Budget Wins for SD33, New Rent Relief Law Signed & National Parks & Rec Month!

Dear Neighbor,

Today marks the beginning of our new fiscal year and I am proud to say that we’ve prioritized major investments exclusively for local services and projects in our district in this year’s proposed budget. More relief and protections for tenants and landlords are also now available through an extension of the eviction moratorium. Lastly, please make sure to check out these useful tips and reminders on how to get your passport for summer travel, how to celebrate safely this Independence Day, movies at the park and much more!

Over $406.7 Million in Funds for Local Projects and Services!

  • On Monday June 28th, a $262.6 billion budget was approved by the Legislature and is now on the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. The budget will invest over $406.7 million for projects and services in Long Beach and Southeast Los Angeles including but not limited to:
    • $850,000 for upgrades at Bixby Park in the City of Long Beach
    • $1 million in capital support for the new TCC Family Health and Wellness site in Cambodia Town, in Long Beach
    • $1.2 million for the improvement of the El Dorado Regional Park Youth Softball and Baseball Fields in the City of Long Beach
    • $3.3 million for open space along the Los Angeles River in Long Beach
    • $5 million for an Inclusive Business & Workforce Development Center in Central Long Beach
    • $8.5 million for MacArthur Park’s rehabilitation in Long Beach
    • $9.5 million for community facilities, parks and recreational facilities in the cities of Bell, Cudahy, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount and South Gate
    • $45 million for the Southeast Los Angeles Cultural Center Project
    • $322.4 million for the cleanup of areas impacted by Exide Contamination

Eviction Moratorium Extended 3 More Months and Rent Relief Program Funding Doubled to Pay 100% Past Due Rent for Low-Income Tenants

  • On Monday June 28th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation to extend the state’s eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021 and clear rent debt for low-income Californians that have suffered economic hardship due to the pandemic. Under AB 832, California will significantly increase cash assistance to low-income tenants and small landlords under the state’s $5.2 billion rent relief program.
  • The new legislation will now cover 100 percent of past-due and prospective rent payments, as well as utility bills for income-qualified tenants.
  • If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, please visit HousingIsKey.com to check eligibility requirements and to apply, or call the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122.

Beginning July 15th, Eligible Working Families Will Automatically Receive Advance Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments Per Child Through the End of This Year 

  • What are Advance Child Tax Credit payments? Advance Child Tax Credit payments are early payments from the IRS of 50 percent of the estimated amount of the Child Tax Credit that you may properly claim on your 2021 tax return during the 2022 tax filing season. 
  • How much will families get? The American Rescue Plan expanded the Child Tax Credit to up to $3,600 per child for children under the age of 6, and $3,000 per child for children ages 6 to 17.   
  • For more information visit: https://www.irs.gov/

Check Your Passport and These Travel Guidelines Before You Travel!

  • Make sure you stay safe while traveling by following CDC travel guidelines. Up-to-date guidance is available with recommendations for international and domestic travel for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at https://www.cdc.gov/.
  • If you are going somewhere in the U.S., check out this neat tool that will help you get important information as you consider traveling to different cities, states, and national parks across the United States. All you have to do is enter a city, zip code, address or national park name to learn more about COVID-19 travel restrictions, guidance, and available resources, check out the domestic travel planner here.
  • Also, remember to check whether you have a valid, up to date passport. Routine passport services generally take between 10-12 weeks, and expedited services take between 4- 6 weeks (for an additional $60 fee).
  • You can check in on a passport application, make appointments, and get other travel information at travel.state.gov.

This Edition’s Poll Question

  • I would like to know more about the economic impacts COVID-19 has had on our local communities, specifically, how the pandemic has affected the ability of families and individuals in our district to pay rent, utilities or have housing stability. Please provide your input and insights by taking our next poll here.

Last Edition’s Poll Results

In our previous newsletter, we asked about AQMD board representation and improving air quality in Senate District 33 and the Southern California region, these were the results.  

Celebrate Safely This Upcoming 4th of July

Independence Day is just a few days away! Please stay safe as you celebrate with your family, friends and loved ones. Below you will find useful information on the use of fireworks and resources to find a professional show near you in LA County!

  • The sale and use of "Safe and Sane" fireworks in your community may be prohibited by local ordinance (check with your local fire department) or click here for a list of cities in LA County that allow “safe and sane” fireworks.
  • If they are allowed, "Safe and Sane" fireworks can only be purchased from a State Fire Marshal licensed retail stand from noon on June 27th to noon on July 6th.
  • You can learn about professional firework shows taking place in your community by visiting LA County’s Fireworks Safety webpage or by calling the FIREWORKS HOTLINE at (888) 654-3473.
  • In the City of Long Beach all personal fireworks, even those deemed “Safe and Sane,” are illegal. To report illegal firework activity in Long Beach you may call 562- 435-6711 or submit an online complaint here.

Happy National Parks and Recreation Month!

Parks and open spaces provide us the opportunity to enjoy nature, do exercise and enjoy quality time outside with family and friends. They are places that give us great memories to share and at times serve as hubs for crucial resources for local communities. There’s no doubt that parks have been essential through the COVID-19 pandemic, and that they will continue to be an important part of our lives. With that said, here is some information on activities happening at parks in SD33!

  • Lakewood - Movie Nights Under the Stars begin Saturday, July 10. To register, or for more information, call Lakewood’s Recreation and Community Services Department at 562-866-9771, extension 2408 or visit www.lakewoodcity.org/ecatalog and enter keyword "movie."
  • Long Beach - Movies in The Park 2021 have begun and will continue through August 27th, 2021. Check out upcoming movie showtimes and locations at Long Beach’s Parks and Recreation website. For more information you can call 562-570-3100 or email LBParks@longbeach.gov.
  • Bell Gardens - Summer Nights Kick-Off with La Sonora Dinamita July 1st, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM at Veterans Park. For more information, please call (562) 806-7650 or visit www.bellgardens.org.

As Delta Variant Circulates, Public Health Recommends Masking Indoors

  • With more circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the Department of Public Health strongly recommends everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places as a precaution. Per the CDC, the Delta variants are now responsible for 1 in 5 new cases across the country.
  • For more information visit ph.lacounty.gov/coronavirus.

Join Us on July 14th, 2021 at 5:00 PM for a Virtual Girl’s Garage Workshop!

  • Are you interested in learning the basics on automobile repairs & vehicle maintenance? Register for our upcoming workshop, all drivers are welcome! To register visit: aaa.com/girlsgarage and for more information call: (714) 885-2313.

Let’s do the best we can to stay safe this summer as we travel, enjoy the holidays and visit public spaces. We have great news to celebrate including major investments earmarked for SD33 in this year’s proposed budget and a historic rent relief program that has become available for all Californians. If you are in need of any assistance navigating the state rent relief program or any other state or local resources, please contact my office at (562) 256-7921 or send us a message here. A huge thank you to all who joined me for our Long Beach Legislative Community Coffee last week, more are coming up, so please keep an eye out for our next invitation!

Sincerely,


Lena Gonzalez
33rd State Senate District