COVID-19: Legislative Priorities

Councilmember Ryu's three main priorities in confronting this public health crisis are:

  1. Protecting the health of seniors and the vulnerable.

  2. Supporting working families, renters and small business.

  3. Increased COVID-19 testing.

 

Councilmember Ryu has introduced legislation in City Council to:

  • Responsible Banking Ordinance - Ryu and Bonin proposed an effort to amend the City’s Responsible Banking Ordinance to encourage banks that do business with the City to disclose their plans to provide mortgage and rent relief, and prioritize those banks which help Los Angeles renters and working families when deciding on future contracts. Read the motion here.
  • Rent and Mortgage Forgiveness - A resolution co-authored by the Councilmembers calls on the state and federal governments to create state and federal programs to forgive rent and mortgage debts created during the crisis. Read the resolution here.
  • Expand the Rent Freeze on Rent-Stabilized Units - Councilmember Ryu amendment introduced April 22 to extend the period which rent-stabilized (or RSO) units are prohibited from seeing a rent increase from 90 days following the emergency order to 360 days.
  • Creation of an Economic Recovery Program in District Four - Councilmember Ryu introduced legislation instructing City departments to report on the feasibility of using $1 million in federal COVID-19 funding to create an economic recovery program in the 4th District, focused on supporting the reopening of small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here. 
  • Implement a rental assistance and personal loan program for any Angeleno facing a loss of wages, or for tenants struggling to pay rent during the emergency declaration. Read more here.
  • Allocate up to $1 million of Council District 4 Discretionary Fund to the Jewish Free Loan Association, to be dispersed for the purpose of personal loans, grants, residential rental assistance and/or rental assistance for small business owners in District 4. Read more here.
  • Support federal action to increase production of COVID-19 test kits and expedited review by the FDA of any new test kits being used in other countries. Read more here.  
  • Fund additional cleaning and disinfection of private senior homes and facilities across our City. Read more here.
  • Identify funding for Recreation & Park facility bathrooms be kept open 24/7 for unhoused Angelenos. Read more here.
  • Increase the ceiling for awarding funds without the use of written contracts from Council discretionary funds from $5,000 to $25,000 during times of declared emergency. Read more here.
  • Order All City departments that provide space or services to seniors to immediately implement routine cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and provide hand sanitizer at every facility exit and entrance. Read more here.
  • Ensure that all supplies and instruments associated with COVID-19 testing be in place once approved by the FDA, and identify any city-owned buildings, properties, and private labs that could be used as a walk-up or drive-up testing site to scale up testing rapidly. Read more here.

Councilmembers Ryu and Bonin have previously partnered on renter protection efforts, such as Ellis Act reform, and they have joined a national effort with leaders from nine U.S. cities calling for nationwide rent and mortgage relief.

For more information, click here.

 

Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Residents:

Councilmember Ryu believes that during this crisis, it is crucial to public health that our unhoused neighbors are able to come indoors so that they can safely shelter in place, and have access to healthcare resources. To promote public health and safety, the Friendship Auditorium parking lot will temporarily host 40 trailers to house our most vulnerable neighbors experiencing homelessess so that they can stay safe during the emergency period, as part of Project Roomkey.

To date, Council District 4 has several Project Roomkey sites (locations are kept private for the privacy of our unhoused neighbors residing there), and two separate shelters at City recreation centers. Before the pandemic, Councilmember Ryu had already championed or built seven homeless housing projects throughout Council District 4. To learn more about Councilmember Ryu’s approach to homelessness, click here.

 

Councilmember Ryu Announces New Coronavirus Tests:

Councilmember Ryu, alongside City and County partners, announced partnerships with Seegene Technologies, Inc., a South Korea-based test kit manufacturer, to purchase and process 20,000 new tests for the Coronavirus. The City and County leaders used a combined $1.25 million of County funds and discretionary funds to purchase the 20,000 tests immediately, while a larger contract is worked out. 

“We cannot beat the Coronavirus without more testing, isolation and treatment. Until then, we are operating in the dark,” Councilmember Ryu, who Chairs the City Council Committee on Health, said. “Every minute counts in this crisis, and that’s why I have been working to secure contracts with test kit manufacturers worldwide and certified laboratories in California. Los Angeles isn’t waiting around - and I’m not either.”

The first 20,000 tests will be directed toward first-responders and medical professionals on the frontline of addressing the Coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles. As these tests are rolled out, a larger agreement with Seegene Technologies, Inc., will be worked out. Seegene has committed to provide 100,000 tests per week to Los Angeles. All tests will be made free to the public.

For more information, you can click here

 

Discretionary Funding: 

Nonprofits are often the first line of defense that many Angelenos turn to when they’re facing tough times. Councilmember Ryu is proud to support our local network of nonprofits, and that’s why Council District 4 is sending $5,000 to each of these organizations to support critical services during this time of need:

  • My Friend's Place is a nonprofit Resource Center that assists homeless youths and helps them to build self-sufficient lives. They’re currently providing meals, essential items, and activity packs for kids.
  • Project Angel Food's mission is to prepare & deliver healthy meals to feed those who are impacted by serious illness.
  • Hollywood Food Coalition has served over 1.5 million meals and counting, and has been open every night of the week since 1987. I’m happy to support them, and they are here for you if you need them, no questions asked.
  • Big Sunday has been going above and beyond by sending dinners to ALL night shift staff at local hospitals. 
  • Many of you are probably aware of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles’s work in the community, because they do it all: from supporting vulnerable seniors, children, delivering food to homes and so much more, they do incredible work and I’m proud to support them.
  • The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank provides thousands of Angelenos with their daily meals, and they are working around the clock to make sure food gets to where it’s needed most.
  • Since 1988 Covenant House has been housing and serving youths and young families, and they are doing incredible work in helping young Angelenos get back on their feet.

 

Helping CD4 Residents Pay Rent:

Councilmember Ryu has worked with a local nonprofit organization, the Jewish Free Loan Association, to create a dedicated fund for District Four residents to help pay rent during the pandemic. District Four residents can apply for no-fee and interest-free loans up to $5,000 to pay rent costs, and small businesses can apply for loans up to $10,000. Learn more and apply here

 

Volunteering with our Community: 

In addition to introducing legislation and utilizing discretionary funding to support working families and our most vulnerable Angelenos and increase testing capacity, Team Ryu has been working around the clock to get food and supplies out to vulnerable Angelenos. 

Our team has packaged hundreds of meals at the Los Angeles Food Bank and at Project Angel Food. These organizations are so important to thousands of Angelenos, and they need our help now more than ever.