Ian: Hello, and welcome to this live telephone town hall meeting with California’s 44th Congressional District. We’ll be joined in a moment here by your congresswoman, Nanette Barragán. She is here to provide you updates and answer your questions about the response to the coronavirus and other topics. We’d love to take as many questions as we can from you tonight. If you have a question to submit at any time, all you have to do is press zero on your phone.
Thanks so much to those of you who have joined us early. We are dialing out to tens of thousands of other households in California’s 44th Congressional District. We’ll be joined in just a moment by your congresswoman, Nanette Barragán. She is here to answer your questions on a wide range of topics tonight. She’ll have some introductory comments and some updates for you. We’ll also have a guest speaker, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Janice Hahn. They’re both here to answer questions and provide updates tonight. You may even grab a pen and paper to write down the important information you hear. Again, press zero if you’d like to submit a question for either the congresswoman or Supervisor Hahn. We’ll hear some updates from both of them in a moment. Again, as you listen, press zero to submit a question.
But we’d also like to keep you updated moving forward. If you’d like to get email updates from Congresswoman Barragán moving forward, you can press seven on your phone. Press seven, speak to an operator, give them your email address and we’ll update you electronically moving forward. Otherwise, you can also go to her website and sign up for the newsletter there. That’s barragan.house.gov, B-A-R-R-A-G-A-N.house.gov. You can sign up for the newsletter on that website and her district office, if you need to get in touch, is (310) 831-1799. I’ll repeat that information later on in the call, but again, if you’d like to submit a question at any time, we’d like to take those questions, again by pressing zero. We’re going to turn it over to the congresswoman to get us started, but again as you listen, zero for questions, seven to get email updates, and it’s my pleasure to kick off this live forum by turning it over to your congresswoman, Nanette Barragán. Please go ahead.
Nanette Barragá…: Well, thank you, Ian. Thank you everybody for joining us tonight. I’m very excited to have Supervisor Janice Hahn with us. As those of you know, she was our congresswoman before I came into the picture, so I’m super excited that she’s with us today. We’re going to talk about the COVID pandemic, and the resources available to help you and your family get through this crisis.
First, I’m going to give you a short update about what my colleagues and I have been working on in Washington. Working parents need to know that their children will be safe while they’re on the job. For childcare, like so many important pieces of our economy is struggling because of the pandemic. Half of the childcare centers in California are at risk of closing for good by the time this crisis is over. To help, the House has passed the Childcare is Essential Act, which would help childcare providers cover expenses and maintain employees during the crisis.
To create jobs, while so many people are out of work, the House also passed the Moving Forward Act, which is effectively an infrastructure bill which would invest in rebuilding our country’s roads and bridges and other needed infrastructure project, creating millions of jobs. Now, these pieces of legislation have passed the House, but they need to still get through the Senate. That seems to be the hold up these days on legislation that we’re able to pass, but is getting stuck in the Senate, because Republicans there don’t want to move the bills or pass them.
We also passed a bill called the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, to eliminate unnecessary and dangerous police practices like choke holds and holding officers accountable when there is police violence. Tomorrow night, I will be having a town hall with Congresswoman Karen Bass and Vanita Gupta. If you want to join us for that, feel free to call our office and we can give you information for that, as well.
We passed another bill called the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act. This bill would provide renters and homeowners protections from evictions and foreclosures during this challenging time. Again, a bill that we’ve passed that’s stuck right now in the Senate.
You’ve probably heard that right now there are negotiations taking place between Congress and the White House about the next COVID relief package. House Democrats have passed legislation to extend the $1,200, actually provide you a second stimulus check of $1,200, and to extend the time for people to be able to receive the $600 per week in unemployment. However, the Senate Republicans do not agree with this, so there are ongoing negotiations, and that’s where we are. We’re hoping to have an agreement either by the end of this week or the beginning of next week, because people need the help today.
The last thing I want to mention is in May, the House passed the Heroes Act. This piece of legislation has more money for COVID testing and tracing. It extends the Federal Eviction Moratorium. It would really help state and local governments pay for essential workers like healthcare, teachers, firefighters and other services that are local that are super helpful. Which is why we wanted to have, today, Supervisor Janice Hahn with us, so that she could talk about some of the efforts being done on the county level. She’s been a leader on the taskforce, in charge of making sure we re-open safely, and making sure small business is taken care of, and has been a real champion for our communities. With that, I’m pleased to turn it over to Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Janice Hahn: Well, thank you, Congresswoman, for hosting this telephone town hall and for being such an unyielding advocate in Congress for all of our communities, especially during this crisis. Good evening everyone who’s on the phone. Congresswoman Barragán said, and it’s true, that I actually represented this 44th Congressional District before I stepped down from Congress and became the Los Angeles County Supervisor. I represent two million people in our county’s Fourth Supervisorial District. For those of you who don’t know, it stretches all the way from Marina del Ray through the beach cities, through San Pedro, Wilmington, Long Beach, and heads north up through the Gateway Cities. It goes all the way out to Diamond Bar.
Congresswoman Barragán and I have been working hard together on a lot of issues. In fact, you all will be pleased to know that we, our offices are in the same office building here in downtown San Pedro. We’re right actually next door to each other. So our staffs work continually, trying to serve all of you in a way, whether it’s a county issue, a state issue or a federal issue.
