Hahn Celebrates Governor Signing Bruce’s Beach Bill, Outlines Next Steps

The legislation does not transfer the land. Instead, it removes restrictions on the land and gives LA County the authority to transfer the property.

SB 796 bill signing

Photo Credit: Bryan Chan

Manhattan Beach, CA — Today, LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn joined Governor Newsom as he signed SB 796, legislation that grants LA County the legal authority to return property once owned by Willa and Charles Bruce to their descendants. Also in attendance were members of the Bruce family, Kavon Ward, the founder of Justice for Bruce’s Beach, Senator Steve Bradford, former Manhattan Beach Mayor Mitch Ward, Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, and current Manhattan Beach Mayor Hildy Stern.

Bruce’s Beach was once a thriving resort for Black residents. But in the 1920s, the City of Manhattan Beach used eminent domain to take the land, under the guise of building a park.  The land was later transferred to the State and in 1995, the State transferred the property to the County. The two parcels which the Bruce family owned now sit under the County’s LA County Lifeguard Training Headquarters at 2600 The Strand in Manhattan Beach.

In April, Hahn announced her intention to return the now County-owned property to the Bruce family.  However, she needed state legislation to allow the transfer.  She brought the idea to State Senator Steven Bradford who authored the legislation which got unanimous support in both the Senate and Assembly.

“This is a milestone for us, and I want to thank, not only Governor Newsom for signing this bill into law, but Senator Bradford for his leadership and the entire state legislature for their unanimous support,” said LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “The work is far from done. Now that LA County officially has the authority to transfer this property, my goal over the next several months will be to transfer this property in a way that not only works for the Bruce family, but is a model that other local governments can follow.  Returning Bruce’s Beach can and should set a precedent for this nation and I know that all eyes will be on Los Angeles County as this work gets underway.”

Tomorrow, Friday September 31, Hahn will introduce a motion directing the County to prepare to accept the amended deed from the state (the state has until the end of this year) and pursue a process to identify the legal heirs of Willa and Charles Bruce.