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Message from League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman on Coronavirus Response

May 13, 2020
Dear California City Leaders,
I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. I continue to be inspired by your courageous leadership during these challenging times. 
As you continue to protect residents from further spread of COVID-19, I know you are also planning for the safe reopening of your communities. However, we know that reopening is about more than just when businesses, restaurants and retail can open their doors again, it is also about ensuring that our cities have the resources to emerge from this crisis vibrant and strong.  
Over the last several weeks, the League has focused on advocating for direct and flexible funding for cities to address the COVID-19 impacts; lifting up city innovation and compassion in the CA Cities Advocate newsletter; equipping local leaders with the latest COVID-19 information through daily updates and online through our resource webpage; and developing new opportunities for our members to learn from each other and experts in a virtual environment. Be sure to join us next Monday, May 18, for an update on the federal COVID-19 response by special guests from the White House
On Monday, we announced the “Support Local Recovery: Vibrant Cities. Strong Economies.” campaign. The campaign coalition, which consists of representatives from local government, labor, and business is 117 members strong and growing every day. Our asks are straightforward. We are calling on the state to provide $7 billion in direct and flexible funding to cities to support critical local services, as well as a portion of the state’s CARES Act funding, to help cities address COVID-19-related expenditures. The coalition is also calling on the federal government to provide $500 billion in direct and flexible funding to local governments nationwide to support essential services, including police, fire, public works, permitting, and planning. 
We’re already seeing support for our requests. Thank you Sen. Michael McGuire (D-Healdsburg) and Assembly Member Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) for leading a bipartisan, bicameral effort to urge the Governor to set aside a portion of the state’s CARES Act funding for local governments. At the federal level, in a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership requesting $1 trillion in direct and flexible relief to states and local governments, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California legislative leadership said “without federal support, states and cities will be forced to make impossible decisions – like whether to fund critical public healthcare that will help us recover, or prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other first responders.” Thank you Governor Newsom and our legislative leaders for recognizing that recovery will take an unprecedented partnership among all levels of government. 
We also need all of you to stand up for strong and vibrant cities. For more information on the campaign, and how you can be a part of it, visit the "Support Local Recovery" webpage.   
Stay safe and keep up the great work!
Carolyn M. Coleman
Executive Director
League of California Cities

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