For those of you who don’t know, county supervisor, what we do, it’s kind of different than a congressional office. The County runs everything from our hospital system to our foster care system to our mental health department. We run the jails. We run our department of public health, which is really the lead agency as we are facing this pandemic. The County is the ultimate safety net for all of our 10 million residents. These are for many of you who really have nowhere else to go, whether you’ve reached the end of your rope physically, fiscally, mentally, socially, any way that the County can be of help, we try to.
I know so many of you tonight are suffering. Many of you have lost your jobs. You’re dealing with an unprecedented economic impact of this coronavirus. You’re working hard to keep your family safe and healthy. I really want to think the congresswoman for our first round of the Cares Act dollars, which L.A. County got from the federal government. We’ve created programs that help with rent relief, to small business grants, to childcare vouchers. During this town hall, I hope we can answer a lot of your questions about some of the things that we’re using this federal Cares Act money for here in L.A. County, and how we can get you connected to them, if you’re not already.
This COVID-19 virus is so contagious and so deadly, we’re seeing, unfortunately, thousands and thousands of new cases every day here in L.A. County. Over 4,700 local residents have lost their lives to this virus. I just want to take the opportunity to say, everyone to do your part. Wear a mask in public. Avoid close contacts with anyone you don’t live with, especially when you’re indoors. One of the things I think that is a trend that I don’t like seeing is that we’re seeing more and more young people that are catching this virus. In fact, over half the people testing positive right now in L.A. County are under the age of 40. Many of these young people have, indeed, been hospitalized because they’re so sick. Some have died. So it’s not really just about old people in nursing homes. This can affect anyone.
The last thing I want to talk to before we get to questions is the upcoming election. I just want to make sure that no one has to chose between their health and their right to vote. That’s why I made sure that every single registered voter in L.A. County will be mailed a ballot, whether or not you ask for it or not. No longer do you have to ask for an absentee ballot. We’re going to mail you one. You can still vote in person, but I just want to make sure you don’t have to choose between your health and voting. I’ll be happy to answer more questions about that later in this town hall. So thanks again, Congresswoman Barragán. You are just a great advocate for all of us in Congress. I’ll turn it back over to our moderator.
Ian: Thank you so much. Appreciate you, Supervisor. Thanks for being with us tonight, and thank you everybody who’s joined us for this live tele town hall with California’s 44th Congressional District. If you have a question to submit to our conversation tonight, you can do that by pressing zero. Many of you already have, and we’ll start taking those questions right now. If you’d like to sign up for email updates from Congresswoman Barragán’s office, you can press seven on your phone right now, as well. So seven for email updates, zero with any questions.
We’ve got our first question coming from Lucy. It looks like, Supervisor Hahn, you might have something to offer on this question, as well. Lucy, go ahead, from Hawaiian Gardens.
Lucy: Hi. First of all, thank you for hosting this town hall meeting. I really do appreciate it. My name is Lucy. I’m the AFSCME president for local union 36 in Hawaiian Gardens. My question is, when will the card clubs be allowed to re-open? In cities as small as Hawaiian Gardens, 72% of our budget comes from that single source. Without it, we’re in dire, dire problems. Also, when will they’ll be relief provided to local small cities such as ours that are, have populations under 50,000? We currently do not have any funding and relief provided to smaller cities to be able to try to maintain and be saved as a city. So my motto is, “Save Hawaiian Gardens.”
Those are my questions to you, Supervisor Hahn. Thank you for everyone’s leadership. I know these are very trying times and I do appreciate that. We’re trying to be in this, in the best state that we can be. But our city is in really dire need for additional funding at this time.
Ian: Thank you so much, Lucy. Supervisor?
Janice Hahn: Yeah, thanks. I’ll take that, and boy, do I know exactly what you’re saying about Hawaiian Gardens and the card clubs. You are exactly right. Some of these small cities such as yours depend on the revenue from these card clubs. I know I and Supervisor Solis were advocates to re-open them as soon as they could be re-opened earlier, because of what you’re saying and how much services depend on the revenue that comes from those card clubs, as well as good jobs. They were open for, I think a week. Then, Governor Newsom was the one that made the decision to shut them back down, because our positive cases were skyrocketing. So they are closed now, and as of now, I have not heard of Governor Newsom giving us a timeline for when they can re-open. It’s really looking at the positive cases. It’s looking at the hospitalizations. There’s certain criteria that we’re trying to meet before we allow those to re-open. We just haven’t seen that curve bending or flattening like we’d like to.
In terms of the smaller cities getting the money, the congresswoman might want to answer that maybe there might be a change in the formula coming from the federal government on how that money gets distributed out here. But I do know that the state also, in their first round of this money, was getting money to the smaller cities, and not just giving it to the bigger counties. But I know that’s an issue, and I’ve heard from many of my cities that they don’t like the fact that it comes to the County. If you’re a smaller city, you lose a lot. You lose out on that money.
Nanette Barragá…: Thank you for that, Supervisor. I’m happy to also chime in on the funding issue for small cities. We have, House Democrats have passed legislation, the Heroes Act, was specifically intended to address small cities who needed funding, who were unable to get funding in the first round of Cares. This is critical for us, to get the local government funding. A lot of people don’t understand it will go to our frontline workers: teachers, firefighters, hospitals. So we’re continuing to push in the negotiations that local funding be included. What I can tell you is, unfortunately so far what we’ve heard from the other side, which are the Senate Republicans, is they are not open to that idea, although they’re still in negotiations. It could be a negotiating position, but they so far have not been willing, yet, to come to the table on that part of the negotiation.
