Speaker's Note

When future generations study the early 2000s, they’ll surely learn about the coronavirus and its devastation. But what will history say about humanity’s response?

Right now, so much is out of our control, but our community is shaping its future every day. In Hawaiian Gardens, the Espinosa family bought groceries and delivered them to a group of elderly nuns. In that same spirit, veterans at American Legion Post #335 are delivering care packages to local seniors in South Gate.

Our community is also going out of its way to show appreciation for each other. Students at Mark Twain Elementary in Lynwood thanked their teachers in a drive-by parade with signs saying, “We miss you!” In Bell, local artist Tetris saluted healthcare staff and other essential workers with the mural featured here.   

I’m also doing my part to ensure that we’re on the right side of history. As my colleagues and I pass the state budget, I’m working to ensure funding for schools, public health, and emergency response in South East LA and across the state. While I’m in Sacramento, I’m hosting weekly tele-town halls to keep you informed about resources. In addition, my district staff is continuing to serve constituents via phone and participate in community events like food drives and supply giveaways.

During these unprecedented times, the world has never seemed so small, and our loved ones have never been so vulnerable. That’s why our everyday actions, like taking care of ourselves and others, are critical to how history looks back at this moment.

 

Assemblymember Rendon and Sam Sachs at the Assembly's 2017 Veteran of the Year ceremony

Community Spotlight: Lakewood Salutes a Local Hero

One thing this pandemic hasn’t put on hold is life’s milestones. Although we can’t celebrate birthdays and graduations like we anticipated, we’re finding new ways to share these milestones with family and friends.

In Lakewood, residents were determined to recognize a huge milestone for a local hero. The community previously planned to celebrate World War II veteran, Sam Sachs’, 105th birthday with a huge party. After shelter-in-place orders changed these plans, the community came together to honor Sam in a different way.

Neighbors formed a parade of cars, wishing Sam a happy birthday from afar, and thousands sent in birthday cards from around the country. As cars decked out with signs, balloons, and American flags passed by, Sam put his hand to his heart and said, “Who could have imagined this? I don’t have words to express how I feel in here.”

Despite his age, Sam is incredibly upbeat. His positivity beams through even when he talks about his daunting experiences in battle. So it’s fitting that his birthday was a day of happiness and positivity for our community.

Although we weren’t able to throw Sam the big party he deserves, I’m so proud we managed to make him feel special.  As much remains unknown about this virus, we will likely continue to celebrate life’s milestones away from family and friends, but we can still make these moments special from afar.

If you know someone in our community who’s helping others - maybe a dedicated volunteer, teacher or first responder – you can direct message @rendon63rd on Instagram to feature their story in the next R-Guide.

Pictured: Assemblymember Rendon and Sam Sachs at the Assembly's 2017 Veteran of the Year ceremony

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

As information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, my office is working closely with local and state officials to keep you informed. Here’s some information about helpful new resources and updates to existing resources. 

General Information 

The State of California is continuously updating its Coronavirus Response website with information about state benefits, emotional health resources, and more.

LA County has also created a website dedicated to COVID-19 news and response, where you can schedule a testing appointment and learn about the County’s latest safety guidelines.

Unemployment benefits 

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) provides information about filing for unemployment, disability, and paid family leave on its website.  

If you’re a business owner or independent contractor or if you’ve exhausted existing unemployment insurance benefits, you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). You can learn more about filling a PUA claim here.

Food Assistance

The County of LA has partnered with local nonprofits, public agencies, and volunteers to provide meals to those in need. You can find more information on this portal with a food bank locator, senior home delivery programs, and other resources.

Recreation

You and your family can now read eBooks on your phone, Kindle, or computer for free. The LA County Library is offering access to eBooks for a limited time through OverDrive, Hoopla, and BiblioBoard.

Pictured: Volunteers in South Gate held a food drive for those in need

FAQs for Workers

What resources are available if I’m unemployed or have reduced hours due to stay-at-home orders?

You can apply for unemployment benefits if you’ve lost your job or received reduced hours due to COVID-19. Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $640-$1050 per week. This amount includes $600 in additional benefits available for four months. You can use this unemployment insurance calculator to help estimate your potential weekly benefit amount.

You can find more information and file a claim online with the Employment Development Department  here.

Unemployment Insurance: Toll-Free Numbers

Assistance for unemployment insurance is available from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. except on state holidays.

English: (800) 300-5616
Spanish: (800) 326-8937
Cantonese: (800) 547-3506
Mandarin: (866) 303-0706
Vietnamese: (800) 547-2058
TTY: (800) 815-9387

LA’s County America's Job Centers of California have expanded virtual services to help county residents find employment. You can get assistance here.

Onward California is an initiative of companies and foundations to connect California workers displaced by COVID-19 with jobs. This website matches workers with employers based on industry and skills. You can find more info here.  

What benefits are available if I’m unable to work due to illness or medical quarantine?

State disability insurance is available to eligible Californians who are unable to work because of illness or medical quarantine. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70% of wages and range from $50-$1,300 a week. You can use this disability insurance calculator to estimate your potential benefit amount.

You can apply for state disability insurance here.  

Disability Insurance: Toll-Free Numbers

English: (800) 480-3287
Spanish: (866) 658-8846
TTY: (800) 563-2441

If I’m unable to work because I’m caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, where can I find support? 

If you’re unable to work because you’re caring for a sick loved one, you may be eligible for paid family leave. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages and range from $50-$1,300 a week. You can use the Paid Family Leave Calculator to help estimate your potential benefit amount.

You can apply for paid family leave benefits here.

Paid Family Leave: Toll-Free Numbers

English: (877) 238-4373
Spanish: (877) 379-3819
Cantonese: (866) 692-5595
Vietnamese: (866) 692-5596
Armenian: (866) 627-1567
Punjabi: (866) 627-1568
Tagalog: (866) 627-1569
TTY: (800) 445-1312.

 

Additional Resources

If you’re experiencing financial challenges, you may be also eligible for the following benefits from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.

You can learn more and apply by phone at (866) 613- 3777 or online below:

CAL FRESH: Food program for individuals and families

GENERAL RELIEF: Cash assistance program for single adults:

CALWORKS: Cash assistance program for families

CAP: Cash assistance program for immigrants

MEDI-CAL: Health benefits for individuals and families

COVID-19

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