LA County: We demand a circuit breaker and direct relief to save lives

County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors

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Sign the petition to let LA Board of Supervisors know we are United Against Covid19, and demand a 4-week ‘Circuit Breaker’ with real safety nets to allow businesses to stay closed and workers to stay safe at home, to suppress the virus and save lives!

We, the undersigned, ask LA County’s elected leaders to take bold leadership, based on science and rooted in equity, to save lives. Saving lives is, in fact, a prerequisite to saving jobs, businesses, and our children’s futures. Therefore, we are calling for an urgent circuit breaker to suppress the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

In light of the current COVID-19 upsurge, we join public health experts, healthcare workers, labor and community organizations in Los Angeles County call on the LA County Board of Supervisors to enact stay at home orders that are strict enough to truly suppress the virus by closing all non-essential businesses and activities in the County, for the first four weeks of January.

We urge you to immediately call for state and federal funds to allow LA County to have a true lockdown, one that prioritizes the lives of everyone — particularly essential workers and working families — over comfort and convenience. These funds will provide safety nets that would allow businesses to stay closed and people to stay safe at home for the duration of the circuit breaker.

We ask you to prioritize the educational and health needs of school-aged children, especially our highest needs students, by doing what is necessary to bring the virus under control so that safe in-person instruction can once again be a possibility. While students and educators have struggled for almost a year with crisis distance learning, cardrooms, bars, brewpubs, in-person dining, mini-golf, hair salons, and non-essential retail have been allowed to reopen in LA County.

Along with the following organizations, we sign in support of this call to immediate action!

AARP

ACT-LA

AF3IRM, conveners of Kanlungan.net

AFSCME Local 3299

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)

California Nurses Association (CNA) President, Zenei Cortez, RN

LAANE - Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy

National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)

Reclaim Our Schools Los Angeles (ROSLA)

Southeast Asian Community Alliance (SEACA)

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)

Students Deserve

Tenant Power Collective

UFCW 770

UNITE HERE LOCAL 11

United Auto Workers Local 2865, representing Academic Student Employees at University of California

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)

Prof. Ninez Ponce, MPP, PhD, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health*

Dr. Ryan Huerto, Family Medicine Physician, National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of Michigan*

Dr. Sue Chang, Pathologist, Assistant Clinical Professor, City of Hope*

* institutional affiliation is provided for identification purposes only



¡Firme la petición para que la Junta de Supervisores del Condado de Los Ángeles sepa que estamos unidos contra el Covid19 y exija una “interrupción del circuito” con redes de seguridad reales para permitir que las empresas permanezcan cerradas y los trabajadores estén seguros en casa, para suprimir el virus y salvar vidas!

Nosotros, los que abajo firmamos, pedimos a los líderes electos del condado de Los Ángeles que asuman un liderazgo audaz, basado en la ciencia y arraigado en la equidad, para salvar vidas. Salvar vidas es, de hecho, un requisito previo para salvar empleos, negocios y el futuro de nuestros hijos. Por lo tanto, pedimos una interrupción urgente para suprimir la propagación del COVID-19 y salvar vidas.

A la luz del aumento actual de COVID-19, nos unimos a expertos en salud pública, trabajadores de la salud, organizaciones laborales y comunitarias en el condado de Los Ángeles que solicitan a la Junta de Supervisores del Condado de Los Ángeles que promulgue órdenes de permanencia en el hogar que sean lo suficientemente estrictas como para suprimir realmente el virus, cerrando todos los negocios y actividades no esenciales en el condado, durante las primeras cuatro semanas de enero.

Los instamos a que soliciten de inmediato fondos estatales y federales para permitir que el condado de Los Ángeles tenga un verdadero bloqueo, uno que le de prioridad a la vida de todos, en particular a los trabajadores esenciales y las familias trabajadoras, por encima de la comodidad y la conveniencia. Estos fondos proporcionarán redes de seguridad que permitirían que las empresas permanezcan cerradas y que las personas se mantengan seguras en casa mientras dure la interrupción.