This is, frankly, where we need our Republican mayors and governors and elected officials across the country who represent areas in other members’ district to speak up and to tell them how important it is to get this local funding. Because the federal government is a partner with our local government, and we need to make sure that the smaller cities are not left out. We’ll continue to fight, and hopefully we can get this negotiated in the next package. Because House Democrats have already passed a bill, but the Senate Republicans are holding that up.
Ian: Thank you, Congresswoman. Thank you, Supervisor. Thank you, Lucy. We appreciate you being in our forum. Thank you for your question today. We’ll get to our next question right away from Wayne, in Carson. Wayne, thanks for waiting. You’re live. Go ahead, sir.
Wayne: Hi, Congresswoman. Thank you for [crosstalk 00:16:17]-
Ian: Are you there, Wayne.
Wayne: Yes, I’m here. Can you hear me?
Ian: Yes, we’ve got you now. Thanks.
Wayne: All right. My question was, it was a Google feed I read where the stimulus package was $1,200 per person or couple. But someone was, multi-millionaires were receiving $1.2 or $1.7 million. Was there any legitimacy to that, and if so, could you speak to that?
Nanette Barragá…: No. Sure. No, Wayne. I think what you heard about was that the economic stimulus payment of $1,200 per person was across the board, regardless of income. The $1.2 million you probably read about probably pertained to the PPP loans, or the business loans. If you’re a business, and you’re able to get a business loan, some of the people who were getting those were some of the bigger businesses. This is where we had to push back and say, “Look, we need to make sure small business is included in these PPP loans. You shouldn’t only have the well-connected. You should not only have those who have a banking relationships be able to qualify for these business loans.” My thought is the article you read probably related to these PPP business loans, not an economic stimulus payment. That is across the board the same, it’s $1,200 per person, and then $500 for independent children, dependent children, rather. That’s what we are negotiating right now in the second package.
My understanding is that there has been somewhat of an agreement between … on the Republican side to allow for the $1,200 next round, but there’s some sticking point on who’s going to get it. I think that’s something that can be ironed out. I’m hopeful of that, and hopefully we’ll know more in the next week. Thanks, Wayne.
Ian: Thank you so much, Congresswoman. We appreciate the answer. Thank you, Wayne, very much for the question, and we’ll get right to our next one from [Ariana 00:18:34] in Wilmington. Ariana, thank you for calling us.
Ian: What’s your question? Hey, Ariana. Go ahead.
Ariana: Hi. I have two questions, the first one being that during the first stimulus check round, I know that people who were claimed as dependents weren’t able to get the stimulus check. So I wanted to know if that was possibly going to change in the second one. Then also, do people receiving SSI, would they be able to receive a stimulus check, as well?
Nanette Barragá…: Thanks Ariana. Well, you should call our office. Let me give you the number, (310) 831-1799. You should call our office and we can open a case for you, if you were unable to get any funding at all for dependents, because that was something that was included in the first round. As far as SSI, we know that people who are on SSI are able to get the stimulus payment as well, even in the first round. So again, if you know somebody who did not get it in the first round, you can call our office. We will open up a case file for you, and we will be happy to reach out to see if we can make sure those who aren’t able to get it receive that payment.
Ian: All right. Thank you very much, appreciate that, again. Thank you Ariana. I appreciate you being on our forum. We’ve got lots of great questions here. Thanks to all of those of you who are submitting them. A little bit of a backlog so if you press zero, just hang tight. We’ll be sure to get your question as quickly as we can. Next up, we’ve got Tiffany in Willowbrook. Hey, Tiffany, thanks for joining us. Go ahead.
Tiffany: Hey, how you doing? Thanks for this. I am enjoying all the questions. I work for the Postal Service. We were informed that the government was giving the Postal Service $10 billion for what, I’m not exactly sure. But we’ve had a lot of questions about hazard pay, because a lot of the employees come in contact with the public. Now, we’ve heard that, we’ve seen paperwork that only the supervisors are getting hazard pay. So we’re wondering, they don’t come in contact with the mail as much as we do, so is there any information you have on that, as to why the actual workers, the mail handlers and the clerks, aren’t seeing any hazard pay?
My second question was, is there any way that you could come and visit our facility? Because, there seems to be an intentional thing to delay the mail. There is an extremely abundance of, like a lot of mail now, like more than any Christmas that I’ve been in 14 years. It seems to be intentional. There’s no mail moving anywhere. Can you help?
Nanette Barragá…: Thank you Tiffany for your service, and for calling in and asking this question. The Postal Service is so critical for everybody and it’s been a service that has been the foundation of this country long when the Federalist Papers were written. So I am committed to doing everything I can to not only help the Postal Service, but to save it and making sure that we’re eliminating some of the ridiculous requirements that are being put on the Postal Service.
As far as the hazard pay, the House Democrats passed the Heroes Act. That’s the bill that is currently being negotiated, effectively being negotiated and being held up by the Senate Republicans. Now, that would provide premium pay for all postal employees. My understanding is, it’s all postal employees. In that bill, it would call for an additional $13 an hour for time worked from January 27th, 2020 until 60 days after the pandemic ends. I understand the men and women of the Postal Service, the workers, are putting themselves in harm’s way to have mail delivered for themselves and their families and have a greater risk. So completely agree with you. There should be a hazard pay. That is part of this package that’s being negotiated as we speak. Hopefully we’ll have more on that in the coming days on making sure we do all we can to get that hazard pay through.
