Leading the all-female Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is Janice Hahn, who has represented the 4th District since 2016. Her district stretches from Torrance and the Palos Verdes Peninsula, through Long Beach and the Gateway Cities.

The veteran politician sat down with Tanya McRae on “In Focus SoCal” to discuss her family’s political legacy in LA and the current issues she’s focused on. 

“He really was a civil rights activist, and he always fought for the rights and the inclusion of African Americans,” Hahn said about her late father, Kenneth Hahn. He served on the LA County Board of Supervisors for four decades, the same year that his daughter was born. Janice Hahn reflected on how her father was the only elected official in LA to meet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the airport in 1962.

“They talked about Dr. King’s hopes for America,” she said, adding she was only a teenager during the civil rights movement. 

Hahn entered public service when she won the race for the Charter Reform Commission in Los Angeles. She then went on to serve on the LA City Council, following in the footsteps of her father and one of his brothers, Gordon. Hahn’s brother, James Hahn, served as city controller and city attorney before being elected as the 40th mayor of Los Angeles in 2001. 

Hahn was instrumental in helping the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce get back the beachfront property that was seized by the City of Manhattan Beach through eminent domain in 1929.

“That’s a moment for me that I will never forget,” she said.

The heirs decided to sell the property back to LA County for nearly $20 million in January 2023 because of current zoning regulations that would prevent the family from developing it immediately. 

Hahn has been working with LA County Department of Mental Health Director Lisa Wong on a new campaign to stop school shootings and school violence. The School Threat Assessment Response Team, or START, encourages high school students to contact the team if they witness concerning or threatening behavior by a fellow student.

“If we can prevent it before it happens, that’s what my goal is,” she said.

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