Dear California City Leaders,
Earlier this month, U.S. Senators adjourned the legislative session through Labor Day and headed home for their annual summer recess, despite not coming to an agreement on the next coronavirus relief package. U.S. House members adjourned in late July, except for a brief return to Washington, D.C. last week, for a vote on emergency funding for the United States Postal Service.
While members of Congress take a break, California’s cities and towns remain hard at work. City leaders are taking action to recover from a pandemic and safely reopen their local economies. They are supporting firefighters from both California and neighboring states as they work around the clock to protect our residents and contain wildfires raging across our state. And, as we read a new round of headlines about social unrest and systemic racism, city leaders are working to heal racial divisions and build more equitable communities.
As recess continues for some, city leaders remain on the front lines keeping our communities moving forward and maintaining services, ranging from public safety to street maintenance and inspections to permitting. California cities also face a $7 billion revenue shortfall and are experiencing millions of dollars in unplanned expenses due to COVID-19.
Congress’ failure to reach agreement on a new relief package that provides direct and flexible funding for cities will imperil cities’ ability to maintain essential local services and force reductions in city workforces. We cannot let that happen, and cannot afford to wait any longer. That’s why the League continues to send the message to federal lawmakers and the White House that cities nationwide need $500 billion in assistance now to support local services and to offset the expenses associated with addressing COVID-19.
When Congress returns to work in September, let’s make sure that finalizing a relief package with resources for every city is a priority. Contact your Senators today and urge them to Support Local Recovery
Thank you for your leadership!
Carolyn M. Coleman
League of California Cities