As more businesses, services and public amenities reopen, I am now expanding my focus to encompass not only the urgent work of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, but to strategizing how to recover during its aftermath.
Sheltering in place has been essential to saving lives, but closing our businesses has imperiled the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Angelinos — those of business owners and employees alike. Municipalities will see a plunge in sales tax revenues, critical services could be jeopardized, and now is the time to decide how to best use our resources.
Below is an update on some key steps I’m taking to see that government continues to provide crucial community support not only during this pandemic, but that it facilitates a rebound after.
Economic Recovery Task Force
Although Los Angeles County is making an unprecedented effort to assist small businesses experiencing financial hardships, I have called for the creation of a task force to design, coordinate and execute a comprehensive economic recovery plan.
Long after this virus is gone, the economic damage will remain. We need to understand the full scope of the financial impact in order to form data-based responses and put forth viable strategies for renewed prosperity throughout the County.
This task force will deliver its recommendations in 90 days.
A Post Pandemic Housing Plan for the Homeless
COVID-19 pushed our state government to act more quickly on homelessness than it had in a decade, and it is my goal to see that the great strides we’ve made in moving people off the street don’t melt away when this health crisis ends.
There is still a homeless crisis.
My goal is to keep all the people have been provided with temporary shelter, including those in hotels and motels (Project Roomkey), not only indoors but with the means to transition into other housing opportunities, never returning to the streets.
Last week I led the Board of Supervisors in moving to develop a COVID-19 Recovery Plan specifically for people experiencing homelessness, with the goal of keeping all those brought indoors during the crisis.
We will have strategies to house the most vulnerable — people aged 65 and older, as well as those under 65 with chronic underlying health conditions. These will be streamlined to create a comprehensive approach that maximizes the use of short, medium and long-range housing plans for the entire spectrum of need.
Feeding our Seniors
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently launched “Great Plates Delivered” a meal delivery service for California’s older adults, and the County of Los Angeles will be administering this program locally, starting with a partnership between the Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services Department and UNITE HERE, Local 11’s Hospitality Training Academy.
Our elderly population has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and it is vital that even as our society begins to reopen, our seniors stay safe at home. This program will not only allow seniors to get the nutrition they need while staying at home, it will also provide employment opportunities for workers in the hospitality industry – one of the first sectors to lay off employees during this crisis.
If you know a senior who is in need of meals, please share this critical information with them. City of LA residents should call 213-263-5226; LA County residents who live elsewhere should call 800-510-2020 or 626-414-6439.