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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Los Angeles CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 5

Photo of Kathryn Barger

Kathryn Barger

Chief Deputy Supervisor
350,998 votes (57.9%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensure the county is safe through working with sheriffs, mental health department and jails.
  • Advocate for businesses in cutting red tape, lowering fees when possible, and making a better environment for creating jobs
  • Continue to manage a fiscally responsible budget



Profession:Chief Deputy Supervisor, Los Angeles County Fifth District
Chief Deputy Supervisor, Los Angeles County Fifth District (2001–current)
Health and Children's Services Deputy, Los Angeles County Fifth District (1989–2001)


Ohio Wesleyan University B.A., Communications/Politics (1983)


Born and raised in the Fifth District, Kathryn Barger is endorsed by Supervisors Mike Antonovich and Sheila Kuehl.

As Chief Deputy Supervisor, Kathryn's work includes health care, foster care, and mental health policy.


In the June 2016 Election, Kathryn Barger will be running for Supervisor in Los Angeles County’s Fifth District. The current Supervisor, Mike Antonovich, is retiring because of term limits.

Kathryn Barger is the only candidate for County Supervisor who was born, raised, and is a lifelong resident of the Fifth District. After earning a BA in Communications from Ohio Wesleyan University, Kathryn began her career working in the private sector. Her interests in public service led her to return home where she went to work for Mike Antonovich. For the past 15 years, Kathryn has been Chief Deputy Supervisor where she manages the Supervisor’s Office and serves as the official liaison with community and local business groups. She has strong ties to them, knows their problems and delivers results. Kathryn is also an expert on healthcare, mental health and children’s issues because of her work with Supervisor Antonovich. He has encouraged her to run and endorsed her candidacy for Supervisor.

Fiscally Responsible

As Chief Deputy Supervisor, Kathryn strives to make government more efficient by reducing burdensome bureaucracy and regulation. She will continue that tradition of fiscally responsible county governance, holding down spending and taxes while investing in critical services like public safety, economic development, and transportation.

Commitment to Safety

Kathryn is committed to keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe. She helped implement Megan’s Law to ensure all residents have information about sex offenders in their neighborhoods. The wife of a retired Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff, her anti-crime platform, which advocates for more local patrols and body cameras for officers, has earned her the endorsement of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs and the support of three former LA District Attorneys – Steve Cooley, Gil Garcetti, and Bob Philibosian.

Kathryn’s years of service to the LA Board of Supervisors has included a multitude of initiatives to help families and children that provide or expand vital mental health and public health services, housing resources for foster care youth, and anti-fraud policy changes that protect welfare recipient and taxpayer.

Problem Solver

Kathryn Barger is a recognized problem solver. Her record of service has won her bi-partisan support from leaders throughout the Fifth District and Los Angeles County, including Republican Supervisor Antonovich and Democratic Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

Kathryn Barger is uniquely prepared to serve the Fifth District and you.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Sheila Kuehl, Third District Supervisor
  • Michael D. Antonovich, Fifth District Supervisor
  • Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs

Organizations (7)

  • Burbank Police Officers' Association
  • Teamsters Joint Council 42
  • Union of American Physicians and Dentists
  • SEIU 721
  • Los Angeles County Firefighters
  • Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

Elected Officials (13)

  • John C. King, Mayor of Covina
  • Samuel Kang, Mayor of Duarte
  • Jim Ledford, Mayor of Palmdale
  • Robert Philibosian, Former Los Angeles County District Attorney
  • Steve Cooley, Former Los Angeles County District Attorney
  • Gil Garcetti, Former Los Angeles County District Attorney
  • George Deukmejian, Former Governor of California and California Attorney General
  • Pete Wilson, Former Governor of California; Former United States Senator
  • Congresswoman Grace Napolitano
  • Curtis W. Morris, Mayor of San Dimas
  • Dave Spence, Mayor of La Canada
  • Barbara Messina, Mayor of Alhambra
  • Bob Kellar, Mayor of Santa Clarita

Individuals (1)

  • Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County ILO and California Counts, a public media collaboration (5)

Many in Los Angeles County cannot afford to rent or buy their own home. How do you propose to make it easier to afford housing?
Answer from Kathryn Barger:

Let me begin by saying a big part of the answer to all of your questions begins with economic growth and job development.  National and international trends are key contributors to job growth, as are decisions and policies of state and local governments. All these factors play important roles in our shared economic prosperity.  But at the root of affordable housing is a need to encourage strong growth and job creation. 

Home ownership and the availability of rental property are complicated issues. One part of the solution involves removing obvious roadblocks to people seeking access to affordable housing. We have created innumerable programs at every level of government to address this:

  • Creating better access to families by helping them understand and build up their credit standing;
  • Providing alternative ways to evaluating creditworthiness;
  • Providing financial counseling low and middle income people, again with focus on building credit and encouraging saving;
  • Working with capital providers including banks, S&Ls, credit unions, non-profits government sponsored enterprises, including our own county government to prudently lend to those seeking homes.

Finally, LA County needs to work with the federal government to reform the funding systems for public transportation, something I have worked on for some time It is a fact that housing is less expensive in areas further from city hubs.. In my career, we have focusing on developing and expanding our mass transportation infrastructure, allowing people greater mobility and access to jobs and affordable housing.  By expanding our transportation infrastructure, we also reduce the overall cost of transportation for the average household, thus increasing the availability of disposable income for other needs including savings and housing.   Continuing efforts to expand our transportation systems will be important to expanding the availability of rental housing and home ownership.

