Sunday, September 20, 2020
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Long Beach Announces Funding for Businesses and Nonprofits

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The City of Long Beach announced on Sept. 8 that funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act would be used for community activities and programs. The city allocated $19.13 million for the city’s COVID-19 response, $14.4 million for community support and $6.75 million for business recovery and resiliency. 

The City Manager’s Office is working with Long Beach City Council and other city departments to create programs for the community and businesses. An equity lens will be used to develop each program, so that the most negatively affected members of the community can be helped. This includes older adults, people with underlying health conditions, homeless people and people in overcrowded housing, as well as black, Latinx and Cambodian residents. 

The new programs include small business and nonprofit personal protective equipment distribution, as well as the funding of homeless shelters and funding for the city’s economic inclusion coordinator.

Community Forums on Police Reform

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LOS ANGELES — Members of the Board of Police Commissioners, in conjunction with the Advisory Committee On Building Trust and Equity, are conducting virtual community forums, at 4 p.m. Sept. 17 and 24, and Oct. 1.

The series are aimed at listening to ideas and suggestions for police reform from community groups, social justice advocates, clergy, academics and other community-based organizations.

The recommendations will be used by the police commission and the advisory committee in building a roadmap for continued police reform. Under the direction of the commission president, the advisory committee has begun its comprehensive review to evaluate existing reform proposals, past reforms recommended for the Los Angeles Police Department, recruitment and hiring, data collection and retention and discipline and accountability.

Members of the public may listen to the virtual meeting using the Zoom link provided below. In addition, members of the public wishing to provide specific proposals on police reform may submit their written ideas, maximum of two pages, to 

policecimmissionadvisorycommittee@lapd.online.

Time: 4 p.m. Sept. 17 and 24, and Oct. 1

Details: 855-880-1246; https://lapd.zoom.us/j/97273589743Meeting ID: 972 7358 9743

The Presidential Election: “A 200-Pound Sack of Concrete” vs. “The Orange Menace”

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At a time when long-winded polemics and punditry about the upcoming presidential
election are all over the place, a longtime progressive populist author and agitator has just summarized it all in less than a minute.
“Hi, Jim Hightower here,” a just-released video begins, “with a message for
progressives who don’t like Joe Biden’s corporate-hugging politics. Neither do I! But –and it’s a very big ‘but’ — Trump is a crackpot, a total plutocratic toady who’s literally
destroying the lives of workaday people and killing America’s progressive possibilities.”
Hightower continues: “Trump has to be gone before we the people can move forward
with our agenda of fairness and justice for all. So I don’t care if Biden is a 200-pound
sack of concrete, we have to carry him into the White House to eject the Orange
Menace. I urge all of you, especially in swing states like mine, to suck it up and do this heavy lifting. Let’s dump Trump, then we’ll take on Biden!”
I’m excited that my colleagues on the Vote Trump Out project have teamed up with the writer of the monthly Hightower Lowdown to produce the new video, which concisely hits key points that often get lost in the haunted funhouse of election rhetoric:
** There’s truly an enormous amount in Biden’s record for progressives not to like. No point in pretending otherwise.
** The extreme destructiveness of the Trump presidency must not be evaded. Fighting for a progressive agenda must go hand in hand with fighting the forces of white supremacy, nativism, political repression, absolute climate denial and more. Being in denial about Trump’s fascistic momentum is, to put it mildly, unwise.
** “Dump Trump, then we’ll take on Biden.” With Trump in the White House and his
fanatical right-wing underlings running every federal department, progressives haven’t been able to block increasingly horrendous policies, much less advance our agendas. If there’s a President Biden, we’ll need to fight him from day one — and we’ll actually have a chance to move policy.
Franklin Roosevelt won the presidency 88 years ago running as a centrist. Militant
grassroots movements propelled his administration to the left, bringing a transformative New Deal. We have a real chance to move Biden-era policy into a Green New Deal, a $15 federal minimum wage, and so much more — if we fight like hell after getting rid of Trump.
Of course, nothing’s guaranteed. The entrenched system is heavily weighted — always has been — against the interests of working people, women, people of color, the poor and others deprived of power by structural inequities. We always have to keep organizing and putting up a fight.
We’ve already hit bottom with Trump, and then some. In reality (unlike some fanciful
notions that things must get even worse before they get better), the worse it gets, the worse it gets. The horrific directions that Trump has taken this country must be
reversed.
Jim Hightower’s new video underscores that progressives have the opportunity to get
much better results fighting President Biden than fighting President Trump. Moving “a
200-pound sack of concrete” is bound to be a heavy lift, but the possibilities would be
real. The votes in swing states will determine whether we get the chance.


Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the author of many
books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to
Death.” He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California for the 2020 Democratic
National Convention.

Police Response to Press at Black Lives Matter Protests Tests First Amendment

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WASHINGTON – During recent protests in Washington over the death of George Floyd in police custody, police in riot gear were videotaped striking a news crew as officers cleared media and protesters from Lafayette Square, an area near the White House.

The footage, captured on June 1, was of a scene repeated in cities across the United States during Black Lives Matter demonstrations following the May 25 death of the 46-year-old African American in Minneapolis.

Journalists have been tear-gassed, hit by rubber bullets and detained. Many say they identified themselves as press or showed credentials that police ignored.

Read more at: https://www.voanews.com/press-freedom/police-response-press-black-lives-matter-protests-tests-first-amendment

Long Beach Issues New Health Order Protocols for Higher Education Institutions and School-Aged Childcare Providers

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The Long Beach Health Department Sept, 9 issued protocols for the City’s Safer at Home Health Order addressing institutes of higher educatio and school-aged childcare providers in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

K-12 Schools

The State Public Health Officer requires all public and private schools (K-12) in counties in Tier 1 of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, including the County of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach, to remain closed to in-person instruction. Public and private K-12 schools may provide specialized in-person services for high needs students, such as those with Individual Education Programs, disabilities, English language learners and other at-risk students, and limited to no more than 25% of maximum occupancy of a particular school. Each stable group, or cohort, can be no more than 14 students and two instructors and must not mix with other cohorts.

Institutes of Higher Education

Colleges and universities in Long Beach will not be able to resume all in-person academic instruction at this time. Institutions may continue to offer in-person training and instruction for essential workforce for only those activities that cannot be accomplished through virtual learning. All other academic instruction must continue to be done via distance-learning.

School-Aged Childcare Providers 

To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:   

Childcare must be carried out in stable groups (called cohorts) of no more than 14 and shall not exceed capacity requirements per guidance from the California Department of Public Health. California Department of Social Services licensing requirements may mandate smaller cohorts in certain situations.

Children shall not change from one cohort to another.  

If more than one cohort of children is cared for at one facility, each group or cohort shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other. 

Childcare providers shall remain solely with one cohort of children. 

Providers shall adhere to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Guidance for Early Care and Education Providers and Protocols for Programs Providing Day Care for School-Aged Children.Any other conditions required by the California Department of Social Services found here.

Public Health Recommends Testing for Individuals Possibly Exposed to COVID-19 and Closely Monitors Data After Labor Day Weekend

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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) Sept. 9, has confirmed 61 new deaths and 671 new cases of confirmed COVID-19. The high number of new deaths are from a backlog of reports received from over the weekend, and the low number of new cases reflect reduced testing due to the excessive heat.

Public Health is carefully monitoring data over the next couple of weeks to see the impact of the holiday weekend on the transmission of the virus across County communities and recommends testing for individuals possibly exposed to COVID-19.

If you were potentially exposed to COVID-19 over the holiday weekend, you are encouraged to get tested.  For example, if you were in a crowded area this weekend and people were not wearing cloth face coverings, you should get tested.  If you were around someone who was feeling sick, you should get tested.  And if you were with someone who has tested positive for the virus, even if they never felt sick, you should get tested.  Testing sites are open and appointments are available. 

Just over two weeks after Independence Day, the County experienced increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. For example, the 7-day average of daily reported COVID-19 cases around July 4 was about 2,200 cases per day, but two weeks later the number of new cases increased to over 3,100.  

In July, the County saw the steepest increases in hospitalizations, where the average was over 2100 hospitalizations per day; the most significant peaks were two to three weeks after the July 4 holiday.  This past month however, daily hospitalizations have dropped back to an average of under 1000 hospitalizations a day, similar to the numbers in early April. Currently, there are 936 people who are confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 33% of these people are in the ICU. 

