May Day has particular resonance in 2020. As we collectively navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that our workers are not simply on the front lines of our current emergency. They are on the front lines of our daily lives, bringing stability and resilience to our communities with dignity.
Because we must help hard working families now more than ever, my colleagues and I have passed the strongest legal framework to keep renters housed and avoid evictions. I helped ensure that Los Angeles also has a unique one-year allowance to repay rent, after the emergency declaration ends. The protection amounts to a zero-interest loan, for all tenants that were impacted by COVID-19. And, just recently, I created a $1M fund that will provide grants to help cover rent for residents in my district. I am working with Council President Nury Martinez and our Housing + Community Investment Department to expand this subsidy program to help more renters who qualify.
Together with my colleagues on the City Council, and in partnership with Mayor Garcetti, we have improved the lives of working families by raising the minimum wage, banning the box, mandating supplemental paid sick leave, and creating the Office of Wage Standards so workers have immediate access to enforcement by the City when there is need.
My support for workers includes small business owners as well. Many of the beautiful communities are hubs of cuisine and culture from all over the world: Little Armenia, Koreatown, Thai Town, Historic Filipinotown. Each of these communities are home to restaurants and businesses owned mostly by immigrants or children of immigrants. My “Open for Business” initiative streamlined permitting, reduced redundant barriers, and allowed many of these community-serving institutions to thrive.
It is a privilege to represent the most diverse district in the most diverse City in the world. I reaffirm my commitment to fight for working Angelenos from all backgrounds or countries of origin, in partnership with you and the many community-based organizations that call the 13th District and the City their home.
During this pandemic and always — please stay safe,