RE: 'Does California owe you money?' [Village News, Letter, 11/26/20]


Last updated 12/16/2020 at 5:40pm

In full disclosure, I was a 2020 Candidate for Assembly District 75. When I read our current Assembly representative’s article, it was another reminder for me – why I had decided to run to bring change to our representation for AD 75.

The article begins: "The holiday season is fast approaching and many are suffering from severe economic distress resulting from the COVID 19 shutdowns, so take a few minutes to see if you have some money coming to you.” Am I actually seeing this?

We have been hit by the worst global pandemic in over a century, many are laid off, or have lost jobs as well as health insurance, and are worried about how they are going to pay their rent/mortgage for the month, much less be able to celebrate the holidays. Our food banks have never been as needed and utilized as this year.

We have paid our Assemblywoman $1.2+ million in salary and travel expenses since her 2012 election, and this is her solution at such a time of crisis? This is her message to us on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

And by the way, the State Controller’s office can take up to 180 days to process “unclaimed property.” It won’t be here for this holiday season.

We have seen her spend her time and energy recently sending letters of support for a Supreme Court nominee, but not for additional stimulus funding from Washington to assist her district residents.

We have heard about how she recommended 3 years ago that the technology be upgraded for state agencies, such as the EDD. that never came to pass. Residents in AD 75 needed their EDD checks 3 months ago – what are you doing today for your constituents to help them with this crisis? Your constituents as a whole.

The EDD still hasn’t gotten a handle on the massive pandemic assistance fraud scheme and as a result, have been sending an estimated $2B in payments on fraudulent claims.

Rather than looking for “unclaimed property,” let’s find the $2B in fraudulent payments Bank of America sent out and get the checks to those who deserve their unemployment benefits.

We also need our Assembly Representative to bring much needed industry along with living wage jobs to our district. That would put much needed money into the pockets of our communities. The state needs pharmaceutical manufacturing, and we are positioned here perfectly due to the proximity to the San Diego Bio-Tech industry. Not to mention needed manufacturing of solar panels made in the USA. We have the space for manufacturing facilities.

Our residents are ending up homeless in their cars as a result of no EDD benefits or jobs. The state passed AB 3088, the Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020, extending the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the pandemic thru Jan 31 – but most district residents are unaware of this protection. Has there been any outreach to the public about AB 3088? I don’t believe so.

Per the Union Tribune, Dec 4: National outstanding rent debt is expected to be as high as $7.2 billion by the end of 2020, said a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The estimate is based on eviction moratoriums across the nation ending by the end of the year.

California has one of the longest moratoriums in the nation, with Gov. Gavin Newsom signing a law in August that shielded all renters from eviction due to COVID-19-related back rent through Feb.1. (AB 3088)

The following week’s Village News article by our Assemblywoman then speaks to the issue of needing to help our small businesses. The County Board of Supervisors has already announced additional small business funding to be directed toward small businesses within each of our five county districts, to aid those businesses in danger of failing due to recent lock downs and partial re-openings.

We all understand and fully support the need to assist our small business owners with expenses in order to keep them afloat, particularly the expense of payroll. Our Assemblywoman came up through the ranks due to owning a small business – a t-shirt shop in Escondido – and the chambers’ wishes to have their needs represented at the city, and then state level. Her priorities are very clear.

If our Assemblywoman had pushed her colleagues at the federal level for additional federal stimulus funding with the same fervor as her interest in the next Supreme Court Justice, our state and county governments might have had increased funding for the support of small businesses, as well as for the rest of the community. After all, she is the Assembly Minority Leader in the California State Legislature – that should yield some pretty hefty power with our globally ranked economy.

As I said before, we can do better than this.

Kate Schwartz


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