The 7-day average of daily deaths before July 4 was around 30 deaths per day, and tragically, 22 days after the July 4 holiday, the number of deaths climbed up to 44 deaths per day.

To date, Public Health has identified 249,859 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,090 deaths. Testing results are available for nearly 2,393,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.

Murder Investigation And Arrest 10th St. and Cherry Ave.

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On Sept. 8, at about 7 a.m., Long Beach Police Officers responded to a report of shots fired in front of a residence in the area of 10th Street and Cherry Ave., resulting in the death of a male adult.

The first responding officers located the victim down in the front yard of a residence. Officers immediately began performing life-saving measures and observed the victim was suffering from at least one apparent gunshot wound to the upper torso. Long Beach Fire Department personnel arrived and determined the victim deceased at the scene. 

The victim has been identified as 50-year-old Mathew Hak of Long Beach.

The preliminary investigation revealed the suspect arrived at Hak’s residence and confronted Hak while outside. The suspect fired his firearm, striking Hak at least once and also striking a residence. No other injuries were reported. The suspect then fled the area in his vehicle, which was parked nearby. Detectives learned Hak and the suspect were known to one another. The motive is believed to be an accusation of domestic violence and an assault to Hak’s relatives. 

The assault was reported to the Long Beach Police Department on June 10, 2020. The domestic violence was reported on August 4, 2020, and both incidents continue to be actively investigated. 53-year-old Kontharo Kang of Long Beach has been identified as a suspect in this case.

 At approximately 4:50 p.m. on the day of the murder, Kang was located by Long Beach Police Department detectives and taken into custody at a relative’s residence in the 2800 block of E 63rd. Kang has been booked into the Long Beach City jail on murder and is currently being held on $2,000,000 bail.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Homicide Detectives Michael Hubbard, Leticia Gamboa, or Ethan Shear at 562-570-7244.

L.A. County And City Leaders Join Forces With Citizen to Launch SafePass Partnership

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LOS ANGELES –– Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, and Citizen CEO Andrew Frame appeared at a press conference at L.A. City Hall Sept 9, to announce a partnership with SafePass, a mobile app that provides contact tracing capabilities for individuals throughout Los Angeles County.

SafePass will allow users to self-report their symptoms for COVID-19 and receive notifications and alerts directly from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. All contact tracing data is anonymous, private, encrypted, and deleted after 30 days by Citizen. Officials encouraged residents to download the app to expand local efforts to track COVID-19 for L.A. County’s 10 million residents

“Contact tracing relies on residents sharing with us key information to identify close contacts, and today we are adding additional capacity for our program through SafePass,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “This new tool allows everyone to share responsibility for protecting each other, and I want to thank Citizen for their innovation and commitment to helping us slow the spread of COVID-19.”

“We must continue to use all available resources, data, and technology to fight COVID-19,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “In addition to our face coverings and physical distancing, contact tracing is an important part of beating this global health crisis.”

“COVID-19 knows no City boundaries, so we are thankful to have such strong partnerships with our neighboring Cities and the County to better serve our community,” said City of Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek. “This app is another tool that our residents can use to empower themselves to best take care of their health, and the health of those around them.”

“It’s promising to hear one of the greatest cities in America is embracing technology to fight this epidemic,” said Citizen CEO Andrew Frame. “With a possible second wave on the horizon, it’s critical we prepare now for the future.

The Citizen SafePass mobile app complements the existing local COVID-19 response efforts in Los Angeles County by introducing an innovative tool that ramps up the critical contact tracing process. Following three months of testing with more than 700,000 users, SafePass was recently made available to users across the United States.

Using Bluetooth technology and anonymized data, SafePass tracks any close contacts with other users, and alerts them to potential exposures. Any users who have meaningful contact with another user who later tests positive for COVID-19 will receive a notification to get tested. The app also offers immediate access to eligible users for a free at-home testing kit for those who have been notified of exposure through the app and provides up to date information about all active testing sites in Los Angeles County (terms and conditions apply see https://citizen.com/tracing/tests). All location data is anonymized and deleted after 30 days. To learn more about SafePass, visit citizen.com/safepass.The County of Los Angeles and City of Los Angeles have tested more than two million people since the start of the pandemic at testing sites located across the region. For more information about available testing in Los Angeles, visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/ or coronavirus.lacity.org/testing.

