorsement: Lindsey Horvath for L.A. County supervisor in District 3

Lindsey Horvath speaks with shoppers at Melrose Place Farmers Market on April 10.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Six candidates are seeking the Board of Supervisors seat currently held by Sheila Kuehl, who opted against a third term and will leave the board in December. The field for the June 7 primary election includes veteran lawmakers and newcomers — and one particularly impressive leader likely to give the board a jolt of youthful energy and accelerate its sense of urgency.

That candidate is Lindsey Horvath, currently a member of the West Hollywood City Council. Horvath has helped make her small city a laboratory for ideas and programs that promote opportunity, equity and justice for its residents, and she could do the same for the 2 million people who live in the redrawn 3rd District, and the more than 10 million countywide. The Times recommends a vote for Horvath.

Horvath was only 26 when she was first appointed to the West Hollywood council to fill a vacancy in 2009. She once called the opportunity a “Willie Wonka Golden Ticket” to make a meaningful difference for people, especially the most vulnerable. She briefly appeared to have lost that ticket when she was unseated in her first election, but several years later she won back her place on the council and eventually served multiple stints as mayor including during the most challenging period for the city — and indeed the county and the nation — amid the pandemic lockdowns and social justice protests in the wake of the George Floyd murder in 2020 and into 2021.


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April 27, 2022

Along the way, she drew notice for her drive and progressive innovation in a city already well known for trying new ideas, and for putting into practice sound ideas that had not been implemented before. For example, Horvath recognized the need for an aging-in-place program for West Hollywood’s older residents and she saw that through.

She has been on the cutting edge in demanding law enforcement accountability, deep coordination among municipalities, thinking through unarmed responses to people experiencing mental health breakdowns or other crises, and getting services to people living on the street.

It’s noteworthy that county officials tasked with handling the enormous homelessness problem have looked to West Hollywood with Horvath’s leadership as a model, rather than the other way around.

Kuehl came to the board in 2014 after a trailblazing career as a civil rights attorney, a women’s and LGBTQ rights advocate, an environmental activist and a lawmaker. She distilled a lifetime of advocacy and leadership into setting the county on a firm path toward environmental stewardship, clean water and especially justice reform and healthcare. But many of the most forward-looking tasks have yet to be completed and in some cases are still waiting to be formally launched. The county needs a board that will carry out these programs.

This means developing a system of mental health care that finally fills the gap left by the state and federal abandonment of the mentally ill decades ago, houses people unable to house themselves, offers a path to care and recovery for people caught in an endless criminal justice cycle, offers help to crime victims, provides medical care to all who need it, and makes the best and most sustainable use of our precious energy and water supplies. Horvath has dedicated herself to these issues and achieved remarkable success in addressing them in her city.

Also running are two state senators, both Democrats. Bob Hertzberg’s Senate district is based in Van Nuys; Henry Stern’s runs from the Malibu coast northward to Santa Clarita. Hertzberg is well known as a pragmatic deal maker who crafts solutions meant to cut through political stalemates, one good example being his legislation to end money bail, something legislators had debated for 30 years. But the bill ultimately was overturned by voters. Part of the trick with compromises is to know when they will stick and when they will just blow up. Hertzberg has a mixed record in that regard.


Stern is known for his environmental legislation, which is important for the region and a good fit for the portions of the district made up of beaches and the Santa Monica Mountains. But neither Hertzberg nor Stern, despite their legislative achievements, match Horvath in either direct service to a constituency or advocacy for the marginalized.

Nor do the other three candidates: Craig Brill, Jeffi Girgenti and Roxanne Beckford Hoge, all of whom would respond to the county’s current challenges with backward-looking policies. District 3 residents instead have their own chance at a golden ticket with Horvath. They should grab it.

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