Councilman Herb Wesson filed a motion Tuesday that calls for the development of a jobs program, titled People’s Bailout Los Angeles, which would train and hire out-of-work residents as community health workers and contact tracers.
The People’s Bailout would be a public/private “New Deal” program designed to fill the gaps in an “inadequate health care system” during the pandemic and provide employment to Angelenos who need it, Wesson stated.
“We cannot restart our economy by simply reopening our cities and businesses and assume that the economic inequalities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic will work themselves out without serious government intervention,” Wesson said.
“With hundreds of millions of dollars in forthcoming stimulus money, the city of Los Angeles should invest in the creation of a new public health workforce to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic and rescue the economy.”
Wesson said community health workers would serve as liaisons between residents and the health care, government and social service systems. They would help track infections through contact tracing as well as set up video conferencing software for telemedicine appointments, check on high-risk patients with chronic conditions, transport food and supplies, and conduct outreach and education.
Wesson and Councilmen Gil Cedillo and Marqueece Harris-Dawson also filed a motion calling for Los Angeles to identify publicly owned land that may be donated to a community land trust organization in each respective Council District. The purpose of that would be to meet needs for affordable housing, recreational green space, community gardens and other developments identified by the residents in each area, they said.
The motions will be first heard by the newly established Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 relief for consideration.
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