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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Los Angeles Begins New Coronavirus Assistance Program as Pandemic Hits Peak

Coronavirus-affected LA residents below the poverty line to receive between $700 and $1,500

By Evan Symon, April 14, 2020 8:19 pm

On Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new ‘Angelino Card’ program that will give additional funds to select residents affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Angelino Cards

Los Angeles residents with households below the federal poverty line who have also had at least one household member either lose a job or have income reduced by 50% or more will be eligible to receive funds. Immigration status was stated to not be a factor in eligibility. Those eligible will receive a debit card with $700, $1,100, or $1,500 on it, depending on household size and employment circumstances. Eligible residents will also need to schedule appointments but leave them staggered to keep social distancing rules.

Unlike federal and state unemployment programs, the Angelino Card is grant-based, meaning there is only a finite supply of cards available. The City of Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department would randomly select households for grants should the number of requests exceed grants.

Mayor Garcetti announced the card as part of a continued commitment to residents in the city, adding that he hoped for an increased federal status as well.

“We are all Angelenos and I hope that our federal government will listen to that too,” Garcetti said on Monday. “Those who are cleaning our hospitals, those who are picking our food, those who are working in our warehouses, it doesn’t matter what their legal status is today. They are here as Angelenos and we will help them no matter what.”

Angelino Card backlash and backing mandatory masks

Critics have said that many vulnerable people will slip through the cracks because of how the program is set up.

“They’re putting it in blocks instead of having it adjusted to what the need is,” said Los Angeles community organizer Ronaldo Alcuna. “Look at what the need is. And there are just set amounts. Unemployment is adjusted to the needs of the person, but this card just gives a package amount like it can’t go lower than $700.”

“I know many people who feel like they’re going to be left out despite being in the process for applying. So we’re probably going to have a lottery where elderly people on fixed incomes, large families with parents out of work, families barely making ends meet, and single people facing eviction will get money based on chance. Instead of $1,500 only going to one of them, why not break it down so everyone gets something? You know, like how other programs work.”

“This isn’t socialism or anything close to that, it’s just about helping as many people as possible get by. Like unemployment. You pay in, and when times are tough, you get money back you put in.”

“It’s just not happening here.”

Mayor Garcetti also announced during the press conference that deaths were expected to peak this week while also giving a warning on what might happen if restrictions are removed too soon. Garcetti cited how both San Francisco and Los Angeles reacted to the decline of cases in the 1918 Spanish Flu, with San Francisco removing masks early only for an uptick of cases happening two weeks later, while LA kept the measure in place longer and didn’t have an uptick.

Masks in public places are mandatory in LA until further notice, while Los Angeles County’s lockdown is in place until further notice. California COVID-19 deaths are now at .002% of the population.

Evan Symon
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6 thoughts on “Los Angeles Begins New Coronavirus Assistance Program as Pandemic Hits Peak

    1. “We are all Angelenos and I hope that our federal government will listen to that too,” Garcetti said on Monday. “Those who are cleaning our hospitals, those who are picking our food, those who are working in our warehouses, it doesn’t matter what their legal status is today. They are here as Angelenos and we will help them no matter what.”
      Pretty sure your comment was humorously sardonic but I don’t think any U.S. citizen will get picked for this anyway. It shouldn’t be happening in the first place, instead of getting us all back to vibrancy and work, but what makes it worse is that Garcetti is giving the finger to Trump in doing it. Same with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors who are handing over $1000 rent money for three months to “renters in need.” Your tax money. That you don’t have. For people who are in this state and country illegally.
      Randomly picked recipients, my eye.

  1. How was the city council involved in this relief fund? Did the council draft a resolution in support and was it presented at a council meeting? Or did the mayor ask support of the council of this relief fund himself. If this is a non profit program how is the city of LA involved? What if other California cities want to develop something something similar to this model can it be replicated?

  2. The news announcer just said that some extremely generous donor just contributed $14 million dollars. I was very ill for 3 weeks.
    Now I am unable to work.I was a Convalescent employee for 15yrs. God bless u 4ever. Please help me. Sincerely Yvonne Nortey

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