The following remarks were made by new 3rd District Supervisor Lindsey Horvath after she was sworn into office this past Monday, December 5.
“When Los Angeles County first came to be, before it had any city councils or Mayors, before its first
freeway or train track – It had a County Board of Supervisors. When those first five men assumed office,
our State had only two years in the Union, and our county had 15 cows for every person.
Those men could not have imagined, back then, the County we would become: an economy larger than
Sweden’s, 10 million residents and 200 languages, with a Board of 5 badass women now sitting in these
chairs. Nevertheless, they took those first steps into the unknown – and began one of the longest-running
representative bodies in California history. Our County Board of Supervisors established LA’s first hospital and courthouse. Now, It holds a roughly $40 billion budget – and immense sway over our region’s health, justice, and future.
My friends and fellow Angelenos. It is with great honor and humility that I accept this call to serve as
Supervisor for LA County’s Third District.
Los Angeles today stands on the precipice. In the past five years, we’ve suffered a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, witnessed growing inequality and homelessness, and been called to action by the largest racial justice movement in a generation. We know this is a moment of profound change. We can sense it.
We can feel it. The question isn’t whether change is coming – it’s whether we will embrace it.
We are not just five districts or 88 cities. We are one Los Angeles County with one shared future. We
must meet this moment with courage and a willingness to hear new voices and welcome new ideas. I
know that this moment is far bigger than me. It was only made possible by the trailblazers who came
Thirty-one years ago, Gloria Molina walked across this room, stood at this podium, and made history. She had become the first woman, and first Latina, elected to our County’s Board of Supervisors. She was
soon followed by the first elected Black woman, Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke, and the first elected lesbian,
Sheila Kuehl. She helped deliver a wave of change that brought champions like Hilda Solis, Kathryn
Barger, Janice Hahn, and Holly Mitchell.
Shortly after she broke that glass ceiling, she said – as I believe now – “We’ve got to open things up.” We
are still opening things up – for women, and for all people who have been ignored or marginalized. In a
post-Roe era, we must be open to all who seek reproductive freedom and invest in our safety and care.
Most importantly, we must open things up for the next generation. We must believe that we have a
future worth fighting for, and a place to thrive in LA County.
As someone born and raised just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, I never dreamed that one day I would run
for public office. I had no idea that I could become a Councilwoman, a Mayor, or a County Supervisor. It
was here, in Los Angeles County, that I found my voice and a community that taught me to aim higher,
dream bigger, and do more to serve others.
There will be those who doubt us, and who question whether a millennial is ready to serve her County.
But the median age in Los Angeles County is 38. Millennials in Los Angeles are more likely to carry
student loan debt. We are more likely to leave LA County to buy a home, and we’re more likely to
struggle to keep up with rent. We, and the generations that follow, will be the ones to suffer from
inaction on climate change.
Our generation asks for no special favor or treatment. We only ask for a government ready to hear our
voices and respond to our needs. We know damn well that the world we’re inheriting won’t exist if we
continue on the same path we’re on. We’ve been told our whole lives to work harder, do better, and a
brighter future will be waiting for us.
But in reality, we’ve inherited a rapidly declining climate, a widening wealth gap, and recycling the same
failed policies hoping for a different result. We are done with being told to work a little harder to reach
the top of an uneven playing field. We cannot beat a broken system. But we can change the rules of the
game. And if our world will not make room for justice, equity, and a sustainable future, then we will build it ourselves. We must demand change – even when it’s hard, and especially when it’s uncomfortable – because no change worth pursuing has ever come easy.
There was another Supervisor, many years ago, who faced similar doubts. He was young. He had new
ideas. He wanted to bring diverse voices into County government. Kenneth Hahn was only 32 when he
was elected, and went on to become a champion for racial equity, economic justice, and a more inclusive
government – when it was deeply unpopular. Many people at the time thought he was too idealistic,
naive – even radical. Today, this hall bears his name. Not every leader looks the part – and experience
does not only come from elected office. This county is filled with people from all over the world, bound
by a shared hope that here they will build a brighter future.
I was one of those people – and I came to West Hollywood: a city built by Jewish, Russian-speaking
immigrants, and older adults and low-income renters looking for stability, and an LGBTQ community who simply wanted to feel safe being exactly who they are. Together, this coalition of the marginalized built one of the greatest experiments in progressive government – and today, it is renowned for its prosperity and inclusion. West Hollywood taught me to try big things. Invest in our social fabric. And believe that there is more that we have in common than what divides us.
I hold all my experiences – as a Mayor, a business owner, and a renter still paying off her student loan
debt – as assets to my leadership. In a County where over 60 percent of households rent their home, we
need people at the table of power who know firsthand our housing and affordability crisis.
LA County’s Third District stretches from the Valley to the Sea. Over the last 18 months, I met people of
all ages and from all walks of life. Some had just come to LA – hoping to start a new chapter. Others had
spent their whole lives here – raising their families, and some were growing up – attending our public
schools, playing in county parks, and looking forward to their future in Los Angeles County.
We all want safe and welcoming communities. We all deserve a roof over our head – and support for our
neighborhoods. And if this election has taught me anything – it’s that we still believe in the promise of
Los Angeles. We still believe that a county this large and this powerful can take care of ALL its people.
And, we still believe that where others say it’s impossible, Los Angeles says “Watch Us.”
We know that we can do better – and the people of Los Angeles County deserve nothing less. I am
honored to be in this work with all of you – and I would not be here today without the support and
encouragement of my family, my friends, my colleagues, and my allies. Thank you for believing in me,
and for believing in this moment.
This seat does not belong to me – it belongs to all of you. It belongs to the people of the Third District –
and the people willing to fight for our future. I am humbled and honored to march forward with you. To
take those bold steps forward into the unknown. As the Board’s 166th member – and 8th woman – I join
you in writing the next great chapter for Los Angeles County.