According to the National Bureau of Economic Research the United States is officially in a recession going back to February of this year. With record job losses, unemployment claims and a raging global health pandemic, local cities are grappling with severe revenue shortfalls and trimming their workforce as a direct result.
The city of Compton, a city of nearly 100,000 residents, initially reported a $9.8 million revenue shortfall and voted to prepare to reduce the city’s workforce.
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The city of Inglewood is bracing for a severe revenue shortfall that could extend well into FY 2021-2022 due to a combination of lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the delay of the SoFi Stadium opening and the possibility that the Forum will not be able to host large events due to social distancing requirements.
Inglewood was planning on an increase in Admission, Parking and Sales Tax revenue directly related to the Forum and SoFi Stadium but with no definite date of the venues being able to open to full capacity creates a dire situation for Inglewood officials.
Both Compton and Inglewood city employees will not see raises for at least four years.
2UrbanGirls spoke with Hawthorne Councilman Haidar Awad about how this recession will affect his city’s nearly 90,000 residents.
“The recession was just declared this week and likely to no one’s surprise, a national recession began in February. Having it officially announced does little to comfort the millions who have been hurt by the COVID-19 shutdown, especially our Hawthorne residents who are out of work and struggling to pay rent and feed their families.
Our short-term recovery must continue to include a moratorium on evictions, providing enough time for renters to pay back-owed rent. That’s why I insisted our city enact its own eviction moratorium ordinance. And, I’m working with State Senator Steve Bradford who proposed relief legislation that helps both renters and landlords.
Continued testing is vital to recovery so that people can safely return to work. That’s why I brought in a walk-up COVID-19 testing center to Hawthorne. Now residents can get tested and provide proof to their employer that they are COVID-free.
I want us to continue providing meals to residents in need by maintaining the current food programs and expand them too. I’ve secured private funding for a meal program that will feed residents but also purchase food from local restaurants to stimulate reopening.
To provide confidence to residents, businesses, and employers, we must get city hall, parks and facilities reopened. My recovery taskforce initiated in May has resulted in a comprehensive plan to reopen the city that was announced at the June 9th council meeting. Starting this month and expanding in July, the City of Hawthorne will be open.
I’ve always worked closely with our County, State, and Federal leaders to keep Hawthorne at the top of the list for resources. California State Treasurer Fiona Ma is joining my July 9th Town Hall meeting to discuss resources and support for Hawthorne small businesses and non-profits. In fact, one way to stimulate our local economy is to support people who want to start their own businesses.
While large economic elements require state and federal intervention, as a Hawthorne City Councilmember, I will do anything and everything to aid in the recovery of our city.”