LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council today will consider a motion to formally prioritize women, children, families and underserved communities when spending the $1.3 billion the city is slated to receive from the federal American Rescue Plan.
The city expects to receive half of the funds in the next month and the second half 12 months from now. The motion, which was introduced by Council President Nury Martinez, would have the city formally consider the following priorities in the recovery:
-- focusing on children and families, including supporting moms with child care and family care;
-- supporting women entrepreneurs and women organizations;
-- creating opportunities for youth employment;
-- continuing universal basic income efforts;
-- continuing community safety efforts;
-- addressing housing security and homeless prevention, including through eviction defense and additional affordable housing;
-- securing the city's financial health;
-- restoring city services; and
-- maximizing county, state and federal resources to address inequities in the city's recovery.
Mayor Eric Garcetti's proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year -- which has been revised by the Budget and Finance Committee and is scheduled to be reviewed by City Council on Thursday -- includes half of the $1.3 billion in federal funding.
On Friday, Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso told the committee that the $11 billion budget depends on the guidelines for how that federal funding can be used.
“It is going to remain to be seen how those guidelines are interpreted and whether the budget is going to be consistent with those guidelines,'' Tso said. “We believe they are. We believe that adjustments will be necessary, though, to make certain of that.''
Martinez noted in her motion that communities of color and low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, including in number of cases and deaths.
“In January, the COVID-19 death rate among Latinos in L.A. County was three times worse than the rate for white residents,'' the motion states. “On the job front, according to the Center for American Progress, women have been hardest hit with four times as many women as men dropping out of the labor force.''
The motion also notes the effect the pandemic has had on children, many of whom face housing and food insecurity and struggle with academic support.
“The work to disrupt the disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities is urgent and necessary,'' the motion stated.
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