Los Angeles County Takes First Steps on Bruce's Beach ReturnApr 20, 2021 06:49PM ● By Mb News Staff
Hahn, along with other county and state leaders, on April 9 announced their intention to sponsor legislation (SB 796), to exempt the Bruce's Beach property from statutory restrictions on the transference and use of the land, to enable Los Angeles County to transfer the land to the descendants of the Bruce family.
"This was an injustice inflicted upon not just Willa and Charles Bruce– but generations of their descendants who almost certainly would have been millionaires if they had been able to keep this property and their successful business," said Supervisor Janice Hahn in a statement issued on Tuesday, April 20. "We will never be able to erase the harm that was done to the Bruces, but today my colleagues voted to do what is in our power to get justice for this family and return the property that was stolen from them nearly a century ago.”
L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell coauthored both motions. “The Bruce family is only one example of countless others where systemic racism took away access to the American Dream for Black families and families of color. In our mission to be an equitable and inclusive L.A. County, when faced with the opportunity to correct historic injustices, we took action to do so," said Mitchell in a statement.
Board of Supervisor Actions
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to support two items regarding Bruce's Beach, both authored by Supervisor Hahn and co-authored by Supervisor Holly Mitchell:
Item 8: Returning Bruce's Beach to its Rightful Owners--
Instructs the County CEO's Office to report back in 60 days with a plan
for how to return the property to the Bruce family including a
timeline, options for how to address property tax issues after the
transfer, and plans for the County to either lease the property from the
Bruce family or relocate the County Lifeguard facility currently at the
Item 9: Los Angeles County Sponsor (SB) 796-- Would make Los Angeles County an official sponsor of CA Senate Bill 796 introduced last week by Senator Steven Bradford. The legislation is necessary because when the State transferred the property to the County in 1995, the deal restricted the County's ability to transfer the property. SB 796 would lift these restrictions and allow the County to transfer the property to the Bruce family.
“With this we have the opportunity not only to right a wrong that happened in our own backyards, but also to be an example of to the rest of the nation on how governments can begin to act now to correct historic injustices,” said Hahn in a statement.
Bruce's Beach Has Become Flashpoint for Controversy
was not until 2006 that the city of Manhattan Beach publicly acknowledged this chapter of
its history by naming the area east of the beachfront property Bruce's Beach Park, and it was not until the
summer of 2020 that a movement began growing for the city to take further action to recognize the Bruces.
However, the property that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is discussing is the two parcels of beachfront property (totaling 7,000 square feet) that the Bruce family once owned. That parcel is immediately west of Manhattan Beach's Bruce's Beach Park and is currently the site of the Los Angeles County Lifeguard training headquarters.