May 07, 2020

Rep. Mike Levin and Local Mayors Double Down on Calls for Federal Relief Funding to Smaller Municipalities

San Juan Capistrano, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) and a bipartisan coalition of nine local Mayors reiterated their call for direct federal funding to stabilize smaller counties, cities, and towns—specifically, those with populations under 500,000. Their call supports several letters Rep. Levin and his House colleagues sent to Congressional leadership requesting funding for small municipalities, which are struggling with enormous costs and declining revenues due to COVID-19.

“The essential public services that cities provide are critical for our health and security, yet many smaller cities have been cut off from federal aid and they are desperate for a lifeline,” said Rep. Levin. “While the CARES Act included funding for states and large cities, it wasn’t enough, and it’s time for House and Senate leadership to rectify that. The next Coronavirus relief package that Congress passes must provide more money to cities, and it must set aside funding for cities with fewer than 500,000 residents. Smaller cities, like those in North County San Diego and South Orange County, need help too. I will do everything I can to ensure they aren’t left behind.”

“We have worked day and night throughout this crisis to maintain critical public services and protect the health, safety, and economic security of our people. As the pandemic erodes our traditional sources of local revenue, we have risen to the occasion to serve the individuals and families who call our cities home. We need the federal government to step up. We are calling on Congress and the President to provide direct aid to our cities in order to offset lost revenues and unexpected costs during this unprecedented time. The health and well-being of our people depend on it,” said Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall, Dana Point Mayor Richard Viczorek, Del Mar Mayor Ellie Haviland, Encinitas Mayor Catherine S. Blakespear, Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss, San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Laura Ferguson, San Juan Capistrano Mayor Troy Bourne, Solana Beach Mayor Jewel Edson, and Vista Mayor Judy Ritter.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a Coronavirus Relief Fund with $150 billion dollars for payments to state, local, and tribal governments confronting the COVID-19 outbreak. However, localities with populations under 500,000 cannot receive the funds directly. Rep. Levin and the local Mayors are calling on Congress to pass additional relief legislation with direct stabilization funding to localities with populations under 500,000, and to lower the threshold for direct funding through the Coronavirus Relief Fund.