Policymaker Spotlight: Kathryn Barger
BOMA/GLA is honored to present our Elected Official of the Year, Kathryn Barger. We also support her reelection campaign for the Board of Supervisors.
As a faithful steward to District 5 and the residents of Los Angeles county, Barger has won reelection to her seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board, after having first been elected in 2016.
Past Experience in the 5th District
Born and raised in the 5th district and returning to California after attending university in Ohio, Barger began her political career in the same office she holds today.
Beginning as a college intern, she quickly rose through the ranks to be Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich’s Chief Deputy in 2001. As a chief policy officer, she focused on health, mental health, social services, and children’s issues to improve the quality of life of under-served populations in the district.
As Supervisor Barger
Barger has focused on many issues the county faces, including public safety, the environment, homelessness, and economic development. For example, as current Chair of the Board, her mission is to focus on children as a way to comprehensively address all of these issues.
In her mission to protect the residents of LA county, Barger has developed many initiatives, including:
- the Blue Ribbon Commission to study the impact of legislation that relates to specific criminal offenses outlined in Assembly Bill 109 and Senate Bills 47 and 57
- and implementing body and car cameras to help law enforcement do their job better.
Recognizing her progress in public safety initiatives, the Association for Los Angeles County Sheriffs and Los Angeles County Firefighters endorse Barger in her reelection campaign.
Solutions for the homelessness crisis may seem too difficult to manage, but Barger has decided to tackle the problem head on. For example, she:
- established employment initiatives to connect homeless individuals with jobs and opportunities,
- built a mental health urgent care center at an existing health center in Lancaster,
- supports a “housing first” approach to helping mentally ill or addicted homeless people,
- and co-authored the motion to file an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Boise v. Martin ruling.
Importantly, when the SCOTUS denied the appeal, the Supervisor recognized that, “a review by the Supreme Court providing clarity to the Boise ruling could have added one more tool in our set of strategies to combat this humanitarian crisis.”
Focus on District 5
Barger focuses very well on combining the needs of her district with the needs of the County.
- As a member of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors, she champions the efforts of the Gold Line extension.
- Representative of the dynamics of the population in the district, she secured a $1 million grant to build the American-Armenian Museum and Cultural Center.
- She advocates for efforts to preserve open space, enhance parks, trails, and recreational programs and facilities.
Most important to commercial real estate, Barger has proven to be pro-business during her time in office. She has proved her allegiance to commercial real estate by:
- casting the only opposing vote for the Business Registration Program, which would have levied a fee on businesses to create a registry,
- creating a new business preference program that promotes growth opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses,
- and starting LA Connect, a working group of monthly meetings to improve one-stop services to small businesses, homeowners, and developers.
Finally, Supervisor Barger's response to the COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies her ability to lead. Among other things, Barger played a key role as the face of County's coronavirus efforts. Through her role, LA County saw:
- consistent and timely communication regarding the County's current and future plans,
- collaboration between Los Angeles and the state level, where Barger and Governor Newsom worked closely to support Angelenos,
- landmark health policies encouraging a safe and prosperous environment
- greater efforts to gather data and research to combat the coronavirus,
- and support for businesses and property owners that were hurt by the coronavirus.
Barger's Reelection Campaign
In her reelection campaign, Barger is endorsed by:
- the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed),
- U.S. Representative Grace Napolitano,
- LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey,
- LA Mayor Eric Garcetti,
- Supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl,
- and Councilmembers Monica Rodriguez and Joe Buscaino.
Her priorities align with a continuation of her previous work in office, most especially under-served populations, promoting economic growth and job creation, and fiscal responsibility.
We are honored to have presented the Elected Official of the Year Award to Supervisor Kathryn Barger as a part of our annual Awards of Excellence. We continue to work with her moving forward advocating for the needs of the commercial real estate community.