In the District: Our community always steps up to deal with challenging times

We are living in a surreal time. The coronavirus crisis has completely upended almost every aspect of our world. Like most everyone, I have grave concerns about the health and welfare of all Sacramentans, particularly those most vulnerable.

How will working families exist with so many jobs being cut? Who will take care of our children if their parents and guardians do remain on the job? How will businesses survive with customers staying home? Do our hospital systems have the capacity needed to confront and handle this unprecedented situation?

While we wrestle with these questions, and many others, we see bright spots where we are standing up to meet the challenge, both as individuals and organizations. In Sacramento, credit to the Kings organization for continuing to pay their hourly employees despite a canceled season. Thank you to Perfect Union for supporting hand washing stations for our unhoused population. The list goes on – I have received many emails with offers of help.

I am pleased with what the city has done to date – including a $1 million loan fund for small businesses, placing a moratorium on residential evictions, $250,000 for sanitation kits being distributed to many in our homeless population, and a host of other measures, with many more to come.

We are taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our own employees as they stay on their jobs – particularly our first responders. The city will soon have 1,000 of its employees working from home. A special thank you to our city staff – they are working overtime to meet the needs of Sacramentans.

I also wanted to share feelings after inspired meetings soon after the initial concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on our school system, students and families. Among those attending were representatives from U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui’s office, state Sen. Richard Pan, Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty and Ken Cooley, County Supervisor Phil Serna, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and six City Council members.

Never in my nearly two decades of public service have I sat in a room with so many local leaders dedicating their time to collectively meet head on a crisis that will severely impact our way of life. Over two and a half hours, we collaborated on several ideas, some aspirational and some very practical, all focused on serving our respective communities. There are others we need to include in these conversations, including our parents, labor community, business community and non-profit sector.

Sacramento always steps up when the need presents itself. We will only be successful if we do this together. I have never been so proud of our community and calling myself a Sacramentan.

We will do our best to keep everyone updated on this ever-changing health crisis and the city’s response. Be safe.

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