LA County Seal

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 12/05/16 – 8:28 PM PST |

Two newly elected Los Angeles County supervisors brought historic changes to local politics Monday when they became part of a supermajority of women to serve on the largest local governmental body in the nation.

Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger were formally sworn in during two ceremonies at L.A.’s County Hall of Administration downtown. They join Hilda Solis, Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas, the only man on the board, to oversee a $28 billion budget as well as several of the largest departments in the United States, including the Sheriff’s Department.

They replace Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Don Knabe to represent the 4th and 5th districts. Both men had more than 55 years of service between them but were forced out by term limits passed in 2002.

In separate ceremonies marked with tears, prayers, songs and some comic jabs at Ridley-Thomas for being the only man, Hahn and Barger took the oath of office in the board hearing room filled with constituents and staff and promised to serve 10 million residents who call Los Angeles County their home.

For Hahn, the morning ceremony became a tribute to her father, Kenneth Hahn, who served on the board for 40 years and whose name is on the Hall of Administration. The lineage of public service in her family was evident when Hahn was sworn into office by her brother, former Mayor James Hahn, who is a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

“As a I stand here today in this building, I’m thinking about my father,” said Hahn, a former Los Angeles city councilwoman who gave up her seat in the House of Representatives to run for the powerful county board. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti helped introduce her.

“My father taught me that a county supervisor is truly at his, or her, best when they leverage their influence to bring everyone together to solve problems.”

Later in the day, Barger was sworn in by her former boss, Antonovich. Barger was his top aide for 15 years.

She said for her, being a supervisor means balancing the needs of the county’s most needy with the responsibility of balancing a budget.

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