COUNCILWOMAN MONICA RODRIGUEZ INTRODUCED SWEEPING LEGISLATION TO HELP WORKING FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES AMID COVID-19

Los Angeles, CA -- Yesterday, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced a legislative package to provide relief to working families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation included a traffic safety plan for food pantries, the creation of a working group to reopen Los Angeles, increased accessibility for domestic violence resources, utility relief to low-income Angelenos, support to multi-generational households, and preparations for the wildfire season. Motions she introduced yesterday build upon her commitment to providing financial relief to working families and address public safety concerns.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2020

Press Contact: Tran Le, tran.le@lacity.org, 213-257-0475

COUNCILWOMAN MONICA RODRIGUEZ INTRODUCED SWEEPING LEGISLATION TO HELP WORKING FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES AMID COVID-19

Her legislative package included a traffic safety plan for food pantries, the creation of a working group to reopen Los Angeles, increased accessibility for domestic violence resources, utility relief to low-income Angelenos, support to multi-generational households, and preparations for the wildfire season.

Los Angeles, CA -- Yesterday, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced a legislative package to provide relief to working families and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation included a traffic safety plan for food pantries, the creation of a working group to reopen Los Angeles, increased accessibility for domestic violence resources, utility relief to low-income Angelenos, support to multi-generational households, and preparations for the wildfire season. Motions she introduced yesterday build upon her commitment to providing financial relief to working families and address public safety concerns. 

“We must do everything we can to give our community the support they need and ensure that families don’t fall through the cracks during this challenging time,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “The critical actions we took yesterday will provide greater relief to working families, tenants, property owners, and small businesses impacted by this crisis and help prepare our community for the post-pandemic recovery,”

The motions introduced at the Council meeting called on the City to implement the following measures: 

  1. Increasing Traffic Safety at Food Banks: The motion directs LAPD and LADOT to develop traffic operational guidelines to improve safety at food pantry locations by providing proper ingress, queuing, loading, and egress protocols. A recent fatality of a food pantry volunteer in Sylmar prompted this legislation for greater on-site safety measures.

  2. Creating a Working Group to Reopen Los Angeles: This motion calls for the creation of a group of experts to develop strategies to plan for the City’s economic recovery and help businesses re-establish their operations. Recommendations should include the order in which industries should be allowed to voluntarily resume, work that must be continued remotely, and the protocols and protections that should be in place to prevent a second wave of infections.

  3. Installing Domestic Violence Resources at Essential Businesses: With safer at home orders in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, victims of domestic violence are more vulnerable than ever while sheltering in place with their abuser. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, are often the only places victims can go without their abusers. This motion directs City agencies to partner with essential businesses to create a safe and discreet system by which victims can seek assistance at these locations.

  4. Expanding Utility Relief to those Affected by COVID-19: The motion calls for the expansion of the City’s Lifeline program to include COVID-19 related economic hardship as qualifying criteria. This measure aims to provide additional relief to low-income customers impacted by COVID-19.

  5. Supporting Angelenos Living in Overcrowded & Multigenerational Households: Residential crowding has been linked to an increased risk of infection from communicable diseases and a higher prevalence of respiratory ailments. Immigrant populations are particularly susceptible to issues of overcrowding. To slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important to provide these multigenerational households with the resources and information they need to best protect themselves. This motion directs the City to develop strategies, including the prioritization of testing to support Angelenos living in these households. 

  6. Partnering with Restaurants to Feed the Homeless: There is a unique opportunity during this pandemic to uplift impacted restaurants while providing food service for homeless shelters. This motion instructs the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority to explore opportunities for contracting with local restaurants to provide meal catering services to shelters and temporary housing for the homeless during COVID-19.

  7. Preparing for the Wildfire Season Amid COVID-19: As wildfire season approaches, the City should prepare for a scenario where our first responders must battle wildfires while simultaneously taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This motion instructs the Fire Department to report on their preparations for the upcoming wildfire season in light of the pandemic and includes a discussion on the impacts to brush clearance, fire prevention operations and training. The motion also calls on City departments to anticipate potential impacts that the novel coronavirus will have on shelter operations during the fire season and begin developing a plan to address them. 

In addition to these motions, the City Council adopted Councilwoman Rodriguez’s legislation for a citywide infrastructure accelerator plan to expand bandwidth in underserved communities, economic relief for small businesses, and additional support to homeless service providers. 

Additional legislative wins include an expansion of freeze on rent increases applicable to rent-controlled units from 90 to 360 days after the end of the Safer at Home order, adopting a workers protection ordinance to protect people who have been laid off or furloughed by requiring companies to rehire them based on seniority, and voting to urge the federal government to pass rent and mortgage cancellation and forgiveness. These legislative actions taken by the Councilwoman complement current city, county, state, and federal efforts to provide relief and further protect Angelenos who have lost their jobs and had their businesses closed. 

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Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the City’s Chair of Public Safety and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which include the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.