Los Angeles could offer thousands of poor residents $1,000 a month, ‘no questions asked’

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Echo Park Lake Thursday, March 25, 2021 in los Angeles, CA.

  • Poor residents in Los Angeles could receive $1,000 direct monthly payments as part of the city’s budget.
  • LA Mayor Eric Garcetti outlined the $24 million proposal during his annual “State of the City” address.
  • The payments will “begin to tear away at poverty in our city,” Garcetti said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Over one in five residents of Los Angeles live in poverty, making it one of the poorest big cities in the nation – a fact most visible in the tens of thousands of people who sleep on its streets every evening. But some could soon receive a cash infusion from their government.

“$1,000 a month to 2,000 households for an entire year,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday, “no questions asked.”

In his annual “state of the city” address, Garcetti outlined a $24 million proposal to lift up the city’s poor residents without the bureaucracy of traditional welfare programs, which tie assistance to specific goods, such as food or housing. The aid, according to LAist, will be directed to families that live at or near the federal poverty line.

The “direct help,” Garcetti said, will “begin to tear away at poverty in our city and show this nation a way to fulfill Dr. King’s call for a basic income once and for all.”

In the 1970s, Dr. Martin Luther King advocated for a guaranteed income equivalent equal to the median wage, which would be over $30,000 today. Garcetti’s proposal will only make a dent in a region where hundreds of thousands of people live in poverty.

But, the Los Angeles Times reported, any city-wide effort will be supplemented by district-level initiatives, including one in South Los Angeles to provide $1,000 annual cash assistance to single parents.

Last year, Garcetti also announced that thousands of out-of-work food service employees would receive a one-time payment of $800, using private funds raised by his nonprofit organization.

Humanity Forward, the nonprofit of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang who was a major proponent of universal basic income and ran his campaign on the platform, partnered with the $1K Project last August to bring $1,000 direct monthly payments to struggling American families amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“If Congress had its s— together, we’d all be getting direct, recurring payments throughout this pandemic, and something like what we’re doing with $1K Project would be less vital,” Yang, who is now running for mayor of New York, told Insider in August. “In the absence of congressional action, then what we’re doing seems even more immediate and vital.”

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Los Angeles County – the largest county in the country – reports 35% spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations since November

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People arrive at a Covid-19 testing center despite the Stay-At-Home regulation underway in Los Angeles, California on December 8, 2020. – More than 8,000 new Covid-19 cases and another record for hospitalization was reported for Los Angeles County on December 8, 2020.

  • Over 3,100 people are now hospitalized with COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, public health officials said Tuesday.
  • The number of people hospitalized has risen by nearly 1,000 in just over a week.
  • “Right now, too many people in our community are infected with COVID-19, and it is irresponsible and dangerous for people or businesses to flaunt the essential measures that protect everyone from transmitting or acquiring the virus,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in Los Angeles County.
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Never have so many people been hospitalized with COVID-19 in America’s most populous county, Los Angeles public health officials announced Tuesday.

Over 3,100 people are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus in Los Angeles County, with just a quarter of them in intensive care. That’s nearly 1,000 more people hospitalized than there were at the end of last month, a rise of 35%.

Several hospitals in the county are close to running out of space in their intensive-care units, the Associated Press reported.

The county, home to some 10 million people, this week also reported its 8,000th death from the coronavirus, with 64 deaths reported on Tuesday.

Since the pandemic began, nearly 4 million Los Angeles residents have been screened for COVID-19, with more than 1 in 10 testing positive.

Over 1,700 healthcare workers contracted the disease over the seven days, double the number of cases reported the week before.

“Right now, too many people in our community are infected with COVID-19 and it is irresponsible and dangerous for people or businesses to flaunt the essential measures that protect everyone from transmitting or acquiring the virus,” Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in Los Angele County, said in a press release. “The way out of this may seem difficult, but the steps are simple, and those who disregard these safety measures are only delaying our recovery journey.”

Public health officials recently moved to reinstate prohibitions on both indoor and outdoor dining as part of an effort to arrest the latest surge in infection. On Tuesday, a state judge ordered those officials to revisit the closures later this month and conduct a risk-benefit analysis of the measure, which was challenged by California’s restaurant lobby, the Los Angeles Times reported.

To offset the economic pain of lost work, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently unveiled an effort to provide one-time $800 payments to thousands of low-income workers in the food service industry.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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