Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved a $129.7 million supplemental spending plan for the remaining unallocated federal CARES Act funding:
“For the last six months, COVID-19 has plagued the world and impacted the 10 million residents who call LA County home. The First Supervisorial District continues to bear the brunt of this crisis with over 27 percent of all Countywide cases. The COVID-19 crisis paints a stark portrait of inequity that comes after years of long-term neglect in our communities of color that can no longer be denied or minimized.
“The data is clear: the pandemic has been most impactful to our communities of color who are most often essential workers, most likely to live in dense housing conditions, and least likely to have access to healthcare. All of these factors put these residents at greater risk of exposure and infection. This is especially true of our Latinx communities who continue to have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the County, and the highest death rate. As of Sept. 13, 2020, the Department of Public Health reported that in LA County, with the exception of Long Beach and Pasadena, there are over 240,000 COVID-19 cases, and of the cases with reported racial data, almost 60 percent are Latinx.
“The CARES Act funding provides us an opportunity to address the COVID-19 pandemic through an equity lens, allowing us to prioritize communities that have been underserved and underinvested for far too long.
“With that in mind, we must continue to invest in all of our communities so that resources are distributed equitably, with the understanding that our communities of color have been systemically denied access to services and programs that have been readily available to other populations.
“This second allocation of CARES Act funding will further enhance equity in the distribution of our resources. I am pleased to see many of the allocations I advocated for in today’s plan, including:
- $30 million to expand the Promotoras program in all communities of color that are hard-to-reach and have historically low participation in County services. As trusted bilingual community messengers, promotoras will provide information, conduct outreach to local residents and serve as a bridge between their communities and County services;
- $1 million for public service announcements and other educational materials shared on various ethnic media platforms. By working closely with our partners in the ethnic media, we will ensure we effectively reach all people by teaming up with linguistically and culturally diverse news outlets that serve all of our communities;
- $50 million to further support our families and seniors who face food insecurity. This pandemic has forced many parents to dilute baby formula to make it last longer. This support will help families purchase food staples, including baby formula and baby food, and further expand nutritional programs for older adults;
“I also support allocations in the supplemental spending plan that were proposed by my colleagues, the other members of the Board of Supervisors:
- $10 million for additional support of small businesses that have been impacted due to County Heath Officer Orders that are more stringent than the state requirements. This is consistent with the $160 million that I advocated for in the first round of CARES Act funding this past July;
- $23.3 million for additional services for people experiencing homelessness to prevent infection. This will also complement funding I had advocated for earlier; and
- $14.9 million to bridge the digital divide for families with school-age children who do not have computers or Internet access.
“These precious CARES Act dollars must be maximized so we can break down racial and ethnic barriers to provide relief and recovery to our communities of color. This spending plan supplements the allocations approved this past July to further meet the needs of our working families, seniors, and small businesses who continue to struggle in this crisis. It is my hope that these allocations will let them know that they are not alone or forgotten.”
Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org