LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and co-authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger to develop a first of its kind Countywide equity formula and public dashboard to ensure American Rescue Plan Act funds are expended on residents, small businesses and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to historical disinvestment.
“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act provides an historic one-time infusion of federal funds to help Los Angeles County recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic. We must get this right” shared Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “The County has shown great leadership in making an equitable recovery a priority which allowed for this motion to pass with complete support. This is our chance to create systems that meet the moment in allowing our most vulnerable communities to access vital resources while helping to move us forward as a County.”
“Los Angeles County must ensure an equitable allocation of funds from the American Rescue Plan to provide the crucial support and resources that our most vulnerable communities throughout the region deserve,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “Today’s motion is an important opportunity to not only distribute this funding where it is needed the most, but to do so with transparency and accountability.”
LA County’s low-income communities and communities of color have carried the brunt of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Over 1.2 million LA County residents have contracted COVID-19 and over 24,000 lives have been lost to the pandemic. LA County is expected to receive $1.9 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address the devastating economic and health disparities caused by the pandemic.
To help identify the communities in greatest need of resources and support, Advancement Project California created a COVID-19 Vulnerability and Recovery Index that measures three key indicators: Risk, Severity and Recovery Needed. Based off this index, communities with the highest needs in LA County span across 116 zip codes from South and East Los Angeles to the Antelope Valley – with Black, Latinx, Indigenous residents and communities of color representing the most vulnerable populations.
The motion directs the County’s Chief Executive Office and its Anti-Racism and Diversity Initiative to collaborate with Advancement Project California in creating a similar equity formula to invest resources proportionate to the varying needs of communities. It also will establish a public website to track measurable outcomes on residents and businesses served across each Supervisorial district.
“The County Board of Supervisors can use ARPA funds to chart a new course for an equitable recovery,” said Jacky Guerrero, Director of Equity in Community Investments for Advancement Project California. “Los Angeles County will benefit significantly from the $1.9 billion in ARPA federal funding, and we must use those funds to concentrate significant resources in our most impacted communities.”
“The Board’s action today reflects a deep commitment to advance equity though by adopting equity tools that improve our policies and practices” shared D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D., Executive Director, LA County’s Anti-Racism and Diversity Initiative “I’m grateful for the Board’s leadership and efforts to center community voice and strengthen the systems our Departments will use to improve health, recover from COVID-19 and address the many disparities that have emerged as a result of this pandemic.”
To read the full motion approved by the Board click here.