These Commission Summaries are intended to provide highlights of the First 5 LA Board of Commissioners’ actions to advance the outcome areas of First 5 LA’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

At the May 11 Commission meeting, highlights include approval of the Best Start Alignment Implementation Framework, an update on early identification and intervention efforts and a review of the draft proposal for the agency’s fiscal year 2017-18 budget.

The Board of Commissioners meets on the second Thursday of each month at 1:30 p.m. unless otherwise indicated at the First 5 LA offices. All meetings are open to the public and agendas are posted on our website at least 72 hours in advance. Please check our Commission Calendar for all updated meeting information and click here for Commission meeting packets, agendas, summaries and meeting notes.

In order to most effectively support Best Start Community Partnerships, the First 5 LA Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the new Best Start Alignment Implementation Framework, representing a major milestone in the way First 5 LA partners with communities.

“The budget is not just about money. The budget is about the heart and soul of our organization.” -Sheila Kuehl

Under the current model, First 5 LA is the primary driver of the 14 Best Start Community Partnerships and, consequently, does not promote the level of community ownership and self-governance required to achieve and sustain community-level results.

Recognizing this, First 5 LA and community stakeholders began a year-long process in May, 2016 to invite extensive input from a variety of sources about how to strengthen the structure of the Community Partnerships. Based on research, analysis, community and Commissioner feedback, a regional approach with local community customization emerged as the most promising option.

To determine the regional configuration, staff identified the following criteria: communities’ proximity to each other; Supervisorial district; shared infrastructure; Service Planning Area;

potential for cross-community learning and collaboration; shared history; and community feedback.

Affirming the importance of the Partnerships maintaining their identity and receiving the resources they need to support their work, the following regional configuration was selected:

  • Region #1 – East Los Angeles, South El Monte/El Monte, Southeast LA, Metro LA
  • Region #2 – Compton, Broadway-Manchester, Watts-Willowbrook, West Athens
  • Region #3 – Northeast Valley, Panorama City & Neighbors
  • Region #4 – Central Long Beach, Wilmington
  • Region #5 – Lancaster, Palmdale

The new support structure approach acknowledges the resources and assets within communities, presenting the greatest opportunity for leveraging and mobilizing local and regional resources. It also fosters organizational network building, promotes cross community learning and promotes the platform for collective advocacy across communities and at a regional level.

For each of these regions, a Regional Network Coordinator with local subcontractors would be selected to provide the operational support for the Community Partnerships. At the local level, subcontracted organizations will work with parents and residents to provide community-specific support in areas including, but not limited to, Community Partnership coordination, leadership development, resident engagement and advocacy, and community-identified projects.

As approved by the Board, the total contracted costs under the new support structure will not exceed $15.5 million annually. Procurement and contracting will be conducted between June and February, 2018. Transition to and implementation of the new support structure is expected to be completed by April, 2018.

In other Board news, a draft of the proposed fiscal year 2017-18 budget for the agency was presented to the Board for Review. Representing the first budget under First 5 LA’s new organizational structure, the proposed 2017-18 fiscal year budget amounts to $144,293,675, a 1.8 percent or $2.7 million reduction from the final, revised fiscal year 2016-17 budget of $146,994, 658. The board is expected to vote on the final budget at the June 8 Commission meeting.

The Commission also received and filed First 5 California’s 2015-16 annual report, a yearly requirement under Proposition 10.

Finally, staff presented an update on First 5 LA’s early identification and intervention work to improve health systems, in particular the Help Me Grow-LA project. This featured a presentation to the Board by Help Me Grow founder Dr. Paul Dworkin. Read the related story on his visit here.