Les pedimos que les den prioridad a las necesidades educativas y de salud de los niños en edad escolar, especialmente las de nuestros estudiantes con mayores necesidades, haciendo lo necesario para controlar el virus y que la instrucción presencial segura pueda ser una vez más una posibilidad. Si bien los estudiantes y educadores han luchado durante casi un año con el aprendizaje a distancia en situaciones de crisis, en el condado de Los Angeles se ha permitido reabrir salas de juegos, bares, cervecerías, cenas en persona, minigolfs, peluquerías y tiendas no esenciales.

¡Junto con las siguientes organizaciones, firmamos en apoyo de este llamado a la acción inmediata!

AARP

ACT-LA

AF3IRM, conveners of Kanlungan.net

AFSCME Local 3299

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)

California Nurses Association (CNA) President, Zenei Cortez, RN

LAANE - Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy

National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)

Reclaim Our Schools Los Angeles (ROSLA)

Southeast Asian Community Alliance (SEACA)

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)

Students Deserve

Tenant Power Collective

UFCW 770

UNITE HERE LOCAL 11

United Auto Workers Local 2865, representing Academic Student Employees at University of California

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)

Prof. Ninez Ponce, MPP, PhD, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health*

Dr. Ryan Huerto, Family Medicine Physician, National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of Michigan*

Dr. Sue Chang, Pathologist, Assistant Clinical Professor, City of Hope*

* La afiliación institucional se proporciona solo con fines de identificación.




Petition by
United Teachers Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

To: County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors
From: [Your Name]

December 16, 2020

Re: Circuit breaker and direct relief to save lives

Dear LA County Board of Supervisors,

On December 16, LA County reported 22,422 new COVID-19 cases, recording the highest daily COVID-19 infection count since the start of the pandemic, and surpassing the daily COVID-19 infection rate of almost every other county in the state. As the dire situation worsens, we are calling on you to take bold action now to save lives and to support our most vulnerable working families.

In the face of record-breaking infection levels, soaring hospitalization rates, full ICUs, and the looming wave of deaths that is soon to follow, we call on you to enact what is known as a “circuit breaker” — a period of meaningful stay-at-home orders that are strict enough to significantly slow transmission for the first four weeks of January. We urge you to immediately call for state and federal funds to allow LA County to have a true lockdown, one that prioritizes the lives of everyone — particularly essential workers and working families — over comfort and convenience.

Your leadership in scheduling this circuit breaker now, in a way that would allow businesses to stay closed and people to stay safe at home for January, is crucial for several reasons:

1. This would lower cases to relieve the pressure on hospitals and healthcare workers, allow state and local health agencies to strengthen the testing and tracing system, and allow the system to work better to prevent future surges in viral transmission.

2. This would allow businesses and residents time to plan, and the definite end date would mitigate some of the mental health effects caused by the yo-yo effect of open-ended restrictions.

3. This requires providing necessary safety nets to businesses, workers, and families directly impacted by closures. Some of these safety nets can be enacted at the local level, such as free testing and treatment for COVID-19; suspension of mortgage/rent payments and evictions; a direct payment to subsidize lost wages during the circuit breaker; free meals for those under quarantine; paid leave for those who fall ill or who need to take care of family members who have fallen ill; strong safety protections for essential workers, including local vaccine allocation prioritization for those workers in alignment with ACIP recommendations; and worker retention policies for those laid off during this crisis.

4. Elected leaders representing Angelenos must also aggressively advocate for safety nets at the state and federal level that would allow businesses to stay closed and people to stay safe at home during the duration of this crisis. Examples of such safety nets include ongoing direct payments and subsidies for individuals and small businesses, debt and loan forgiveness so that those payments are spent to reinvigorate local economies rather than to big banks, and a health system that reduces and eventually eliminates the racial and economic disparities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. All elected leaders representing Angelenos must not just be participants in local solutions, but must also go further and be strong advocates for broader societal supports and COVID-19 relief packages that prioritize working families and students.