I am more than happy to visit a facility. I can tell you that we have had lots of reports from postal workers throughout the area on the delay. Our office has been trying to work with the Postal Service on figuring out what is happening. But I can also tell you that the Committee on Oversight in Congress is holding a hearing with the Postal General because of the delays, as you mentioned, because it appears to be intentional. Our concern is that the Postal Service is now going to be politicized, which is absolutely wrong, and would completely interfere if there’s a delay with all the work that the Supervisor is doing on the vote by mail system, and making sure people are able to vote. We want to make sure that there’s no interference, that there’s no slowdown on registration or any of the delivery of mail. We’ll continue to fight for the Postal Service.
I will see if I can make it out there. But I can tell you that this situation is not unique to the postal office you are working in. It’s a great concern, and we’re going to continue to fight for the Postal Service.
Ian: Thank you so much, Tiffany. Appreciate you being on our forum. Thank you, Congresswoman. We’re going to get our next question right away from Sally in San Pedro. Hey, Sally, go ahead.
Sally: Hi. Since this has been shown to be about the same as the flu, and a lot of testing going on that people are signing up for a test, they’re not showing up and getting a positive result in the mail, or doctors and nurses are sending tests in without using them, and they’re coming back positive. Don’t you believe that this really does have just the same effect as a flu, and the media is really the ones pushing this narrative? I know you keep saying about the Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate not doing what they’re supposed to be doing by making a compromise on this. But where is this money going to come from? This really does seem like the Democrats are trying to push us into a socialist kind of country.
Ian: All right, Sally. Let’s go ahead and start with Congresswoman Barragán. I’m sure Supervisor Hahn would like to speak to this question, as well.
Nanette Barragá…: Thanks, Sally. Well, we have seen over 150,000 Americans die from COVID. We are seeing and hearing from public health experts, the President’s own task force, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield from the CDC, talk about the concerns about what will happen, what is happening, and what will happen if we don’t get a handle on COVID. I can tell you that some people who historically have not been in line with believing in mask who’ve now contracted the COVID virus are supportive of the mask. Maybe it hasn’t touched your family. Maybe you haven’t had somebody that you know die from it. But it’s heartbreaking to hear the stories and to see what’s happening to people go into the hospital, be on a ventilator. The range of symptoms that you can get from it are so wide.
I would just ask that you listen to the public health officials on COVID. We have a responsibility in this country to protect the health and the safety of our community. Nobody asked about where we were going to pay for it when we provided a huge tax break to the top one percent. I believe it’s a duty of ours to protect, and part of that is to partnering with our state and local governments, making sure our health care workers, what they have to protect themselves and to protect others. This is an unprecedented situation and we’re in a pandemic. This is a public health crisis. So we have to step up and provide the relief that is needed. This is not a political issue. This is an issue of public health. There should be no label of Democrat or Republican. We should all be coming to the table to make sure our healthcare workers are protected, our people are protected, and those who need the assistance are getting it. That’s really the best I can tell you, is that it’s unprecedented, and we have to step up to help people out.
Janice Hahn: Thank you. Sally, I just want to thank you for calling in tonight. But I would back up what the congresswoman just said. I’ll just tell you, in terms of this being like the flu, let’s just take L.A. County. Last year, we had 125 people die from the flu in the entire year last year in L.A. County. Already, this year, we’ve had 4,700 people die from this virus. So I think it’s safe to say that this virus is much more deadly than the flu. Let’s remember, the flu, there are vaccines out there. A lot of people are vaccinated against the flu. This one has no vaccine yet. It’s highly contagious and it’s highly deadly. Again, I know a lot of people who have lost family members to this.
I think I wanted to stress as the congresswoman said, the negative impacts of this virus, we’re still learning about. That long term, that doctors are saying that you can have longterm negative effects in your lungs, there’s some talk about brain not functioning properly after this virus. So we don’t know enough about this virus to just automatically say it’s the same as the flu.
But I also really want to thank the congresswoman for speaking up about helping people. Because this was a pandemic. It’s a virus. It’s unprecedented. It’s because of the government that people have had to shut down their businesses and people have lost their jobs, through no fault of their own. We need to take care of people, because we’re asking them to stay home. We’re asking them to remain at home as much as possible. We know businesses are not doing well. People have been laid off. It’s our obligation to help people during this time until we all get through this, until there’s a vaccine, or at least there’s a drug that can treat you if you get it. It is serious. It is deadly. We all need to do our part. Thank you.
Ian: Thank you so much. Appreciate both of you answering, and thank you for your question, Susie. We’ll get our next one up here from Omar right away. But I quickly wanted to mention again that if you wanted to get email updates from Congresswoman Barragán’s office, you can do that by pressing seven on your phone right now. We’ve got about a half hour left in our live forum here. So if you haven’t already pressed seven to give us your email address to get updates, you can go ahead and do it here. We’re going to go to our next one, again, from Omar. Thank you, Omar, for joining us. What’s your question?
Omar: Yeah, hi. My question, yeah, so you were just mentioning about elections and about the ballots and how then we’re going to be voting by mail. So, yeah. Me and my brother, we’ve been receiving emails, something about how we should be on the lookout for the ballots by now. I just want to know, do you know when exactly they’re supposed to arrive?
