Assembly member Rob Bonta provides updates and resources regarding COVID-19

More Details on the Extended Shelter In Place Order

On Monday, six counties – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo – announced a New Order, which extends the Shelter-In-Place requirement until May 3rd, 2020. New orders include mandatory physical distancing and important clarifications on essential businesses and operational changes for businesses. Please make sure you are informed about how these changes may impact you and please also make sure you continue to Shelter In Place so that we can flatten the curve!
You can read the full order here http://www.acphd.org/media/563688/health-officer-order-20-04-shelter-in-place-20200331.pdf and a summary of major changes here: http://www.acphd.org/media/563713/summary-updated-shelter-in-place-order-20200331.pdf

Information and Helpful Tips for Renters
For 17 million Californians, rent was due yesterday (April 1). As we all do our part to protect one another from the spread of COVID-19, we understand the difficulties that come with this uncertain time. For many, it means not being able to work and have the income to pay rent. While steps have been taken in the right direction to support tenants, we recognize that they may not be enough and we want to share the resources below to support you and your loved ones:
Immediately communicate with your landlords if your ability to pay rent for April and May 2020 has changed due to COVID-19 and Shelter-In-Place ordinances. If you can pay rent, please do so as your landlord may also be struggling to take care of their family. Save up what you can in order to pay off back-rent once the Shelter-in-Place order is lifted.
If you cannot pay rent:
  • Reach out to Centro Legal de la Raza or East Bay Community Law Center to see if you qualify for rental assistance.
  • Reach out to your landlord and see if you can negotiate to make a partial payment or if  they can reduce or forgive some of your rent that is due.
  • If you do not live in Oakland or Berkeley, please provide your landlord with written notice no later than April 7, 2020 and May 7, 2020 (no later than within 7 days after rent is due).
  • Written notices can include emails, text messages, and hand-written or typed documents. Keep copies for yourself.
  • Keep documentation of your inability to work and earn income to give to your landlord and to eviction courts, if necessary. Examples include employment termination notices, payroll checks, pay stubs, bank statements, medical bills, or signed letters or statements from an employer or supervisor explaining your changed financial circumstances.
  • Under Governor Newsom’s Executive Order, if you receive a summons and complaint (eviction lawsuit) and you have given your landlord notice that you are unable to pay rent within 7 days after rent coming due, then you have an additional 60 days to file the answer form in court. Once the shelter-in-place order is lifted, file with the court a Judicial Council Form UD-105: https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/ud105.pdf
  • For legal assistance call the East Bay Community Law Center – 510-548-4040 or Centro Legal de la Raza (510) 437-1554. While their offices are physically closed, they are responding to voicemails within 48 hours.
  • If you are in need of further assistance or have questions, please feel free to contact my office: 510-286-1670.
COVID-19 Education Update
Distance Learning
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond recommended that California schools should remain closed for the rest of the academic year. We need to continue to practice physical distancing to flatten the curve and keeping schools closed is what is safe for everyone. And while school campuses may be closed, learning continues! We will continue to work to make distance learning more accessible and the CDE consistently updates distance learning guidelines on their website https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/coronavirus.asp
Expanding Access for Distance Learning
With millions of our students engaged in distance learning, it’s more important than ever to close the digital divide. Governor Newsom has partnered with Google to provide 100,000 points of access to improve internet capacity across California with a minimum of three months of free internet access. Google will also be providing thousands of Chromebooks to students for distant learning. This goes a long way to giving our students the tools needed for success during this time of distance learning!
USDA Waiver
Last week the USDA Food and Nutrition Services established a waiver to expand access to school lunch service during COVID-19. Parents and guardians are now authorized to pick-up meals without the student needing to be present.https://www.fns.usda.gov/cn/covid-19-parents-and-guardians-waiver
On Thursday, April 2nd at 3:00 pm, the State is hosting a webinar on distance learning for students with special needs. (This website is updated regularly with additional resources) https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/coronavirus.asp
Temporary Admissions Requirements Changes at UC and CSU
The University of California and the California State University systems have made the following changes to their admissions requirements:
  • Suspension of the letter grade requirement for college prep courses completed in winter/spring/summer 2020.
  • UC waived SAT/ACT requirement for students applying as freshmen for the 2021-2022 academic year (CSU has not announced it will waive this requirement).
  • Admission offers will not be rescinded from students who miss the final official transcript deadline for the fall 2020 term.
  • UC will suspend the cap on transferable units with pass/no pass grading and CSU will accept pass/no pass grading for classes taken in winter/spring/summer 2020 and reduce the number of transfer units required for enrollment.
You can find the updated UC admissions requirements here:www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/uc-eases-admissions-requirements-help-students-families-wake-covid-19 and the updated CSU admissions requirements here: https://www2.calstate.edu/apply
Farmworkers and Our Food Supply Chain
On Tuesday, we honored the legacy and life’s work of César Chávez, the iconic leader of the Farm Workers’ Movement and a committed labor and civil rights activist. In celebrating him, we are reminded of the invaluable contributions of farm workers during this time of crisis-despite COVID-19, our food supply chain is still strong. This is in great part because farmworkers continue to do the hard labor needed to bring food to our tables.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in La Paz (the headquarters of the United Farm Workers of America) because my parents were actively involved in the Farm Workers’ movement, one of the greatest social, racial, and economic justice movements in the history of this country. My upbringing has given me a profound understanding and appreciation for the invaluable contribution farmworkers make to our state and our country. It is our duty to acknowledge those putting themselves at risk to ensure our families are fed; they are heroes. Read more on farm workers’ contributions here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/03/31/during-covid-19-pandemic-immigrant-farmworkers-are-heroes/
Californians Step-up
On Monday, March 30, the Governor asked individuals with a healthcare background, including medical and nursing students, to register for the California Health Corps system. Within 12 hours, 25,000 Californians stepped-up and answered the call to expand our health care work force. And as of Wednesday, that number has jumped to 34,000! A tremendous thank you to those of you who have raised your hand and leaned in to help provide care for others. That’s how we do it in California!
Details on Health Corps here: https://covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps/
Helping Older Californians
Many of you have reached out and asked “what more can I do to help?” I love that spirit and I am so thankful for the instinctive desire to help that lives in so many of us. On Tuesday, Governor Newsom reminded us of another way we can be there for one another in this moment when we need each other most: We can continue to practice physical distancing while checking in on our vulnerable neighbors. A call, text, or physically-distanced knock on the door is a great way to reach out to older adults who may live alone. Whether you personally know them or not, these older adults are our neighbors, our fellow community members, in the circle we share together and we should show our support. Older Californians can also call into the new statewide hotline – 833-544-2374 – to get information about local resources they may need, like grocery or medication delivery.
Let’s continue to look out for each other. We’re all in this together!
Pay Inequity and COVID-19
Tuesday was Equal Pay Day– the day in 2020 that the average woman has had to work until to earn what a man in the same position made in 2019. However, for women of color, equal pay day comes much later in the year. COVID-19 has highlighted many inequities and that includes pay inequality. Women who are working on the frontlines during COVID-19, like our first responders, grocery store workers, and health care workers are often making less than men doing the same jobs. Women also make up the majority of part-time and low-wage workers who have been disproportionately affected by the layoffs and subsequent loss of employment benefits like health insurance. We need to continue to fight to close the wage gap and ensure women whose incomes have been impacted by COVID-19 are fairly protected.