5. We must prioritize the educational and health needs of school-aged children, especially our highest needs students, by doing what is necessary to bring the virus under control so that safe in-person instruction can once again be a possibility. This includes significantly reduced daily new cases and test positivity rates, an infection rate (R0) below 1, a robust testing program to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, and bringing cases down to a level where contact tracing can be successful at identifying and isolating those with the virus.

The victims of COVID-19 are not random. They are overwhelmingly essential workers, poor people, and people of color. Angelenos make up 40% of COVID-19 deaths in California, despite only making up 25% of the state population. Latinos in Los Angeles are dying of COVID at twice the rate of white people. One in three Black Americans personally know someone who has died of COVID. In Los Angeles, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders have the highest COVID-19 crude and adjusted death rates than any other racial/ethnic group. Asians who become infected with COVID-19 are over four times as likely to die compared to other Angelenos. Residents of high poverty areas are dying at nearly twice the rate of wealthier residents. People of color, many of whom are essential workers, are dying at twice the rate of other residents. By doing all you can to suppress this pandemic surge, you will be protecting our families and friends who are especially at risk of infection and death due to racial and economic inequities.

Survey after survey of parents show that it is overwhelmingly white and wealthy parents who would send their children back to schools now. Meanwhile, parents of color and working-class parents are far more hesitant to return to school because they know full well that it is their families and friends getting sick and dying. Due to uncontrolled viral spread, children in Los Angeles are facing the prospect of an entire school year spent without much-needed in-person instruction. Instead, we saw cardrooms, bars, brewpubs, in-person dining, mini-golf, hair salons, and non-essential retail allowed to reopen in LA County, even as students and educators struggled together to navigate crisis distance learning.

Our teachers want to be in classrooms with their students, and our students need to be in classrooms with their teachers and friends — but only when it is safe to return, in a way that does not further exacerbate the racial and economic inequities of this pandemic.

As businesses linked to Trump received millions in coronavirus relief meant for small businesses, LA residents had to make do with a one-time payment of $1,200. LA County is the largest county by output, contributing over $710 billion GDP to the U.S. economy — LA County leaders should demand that in this time of crisis, the people and businesses that power this country’s economic engine should be supported instead of sacrificed to the pandemic.

In exponential epidemics, early action is essential. As a country, it seems we have all but surrendered in the fight against COVID. But there is still time for LA County’s elected leaders to take bold leadership, based on science and rooted in equity, to save lives. Saving lives is, in fact, a prerequisite to saving jobs, businesses, and our children’s futures. Therefore, we are calling for an urgent circuit breaker to suppress the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

Los Angeles County is the largest governmental body in California — and is also leading the state in cases and deaths. The case rate in Los Angeles is nearly four times that of San Francisco’s. This is not acceptable . We must show the rest of the country how we can beat COVID and return to work, return to school, and return to socializing with the ones we love.

Sincerely,

AARP

ACT-LA

AF3IRM, conveners of Kanlungan.net

AFSCME Local 3299

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)

California Nurses Association (CNA) President, Zenei Cortez, RN

LAANE - Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy

National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)

Reclaim Our Schools Los Angeles (ROSLA)

Southeast Asian Community Alliance (SEACA)

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)

Students Deserve

Tenant Power Collective

UFCW 770

UNITE HERE LOCAL 11

United Auto Workers Local 2865, representing Academic Student Employees at University of California

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)

Prof. Ninez Ponce, MPP, PhD, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health*

Dr. Ryan Huerto, Family Medicine Physician, National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of Michigan*

Dr. Sue Chang, Pathologist, Assistant Clinical Professor, City of Hope*

* institutional affiliation is provided for identification purposes only