Ian: Got it. Thanks, Omar. Supervisor, do you have an answer for Omar’s question?
Janice Hahn: Yes, could you repeat that question one more time?
Omar: Yeah, so me and my brother, we’ve been getting a lot of emails about ballots, and how we should be on the lookout. Do you know exactly when the ballots, the official ballots for the election will be coming?
Janice Hahn: Yeah, thank you. You should receive it by October 5th. October 5th, you should receive your ballot. If you do not, you should go to lavote.net and tell people that you haven’t gotten them. But everyone should be on the lookout. October 5th, you should be getting your ballot. Again, you don’t need to request it. You don’t need to ask for it. You don’t need to sign up online. If you are a registered voter, you will get a ballot by October 5th. You can also track your ballot and get text messages or emails to track its progress to your home, or go to the County Clerk’s Office. So sign up and track your ballot at lavote.net, but you don’t need to do that to get a ballot. Thank you. And I’m glad we talked about the post office earlier, because your ballot box could be your mailbox this year. Thank you.
Nanette Barragá…: Thanks for that, Supervisor. I also want to add, just the other day, I received in the mail a postcard asking me to verify my home and mailing address. I thought that was interesting. I wasn’t expecting that. It was basically a notice saying, “This year, you’re going to get a ballot in the mail, even if you don’t request it.” I got this postcard and so did my mom. She got one at her address, as well. So Omar, just be on the lookout to see if you get something similar, which is a postcard asking for verification, and effectively letting you know that you will be getting a ballot in the mail. I am not sure if everyone’s going to get one of those, but I thought that was interesting to get that.
Janice Hahn: Yes, everybody is getting that. I got mine, too. Just verify that the address is the same as yours. If it is, you don’t have to do anything. But if for some reason you’ve moved or your mail has been forwarded somewhere, that’s what you need to verify. But if it’s all good on that postcard, you don’t need to do anything. But everyone will also get a postcard.
Nanette Barragá…: Great.
Ian: Thank you so much. Thanks, Omar. Great question. I know we had that question from a few folks, so thanks everybody who submitted that one. We’ll get our next one up here from our Spanish simulcast. We’re broadcasting this forum in Spanish, as well. Carla from South Gate has a couple of questions from our Spanish simulcast.
She asks, “I’m a community leader in South Gate. I’m getting asked constantly if I have my five children and husband … I have five children, and my husband is undocumented. I’m being denied the stimulus check. On this second round, how can I ensure that I don’t get disqualified. Then a second question, South Gate did not qualify for stimulus for undocumented. What are you going to do to support us in case we don’t get those federal funds?” So a couple of questions there. Congresswoman. Could you start on those questions from Carla in South Gate, please?
Nanette Barragá…: Yes. Thank you, Carla. This has been one of the biggest fights that we have had in Congress. I happen to serve as the second vice-chair of the Hispanic congress. It’s outrageous that if you pay taxes, you are not being able to then collect from the benefit. We have been pushing with the House leadership to make sure that those who file and pay for taxes with an ITIN number could qualify for the economic stimulus check. I can tell you that the House Democrats passed legislation that would provide for that. We are in negotiations right now with the Senate Republicans, who don’t want to provide that payment for people who have, and are filing with an ITIN number. They’ve agreed to another $1,200 check, but this actually is the sticking point, in that they do not want people who file with an ITIN number to be able to qualify.
I’ll tell you that one of the things that’s happening is, if you’re an American citizen and you are married to somebody who files with an ITIN number, even the American citizen isn’t getting the $1,200 check, and that is outrageous. So this is something that we have been trying to fix. It’s more challenging when you have an administration that’s very anti-immigrant and they don’t value immigrants and they put out these efforts to bring people down and not give them their fair share. I can tell you that we’re going to continue to fight for this, and we have been urging Speaker Pelosi to stick firm on this, so we’ll see what comes from it.
Again, we also want to make sure our local governments are getting funding, so we’re pushing the local government effort and the funding there. Because sometimes, when the federal government isn’t able to provide the relief because of your immigration status, we have had the state and local government step up. That’s something that I want to thank our supervisor for and the state officials for, in being able to fill that gap when the federal government isn’t able to come through.
Ian: All right. Give me just one moment. We’ll get our next question up here. A reminder again that if you have a question, you can press zero. Thanks for those of you who pressed seven to get in the queue to give us your email address. If you haven’t spoken to an operator yet, we’ve just got a little bit of a backlog there, but we should be with you in a few minutes, so thanks for your patience. We’ve got our next question coming from Yuri in Carson. Hey, Yuri, go ahead.
Yuri: Yes, I want to know, is there anything in the pipes about helping the senior citizen with, not the stimulus check, but something else for the bills, the water bills, electric bills, the house mortgage? Also, on the stimulus check, is this the one that was tied up by the Democrats because they wanted to stick that pro-choice thing on it? I mean, yeah, pro-choice? Is this the one that’s been in the news, back and forth about the Democrats will not vote for it unless they stuck that pro-choice thing on it? Is this one coming down pretty soon?
Ian: Thank you, Yuri. Congresswoman, would you like to start?