TODAY – Community Forum On Police Reform

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LOS ANGELES – Members of the Board of Police Commissioners, in conjunction with the Advisory Committee On Building Trust and Equity, will be conducting its first virtual community forum, Sept. 10. The forum series is aimed at listening to ideas and suggestions for police reform from community groups, social justice advocates, clergy, academics and other community-based organizations.

The recommendations will be used by the police Commission and the Advisory Committee in building a roadmap for continued police reform. Under the direction of the commission president, the advisory committee has begun its comprehensive review to evaluate existing reform proposals, past reforms recommended for the LAPD, recruitment and hiring, data collection and retention and discipline and accountability.

Members of the public may listen to the virtual meeting using the link provided below, on Sept. 10. In addition, members of the public wishing to provide specific proposals on police reform may submit their written ideas, maximum of two pages, to 

policecimmissionadvisorycommittee@lapd.online.

https://lapd.zoom.us/j/97273589743

Or Accessible via phone 855-880-1246

Meeting ID: 972 7358 9743

The schedule for the forum series is:

4:30 p.m. Sept. 10

4 p.m. Sept. 17

4 p.m. Sept. 24

4 p.m. Oct. 1

Gov. Newsom Signs Bills to Support Small Businesses Grappling with Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic, Bolster Economic Recovery

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SACRAMENTO  — On Sept. 9, at Solomon’s Delicatessen, a small business in Sacramento, Gov. Gavin Newsom alongside Senator Anna Caballero signed two bills into law to support small businesses grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and another to jumpstart state construction projects.

“Businesses across the state have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and they need support to keep their doors open and their employees on the payroll,” said Governor Newsom. “Today, we are taking action to keep money in the hands of small businesses while expanding job opportunities for those who lost their jobs because of this virus. We have much more work to do together, but I know these bills will make a big difference for small businesses.”

California small businesses are drivers of economic growth – creating two-thirds of new jobs and employing nearly half of all private sector employees. California is home to 4.1 million small businesses, representing 99.8 percent of all businesses in the state and employing 7.2 million workers in California, or 48.5 percent of the state’s total workforce.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges to small businesses, employers and employees. Small Business Majority survey data found that up to 44% of businesses are at risk of shutting down. From February to April 2020, there was a 22% drop of active business owners nationwide according to data released through the Census Current Population Survey. Minority-owned businesses are disproportionately impacted: the number of active businesses owned by African-Americans dropped by 41%, Latinx by 32%, Asians by 25%, and immigrants by 36%.

Gov. Newsom signed two bills that will help support small businesses as they recover from the COVID-19 induced recession.

AB 1577 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) conforms state law to federal law by excluding from gross income Paycheck Protection Program loans that were forgiven through the federal CARES Act and subsequent amendments in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020.

SB 1447 by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), Senator Anna M. Caballero (D-Salinas) and Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantez (D-Corona) authorizes a $100 million hiring tax credit program for qualified small businesses. The hiring credit will be equal to $1,000 for each net increase in qualified employees, up to $100,000 for each qualified small business employer.

SB 115, a budget trailer bill, by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review appropriates $561 million in fiscal year 2020-21. This includes $411.5 million to advance economic stimulus with $230.5 million to help jumpstart construction projects.

Opened in 2019, Solomon’s Delicatessen is located at the sixth Tower Records location and named after its late founder, Russ Solomon. They closed in March after stay-at-home orders were announced. In April, they reopened for 10 weeks as a community kitchen through a $75,000 grant from Sacramento Covered and healthcare foundations (Kaiser, Dignity, Sutter) to help feed the homeless and medically fragile. They also participated in California’s Great Plates Delivered program.

Small businesses support is critical to ensure Californians are connected to the resources they need to pivot and adapt to the COVID-19 marketplace. The state is using every tool at our disposal to support small businesses as they work to safely reopen and recover from this public health crisis. Learn more here.