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Rep. Linda Sánchez Brings in $107 Million in Relief to Cities, Colleges and School Districts

REP. LINDA SÁNCHEZ (center) with Norwalk Mayor Jennifer Perez (l) and Councilwoman Ana Valencia presenting a $28 million check inside council chambers.


Rep. Sánchez with Lakewood Mayor Jeff Wood (3rd from right) and the City Council presenting an $11 million check.



BY BRIAN HEWS * July 8, 2021


Congresswoman Linda Sánchez topped off her week by bringing in over $107 million in pandemic relief to area cities, community colleges and school districts.

This pandemic hit our communities hard,” said Sánchez. “As we mourn the loss of over 63,000 lives here in California alone, it is critical we deliver relief directly to working families, small businesses, and local governments so they can continue working to get us back on track. That is exactly what the American Rescue Plan did – it extended a lifeline to millions right here in Southern California and I was proud to support it.”

On Tuesday, Sánchez delivered a $28 million check to Norwalk.

“The American Rescue Plan funds are critical for the City’s response to COVID and address its economic effects over the past year,” said Norwalk Mayor Jennifer Perez. “Our Plan will offer aid to households, small businesses, nonprofits and impacted industries. In addition, we will utilize the funds to address strategic priorities that will benefit the health and safety of the community. We thank Congresswoman Linda Sánchez for her constant support of the City of Norwalk, and her steadfast dedication to the residents and businesses in the 38th Congressional District.”

On the same day, Sánchez also presented checks to the City of Lakewood and Cerritos College totaling $56.7 million.

$11.4 million went to Lakewood. “The City of Lakewood and many Lakewood residents and businesses suffered economically during the COVID pandemic,” said Lakewood Mayor Jeff Wood. “This infusion of funds from the federal government is much appreciated. It means a lot to know that local economic pain in Lakewood and in communities around the nation is acknowledged and being addressed as much as possible.”

Lakewood Vice Mayor Steve Croft and Council Members Ariel Pe, Todd Rogers, and Vicki Stuckey were also present at Tuesday’s event.

The Lakewood City Council said they are carefully considering how the federal funds can best be used in Lakewood in a way that fits within the federal rules guiding the program.

Later, Sánchez delivered a $45.3 million check to Cerritos College to highlight the funding the college received through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III).

HEERF III, authorized by the American Rescue Plan, provided $39.6 billion to help institutions of higher education serve students and ensure learning continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Colleges, universities, and students have faced unprecedented challenges over the last year,” said Sánchez. “As we recover from this pandemic, we must ensure our local colleges and universities safely reopen for in-person learning while giving students the resources they need to continue their education. This funding, which I voted for as part of the American Rescue Plan, will do just that. I am glad to be here in Cerritos to highlight the $45 million Cerritos College received through this relief package.”

“This historic action by Congress paves the way for our institution to allow us to emerge stronger in order to continue serving all students,” said Dr. Jose Fierro, President and Superintendent at Cerritos College. “Our region was greatly impacted by the devastation of COVID-19, despite so much uncertainty this support has provided a beacon of hope during unprecedented times.”

Cerritos College said funding has been utilized to provide additional financial support to students as well as additional technological enhancements to our campus.

Sánchez continued, “One important aspect of the American Rescue Plan is it provides direct relief to students and institutions for higher education. At least half of the funding each institution receives will be distributed in the form of emergency financial aid to help students facing hunger, homelessness, and other hardship due to the pandemic. Supporting our students is critical to building back better for everyone in Southern California.”

HEERF III provided $5 billion for schools across California. In addition to Cerritos College, seven institutions in California’s 38th congressional district will benefit from this funding.

The following institutions in the district are receiving funding under the American Rescue Plan’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund: Southern California University of Health Sciences, Biola University, NTMA Training Centers of Southern California, Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America

Cerritos College, Rio Hondo College, Whittier College, ABC Adult School.

The American Rescue Plan is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill to speed up the country’s recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this relief package, the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund provided billions of dollars directly to municipalities to support urgent COVID-19 response efforts, replace lost revenue to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs, stabilize households and businesses, and address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the inequal impact of the pandemic.

The critical relief for Californians included an estimated:

$43 billion dollars in direct aid to the State of California and local governments to support essential workers, continue delivery of essential services, deliver relief to hard-hit families and businesses, and make necessary investments in water and broadband infrastructure.

$3.8 billion in child care relief by investing in California’s child care system and providers through the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program.

$105 million for Head Start to help California families continue to access important quality early learning opportunities.

$15 billion for California’s K-12 Schools to re-open with necessary resources to keep students and educators safe.  This includes repairing ventilation systems, reducing class sizes and implementing social distancing guidelines, purchasing personal protective equipment, and hiring support staff to care for students’ health and well-being.

$5 billion for California’s institutions of higher education to help weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Half of the funds received by colleges and universities must be distributed to students to help with hardships caused by the pandemic.

$2 billion to help Californians with emergency rental assistance.

$1.6 billion for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim public transit agencies to be used to ensure safe access to reliable transit services.