Nanette Barragá…: Yeah, let me just start with that. That is not true. I don’t know what you’re reading, but I can tell you that House Democrats passed a bill to provide for the $1,200, a second round of a $1,200 stimulus payment 11 weeks ago. And 11 weeks ago, the Senate Republicans said, “No. We don’t need to do any more help. We need to wait and see how things go.” In the meantime, people are struggling to pay rent and buy groceries and pay for their bills, where we know that here in L.A., in L.A. County, a $1,200 check doesn’t even cover the rent for one month. There has been no such holdup. The holdup really is that we have a party that doesn’t want to come in and help. So the negotiations are ongoing on how we can get the other side to agree to get that payment out and to continue the unemployment benefit, which people really rely upon, along with other things like childcare assistance and housing. So, that article you read is not accurate. Supervisor, I don’t know if you want to comment on some of the programs you may have.
Janice Hahn: Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Yuri, for calling. One of the things, you didn’t specifically mention rent relief, but part of what the County did with the money that we got from the federal government was to set up a fund to help people pay their rent during this time. A qualified renter could get up to $10,000 from the County to pay their rent. It goes straight to the landlord, so we know that landlords would appreciate this program, as well. We also have help for things like paying utilities. You can call 2-1-1, Yuri, in the County of Los Angeles, and that’s for rent relief and that’s also to access help with paying some of your bills. Call 2-1-1 and tell them some of the issues that you have, and we can connect you with real dollars that can help you get through this. Thank you.
Ian: Thanks so much, appreciate the answers. Thanks, Omar. Sorry, thanks, Yuri for the question. We’ve got our next one coming right away from [Callia 00:41:08]. About 20 minutes left in our forum. Callia from Gardenia. Thank you for joining us. What’s your question?
Callia: Hi. My question, well first I want to thank Congresswoman, and also Supervisor Hahn. I’ve actually met her on different occasions, when she’s visited my church, when Kevin Murray was still with us. I have a concern.
I’m a small business owner, as well as I have a non-profit. I’ve found it extremely hard to find funding, because I am the only employee for both my non-profit and my small business. So when I try to apply for a PPP, or even a grant, I’ve really found it challenging in that I couldn’t get any money, because I’m the only … I couldn’t hire anybody. With my business, I’ve worked with boutiques and boutiques weren’t open. So basically, I just don’t have any income. I’m just wondering, how does someone like myself, as a super-small business, get help?
Janice Hahn: Hi. Yes, I remember coming to your church, Church of Christ. Boy, we miss Kevin. He was such a great person and a great pastor at that church. We just today, very timely, we just today on the Board of Supervisors, approved $100 million for grants specifically for small businesses, non-profits, and gig economy workers that are impacted by this pandemic. You are the perfect recipient of some of this grant money. I’m going to give you the website that you can go to, which is www.lacovidfund.org, www.lacovidfund.org. That’s where you’ll be able to apply. We just did that today. That probably will go fast, because there’s so many small businesses that are hurting, just like yours. A lot of non-profits are really having a tough time right now. But $100 million we set aside, today, for this program. I hope that you can log into that, and you can certainly, you can reach out to my office, too. We can help. But I hope you’re successful in that. But this was meant for you. Thanks.
Ian: Thank you, Callia. Anything to add? All right. Good to go. Thank you, Callia, for being a part of our forum. Let’s get our next one up here from John in Long Beach. Hey, John.
John: Hi, how are you doing? Listen, first question is, it’s kind of one-and-a-half, you’ll see what I mean. Regarding the Cares bill, the Heroes bill, excuse me, so many of them, Heroes bill, it’s not officially being negotiated because it’s Republicans have refused to. But in the Heroes bill, you also proposed putting a whole lot more marijuana in my Black community, didn’t you? That’s number one. And number two, what about the Republicans bill do you not agree with?
Nanette Barragá…: Thanks, John. I don’t know what you’re referring to as to marijuana. I can tell you, I haven’t seen any provisions about that. But I’m happy to tell you about some of the things in the GOP proposal that I don’t agree with.
Number one, in order for us to re-open the economy, in order for us to make sure we flatten the curve, we need to have an investment in testing and contact tracing. The Republican bill has $59 billion less for testing and tracing. Frankly, they don’t believe that the federal government should be doing much, and should leave it up just to states and local governments without any assistance. I don’t agree with that. I believe that the federal government needs to lead, that we need to invest and help local and state governments on making sure we’re doing the test and the tracing for the interest of the entire country.
I also think we need to help our hospitals and other healthcare providers. In the Republican bill, they are proposing to cut that funding for hospitals and healthcare providers by $75 billion. Republicans don’t believe there should be any hazard pay, at all, so that people who are effectively putting … they’re delivering the mail, they’re putting food on the grocery shelf so that when you go to the grocery store, that you can actually have food on the shelves. There’s a lot of essential workers that are not getting pay. That’s something that I believe we should be doing and the Republican proposal doesn’t have that in there.
I believe there should be a federal eviction moratorium, something that is in the Heroes act. But Republicans do not want to provide any type of an eviction moratorium, which means we’ll have more people who are out of their homes and we are … we don’t need more homeless people. We don’t want any people losing their homes. We just need to provide some help. If that means that we need to make sure that if you have a loan, you can just pay that money at the end of your loan to stay in your home, then those are the things that I think we need to do right now, for the American people, during this pandemic.
One of the big ones is unemployment insurance benefits. The proposal on the Republican side wants to cut and take out $400 per week from the pockets of the American people who really need it, who are on unemployment. They’re proposing to cut the benefit from $600 to $200. Now, in Kentucky, that might be okay. But in L.A. County, the cost of living is much higher and rent is much higher. People are in need, and I believe that we should provide that. With that, I’m going to continue to fight. There are negotiations happening on these very provisions, as we speak. I can attest to that. We’re getting reports weekly from the speaker, and I’m hopeful that she’ll be successful in getting some of these. Because people need help during this time of crisis and during this pandemic. Thanks for your question.
