The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its housing advocacy section Housing Is A Human Right Tuesday called for in-person City Council meetings to resume starting April 15, which is when indoor concerts, conferences and other live events and gatherings are permitted statewide due to falling COVID-19 test positivity rates.
AHF noted that city officials have received increased resources from the federal government to tackle the city’s issues this year, and said they should get fully back to work in order to take advantage of that. The group also requested that the city lift its furlough period for employees and return other employees’ hours to pre-pandemic levels after reductions.
“Over the past year, many businesses and service providers faced significant delays related to inspections, permitting and other routine, day-to-day city business as we have all tried to navigate work and life under COVID-19 as best we can,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF.
“Now, with a game-changing influx of $1.3 billion in federal COVID relief funds coming our way, Mayor Garcetti and the City Council have real opportunity to take on our homeless crisis as well as other problems with effective and long-lasting solutions. But to do so, we need the city to be fully back in business with in-person City Council and PLUM (planning and land use management) meetings, with staff back at City Hall, the Building and Safety Department and other key departments,” he said.
The offices of Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Nury Martinez did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and for information about the city’s timeline for reopening City Hall for public meetings.
Garcetti said during his COVID-19 briefing on March 15 that there wasn’t a reopening date set for city facilities, including City Hall, but said he expected it was “at least a couple of months off.”