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in Los Angeles County. What new strategies should the Board of Supervisors implement to ensure that Los Angeles is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.
Answer from Kathryn Barger:

We must look to both the short term and the long term, creating programs that address long term benefits and our more immediate problem of water shortages.

Conservation is the most immediate, practical, and efficient way to have an immediate impact on water availability in the County of Los Angeles.

  • Regarding water conservation, close to 80% of the water used in a household is used outside.  Focusing on conversation of yards from grass to drought-tolerant landscaping and removing impervious surfaces, like solid concrete, and allowing water to infiltrate the aquifer are necessary. 
  • The County has a LID (Low-Impact Development) Ordinance that requires these types of water-capture projects on all new residential development and they must comply with rigorous California Build Code that focuses on conserving energy.

Long Term Development of Alternatives is also important: Long range planning for carbon is also important and we certainly must do our part to lessen the threat of climate change through long-term policies.

  • While the County is not a utility provider, the County has approved enough solar development in the Antelope Valley to power almost 600,000 homes. I will continue to work on developing alternative energy sources, based in improving technology and innovation.

Working with AQMDs in creating policies to encourage commercial fleet conversion to more efficient fuel burning engines with lower carbon and pollution footprints (e.g natural gas burning fleets).

A more expansive infrastructure and transportation system in LA County: including mass transit,  water storage/transport/conservation, and other infrastructure.

Homelessness is a major concern in Los Angeles County.  What role can and should the County government play in resolving homelessness? In your answer please specifically address how the county should pay for homeless services.
Answer from Kathryn Barger:

The City and County have to get more aggressive about this problem.  We also cannot do it alone.  

  • The County has the primary responsibility to provide services such as Mental Health, Health, Alcohol and Drug services, and Social Service assistance (includes Job Training). 
  • All 88 Cities in the county must also be included in any plan moving forward in order to achieve success with this issue.
  • With respect to the high incidence of homeless veterans, the federal government must join with us in solving this catastrophe.
  • With Mental Health, we must work with the State to address the laws currently surrounding hospitalization.  Currently under Welfare and Institution Code 5150, someone considered a “danger to self or others or is gravely disabled” can be hospitalized for 72-hour treatment and evaluation.  This has created a revolving door for the mentally ill- creating overcrowding in our hospitals without helping the individual in crisis long-term.  
  • The County must also increase its efforts to work with and supporting non profits,. As an example, the Downtown Women’s Center, who have worked on this issue for decades and been very successful. 
  • Finally, the County of Los Angeles is allocating $100 million of Redevelopment revenue as seed money to immediately address short term housing.  For long term revenue source-rather than seeking an increase in sales tax or a parcel tax, I would support exploring a State tax on Medical Marijuana that would be earmarked for Homeless programs.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a raise of the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020 for unincorporated areas in the county. Some business owners say the hike in wages will eliminate jobs. What solutions do you propose to encourage job growth in the county?
Answer from Kathryn Barger:

Much research suggests that the gradual implementation of the County’s minimum wage increase should not endanger the economy. We also have to be honest and recognize that increasing the minimum wage will hasten the loss of jobs to automation..

I also believe local governments are less suitable to addressing the minimum wage issue, and that it is best addressed at the state level (and it has, just recently adopted by the Legislature and soon to be signed into law by Governor Brown). (The state minimum wage law has an important feature, which calls for a temporary halt in the raises should the state find itself in a recession)

I will also say that a greater solution is to work on creating increased wages through job creation and economic growth.  As Chief Deputy County Supervisor, I’ve worked closely with the local communities, cities, businesses, and local business leaders to create economic and job opportunities across the 5th Supervisorial District.

  • This record includes successfully attracting manufacturing jobs to the Antelope Valley, including   BYD (electric bus manufacturing - Lancaster) and Kinkisharyo  (trains for light rail transportation system- Palmdale). Both firms chose our district to build plants that now provide well-paying, middle-class jobs to the region.  
  • Logix recently announced it will be relocating its headquarters to the Santa Clarita Valley.  

To encourage businesses to locate in Los Angeles County, I have also worked to implement the County’s consolidation of Building and Plan check operations into one location (One-Stop Program). This will streamline the approval process for businesses and cut a lot of red tape and delay our of the permit process.   

Finally, I meet often with business leaders who tell me that companies are over regulated by the State, creating still more costs for running their businesses. I will be very active at the State level, engaging our legislators to collaboratively address unnecessary regulation of business.

What steps, beyond a citizens' commission, should Supervisors take in preventing abuses within the Los Angeles Sheriff's department?
Answer from Kathryn Barger:

Cameras: We have been installing cameras throughout all of our jail facilities and I support that project. 

Body Cameras: I also support implementing body worn cameras on our deputies in the field.  These cameras will increase accountability and transparency as well as reduce risk and liability. 

Strong Character Based Leadership: No commission, however effective and conscientious, can replace uncompromising integrity and leadership from the top and through the ranks of the Sheriff’s Department. All the oversight and programs can only help us get to our goal with the right leadership, which we have in our current Sheriff Jim McDonnell. 

Hiring resources: I believe we need to resource law enforcement to hire the best qualified applicants possible, which comes with adequate budgeting and safety as a priority.

Videos (4)

— May 25, 2016
— May 25, 2016

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