Ian: Thank you, again, for that answer. Appreciate you, Congresswoman. Let’s get our next question up here from Cathy in Rancho Domingo. Hey, Cathy, thank you for joining us. What’s your question?
Cathy: Hi. Thank you very much to Supervisor Hahn and Ms. Barragán. My main concern at this moment is, are the county supervisors going to extend the moratorium on evictions in L.A. County? If I’m not mistaken, it sun setted July 31st, and this is August the 4th, and people owe their rent. I know that they were doing it kind of like month-by-month, okay? But the end of the month has come and gone. We need to know. People are already getting eviction notices, because they’re saying that the moratorium has ended. I need to know for sure that the County is going to extend that moratorium, and maybe stop doing it month-by-month, so that people don’t have to live on pins and needles for three or four days at the beginning of the month, until they finally extend it.
The second question is actually more a comment. My mail carrier stopped today to deliver me a whole handful of mail, because I didn’t get any mail on Monday. This goes back to something that a postal worker had called in to say. We were told that the big sorting center in downtown Los Angeles has been closed by Mr. You-know-who’s new appointee. So, my mail carrier says that they can no longer work overtime to deliver mail, and they have an overabundance of mail. He said that now we’re going to be having mail delayed two to three days. This is not going to be good during this time of the election period. They’re doing this on purpose. What are we supposed to do about this? I mean, we can’t do anything. Only you guys can do stuff. Okay, I want to know of [crosstalk 00:50:03]-
Janice Hahn: Okay. Yeah. Cathy, I’ll take the first part of that question and I’ll let the congresswoman answer the question about the Postal Service. Yes, the County supervisors, we have extended the eviction moratorium through the end of September, all the way to September 30th. We actually did it two more months instead of month-to-month. But you’re right, I think a lot of people need to know that and need to understand that. But it is county-wide that you cannot be evicted from where you are as a result of you not being able to pay your rent because of COVID-19. The reason we were doing it month-to-month because we were thinking that we were going to re-open the economy. We were hoping that people could go back to work and start earning money again. But we now realize that’s not happening as quickly as we thought. So we have extended the eviction moratorium.
But as you know, there’s two sides to the equation of renters, right? There’s the renters and there’s, of course, your property owner, or the landlord, who actually has the place where people are renting. So we’re also working on mortgage relief with some of the banks in L.A. County, because we know it’s not fair also for landlords to not receive the rent when they have to pay a mortgage on a property that … where you’re living.
So we definitely don’t think you should be evicted if you’re a renter right now, and we’ve extended that through September 30th. But we’re also working, and we hope the federal government can help us out, too, with mortgage relief for people that own property where people are having a hard time paying their rent. I hope that answers your question, Cathy.
Nanette Barragá…: Thanks for that, Supervisor. Cathy, as I mentioned earlier, we have been hearing about the delays in mail. It’s been very concerning. We’ve been reaching out to the Postmaster, and I know our Committee of Oversight is going to have a hearing on this. We have also provided funding for the Postal Service in our legislation, and are trying to get that through. But again, we are doing everything we can to try to address the postal issue as we’re going into an election time. I’m just concerned this is political at the top, which is why we’re having this oversight hearing, to get to the bottom of it and fight as best we can.
I’m also signing on to various letters that we have been sending out with our colleagues on making sure that we’re putting pressure on to make sure that there is not being a delay in mail. I can tell you that I know several postal workers who are in touch with me, at my office, who have been given this information about, instructions are given on what type of mail to delay. So we have been on top of this, and we’ll continue to push it as hard as we can, but also to try to get something in at the [inaudible 00:53:19], through our House leadership, and to keep up the pressure so that we can make sure everybody’s getting their mail more timely. It’s an ongoing effort that we have been working on.
Ian: Thank you so much for the question, Cathy, and for sharing your concerns with us. Thank you to both Supervisor Hahn and Congresswoman Barragán. We’ve got just a few minutes left in our call. We’ll be able to take a couple more questions. As I promised, I’ll read the congresswoman’s contact information again next. We’ll take one more question, I’ll read that. I’ll also read a couple of websites that Supervisor Hahn mentioned, in case you didn’t get a chance to write those down. So grab a pen and paper if you missed anything.
Let’s get Lloyd from Compton up here next. Hey, Lloyd. Thanks for joining us.
Lloyd: Good afternoon and evening everyone. I was just coming with the attitude of gratitude. This is Congresswoman Barragán’s biggest fan, Lloyd Hooper from the Compton High School Football Legends of Legacy Hall of Fame. I’d like to tell her, to thank her so much for speaking up and being a champion for our city of Compton and Carson, North Long Beach, South Gate and the other cities around. Thank you so much for standing up for women’s rights in Congress, as well, Congresswoman.
We are looking forward, because it is pandemic this year, we’re looking forward to next year, putting on a big showing with our Football Hall of Fame. Hopefully, we can get both you and Ms. Hahn to come out. I would love to see that. God bless all of you, and thank you for the job that you’re doing. Today, I didn’t really have a question. I’m just doing with the attitude of gratitude, thanking you for fighting for all of our rights. Thank you so much.
