As Our Communities Hurt, COVID Relief is Needed

by | Nov 13, 2020 | President Message, Advocacy

As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamal Harris work on their transition to the White House, we know that there is much work to be done – nationally and locally here in Los Angeles. The historic election brought change to the Los Angeles City Council with the election of Nithya Raman and a new District Attorney with George Gascon. The citizens of Los Angeles County elected the Former California State Senator Holly Mitchell to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor-elect Mitchell will soon join an all-female Board of Supervisors. The Los Angeles Urban League is proud of the voter turnout and the impact and influence that the African American voter had on this election.

We stand ready to work with officials at all government levels to do what is necessary to see the promise of our protests realized in policy and concrete reforms. As our Black and Brown communities continue to struggle under the pandemic, we are staying the course of working to increase police accountability and accelerate criminal justice reform — including reallocating funding for law enforcement to mental health programs and other supportive services.

We are encouraged by the new Biden/Harris administration, and we are optimistic about the real change from the last four years. Please make no mistake, our communities are hurting now, and immediate assistance is needed. Black and Brown workers, especially, are struggling with keeping their full-time work under COVID restrictions. As COVID numbers rise and stimulus checks run dry, families are worried about educating and feeding their children, paying rent, and surviving the pandemic.

We echo the sentiments of the National Urban League and President Marc Morial in urging the new administration and Congress to pass a comprehensive COVID relief package.

“Central to this, [relief package] is that there be a specific emphasis on providing job opportunities for Black and Brown workers who have been particularly left out and battered by the COVID recession. We also need a broad commitment and language that emphasizes and requires the utilization of Black and Hispanic owned businesses, and such an economic recovery infrastructure package must include a broad federal commitment to invest in affordable housing given the looming housing crisis that could derail a fragile economic recovery.”

More than 75 million people voted for change in this election. They voted for hope, unity, decency, science, and truth. Now is the time to start the work and implement the mandate of reforms we demanded in the streets. Our job is not complete. We stand ready to continue the fight for our communities throughout Los Angeles and the nation.

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