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Message from League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman on Coronavirus Response

August 12, 2020
Dear California City Leaders,
With Congress and the Administration in a stalemate, dueling news shows appear to be the closest our leaders in Washington, D.C. have come to negotiating over the next federal coronavirus relief package. While the standoff continues, cities and towns throughout the state and across the nation are imploring federal negotiators to get back to the negotiating table and to support $500 billion in direct and flexible funding to local governments of all sizes. This relief package may be the final chance to secure funding from the federal government to address the billions of dollars in budget shortfalls that cities are facing.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, cities here and across the nation, have stepped up enacting emergency orders, setting up testing sites, protecting residents, supporting vulnerable populations and helping our Main Street businesses. Cities’ actions saved lives, but also resulted in unplanned expenses that are blowing a hole in city budgets, while at the same time facing severe revenue losses cities that continues to grow.
We all know that cities don’t have the luxury of running a deficit and must balance their budgets each year. Without federal assistance to address the significant budget shortfalls, cities will have no choice but to make cuts. Nine out of 10 California cities report that they will be forced to lay off staff or cut services. Three in four report that they will have to do both. These reductions mean fewer first responders, delayed or cancelled repairs to streets and sidewalks, delayed inspections and permitting and other service reductions that will set back our communities. Failure by the federal government to provide the relief locals need will cripple our recovery from this global pandemic. We cannot let that happen. 
As President John Dunbar said in four press conferences earlier this week, “Cities have been told for months that our time [for relief] will come – well, our communities are out of time.” That’s why we need Washington, D.C. to recognize the urgency and step up to ensure cities have the resources to serve and protect their communities. 
Thank you to the city, business, firefighter, and community service leaders, who joined our press conferences to raise a united voice to Washington, D.C. Cities urgently need assistance so that they can continue to serve and protect their communities. We will continue to keep you updated on our efforts.
To learn more about the League’s efforts and how you can join our campaign, visit our Support Local Recovery Coalition webpage

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