Nanette Barragá…: Well, thank you, Lloyd, for all your work and I really appreciate those very kind words. Every year, Lloyd brings his Compton Hall of Famers to San Pedro, to Point Fermin Park, for a beautiful ceremony. People fly over all across the country to honor those Compton Legends for all they’ve done. Thank you for those very kind words. I’m looking forward to your next invitation, when we’re able to gather again at the park here in San Pedro, where we have the beautiful sight of the water, there. Thank you for that, and for those kind words.
Ian: All right. Thank you very much. Appreciate that question from Lloyd, or that comment from Lloyd. Appreciate you being in the forum here. We’re going to go ahead and read back the contact information that you may have missed, and then we’ll get one more question in here before we get to the end here, from Cecilia. So Cecelia, hang tight, there.
Contact information you may have missed, we have Congresswoman Barragán’s district office number. That’s (310) 831-1799. Again, (310) 831-1799. If you need to try to gain access to the small business fund that Supervisor Hahn mentioned, that’s lacovidfund.org, lacovidfund.org. You can track your ballot at lavote.net. Again, that’s lavote.net.
All right, let’s go ahead and get our last question in here. It’s coming from Cecelia in South Gate. Hey, Cecilia. Thanks so much for waiting. What’s your question for us?
Cecelia: Yes, thank you. My question is, what is [inaudible 00:56:57] L.A. or government giving to self-employed? I’m a real estate agent.
Janice Hahn: Thank you for that question. Yes, you can go to that lacovidfund.org and apply. Any self-employed person, real estate agent, whatever, if your job has … Any employer, if you’ve been impacted by this virus, you may go to lacovidfund.org and apply. I don’t know whether or not you will qualify, but you should definitely go there and I hope you do and I hope that we can help you.
Ian: Thank you, Supervisor.
Nanette Barragá…: I also want to add, Cecelia-
Ian: Oh, go ahead.
Nanette Barragá…: Cecelia, I also want to add that historically, self-employed persons could not get relief through the unemployment, the state unemployment EDD. But I know that under the last piece of legislation, there was unemployment relief for people who have … are self-employed. So you may, if you haven’t yet, want to check out the EDD website. This is something that we’ve been helping some folks with, as well, in our office. You might want to try that avenue, as well.
Ian: Excellent. Thank you very much Congresswoman, Supervisor, and Cecelia, thank you for being a part of our forum.
I’ll go ahead and give our speakers an opportunity to give any closing comments they may have here, and then we’ll go ahead and wrap up our forum. Again, important information you may have missed, lacovidfund.org, lavote.net, and Congresswoman Barragán’s office, that’s (310) 831-1799, or you can visit her online at barragan.house.gov. Congresswoman, would you like to take us to the close here? Actually, let’s hear from Supervisor Hahn first, and then we’ll … Congresswoman Barragán if you can close.
Nanette Barragá…: Okay.
Janice Hahn: Okay, hey, thanks. Really great to be with you, Congresswoman, tonight. It was great for all the people that called in. But it’s really clear to me that everyone that called in tonight, and I know so many didn’t get a chance to ask their questions, are really concerned about this pandemic, are certainly feeling the negative impacts of this virus on their families, on their business on their jobs. We’re here to help you. The federal government, under the great advocacy of Congresswoman Barragán is fighting for us here, in her district. And I am, too, in the County. We do have resources to help you. Just want to make sure that you get them. If you need my information, it’s my name, hahn.lacounty.gov. Feel free to email me and we’d be happy to help you with any issue that you have. But it was great. Thanks for being engaged and don’t forget to vote in November.
Ian: Thank you. And Congresswoman?
Nanette Barragá…: Thank you, Ian, for moderating, and thank you Supervisor, for joining us and providing such important information for our constituents. I just want to make sure people have our number and our contact information again. Our office number here is (310) 831-1799. If you had a question and we did not get to your question, somebody from my chain will be reaching out over the course of the next several days to try to get an answer to you, and to make sure that we contact you. I also want to encourage you to sign up for our newsletter, so that you can continue to receive information from me.
The U.S. government puts out a blackout period, which means that after today, I will not be able to reach out to you unless you have opted in, unless you have agreed to allow us to email you. The best way to do that is through the newsletter. You can go to our website. It’s barragan, B-A-R-R-A-G-A-N.house.gov, to sign up for a newsletter so we can make sure to continue to get you information between now and through election day on everything from stimulus payments, to voting, to childcare protection, to any legislation that’s happening in Congress.
Thank you all for joining us. I will continue to fight for you in Washington, to make sure we get help to our state and local governments, to make sure you have access to healthcare and testing, and to make sure that we do what we can to help each other. Until then, please stay safe. Please wear your mask. Practice the physical distancing, and doing all we can here in Los Angeles to flatten this curve and beat this virus. Thank you all.
Ian: Thank you, again, Congresswoman. Thank you, again, everybody who’s joined us from California’s 44th Congressional District. Again, if you need to sign up for the congresswoman’s e-newsletter, you can do that at barragan.house.gov. If you want to sign up for updates from the County, the Janice Journal, you can get that at hahn.lacounty.gov. That’s H-A-H-N.lacounty.gov.
Thanks again, everybody for joining us. You can also, if you need County services, access those at 2-1-1, of course. We appreciate you joining us for this live forum. As the congresswoman said, stay safe, and thank you so much for joining our live forum tonight.