Dear Friends –
Los Angeles County has over 1.5 million residents of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent, and every year, I was always excited to join the Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown. While celebrations this year look different, I hope those who observe this holiday will still be able to connect with their family virtually.
As we ring in the new year, I am mindful that AAPI community has been facing the consequences of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the epidemic of racism. It is why I stood in solidarity with many AAPI leaders back in February of 2020 to condemn some of the very first instances of COVID-related racism and violence. Unfortunately, there has recently been a surge in anti-AAPI attacks, particularly against elderly people, around the country.
These heinous acts have put residents in Chinatown understandably on high alert. As the Supervisor representing Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Historic Filipinotown, and large swaths of the San Gabriel Valley, I stand with the community and condemn these criminal acts. Hate has no place in our County – and that’s why I directed the County’s Human Relation Commission to launch a public education campaign called “LA vs. Hate” and to work with local organizations to provide services to survivors of hate acts. Unity and kindness are the only way forward.
As always, please avoid large gatherings outside your households to protect our collective health. The Year of the Ox is about perseverance in the face of adversity – as long as we remain united, we will emerge stronger from this crisis.
Chair Hilda L. Solis
Supervisor, First District
Celebrating Black History Month
In honor of Black History Month, I’d like to recognize my long-time friend and First District Commissioner, Jeanette Ellis-Royston.
For decades, Jeanette’s dedication, energy, and uplifting spirit in the pursuit of social justice, has inspired many community members to follow her lead and advocate for the good of the community in their own way. In 1985, she founded the Pomona Valley National Council of Negro Women. In 2013, she helped reactivate the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Pomona Valley Branch, and currently serves as the organization’s president. Today, Jeanette serves as my appointee to the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. I am grateful for her compassion and dedication to uplift Black and Brown communities.
Plan to Expand Vaccination Eligibility in Coming Weeks
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that they are developing a plan to open vaccinations to our essential workers, including our first responders, food and agriculture workers, our teachers and child care workers, and emergency service workers in the coming weeks. This is a critical step in ensuring those who are putting themselves at risk keep us healthy and safe are protected themselves.
However, we must remain clear-eyed about the path ahead. During this time of limited vaccine supply, we must continue our efforts to reach those most vulnerable to severe consequences if they get COVID-19: those over the age of 65 who have not yet been able to be vaccinated. The latest data indicates that we need to do more to reach our Black and Latinx communities to help them overcome barriers to accessing the vaccine, including securing appointments, creating vaccination sites directly in the neighborhoods where they live, addressing vaccine hesitancy, and providing accessible transportation to and from vaccination sites.
I will continue to work with Governor Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden’s Administration to expand access to these vaccines in an efficient and equitable manner so that everyone eligible can be vaccinated as quickly as possible.
A Huge Milestone
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and prevent serious illness from the virus.
Eligible residents should continue to visit VaccinateLACounty.com regularly for appointments. Residents without internet access can call (833) 540-0473 for assistance.
Keep Doing Your Part
Until enough people are vaccinated, keep staying safe and protecting those around you. We need everyone to keep taking all the steps that have kept us safe so far: wearing face coverings, washing our hands, practicing physical distancing, and above all else, avoiding gathering with people outside our households.
With just a few more months of these practices, I believe that Los Angeles County will be able to weather this storm, and come out on the other side taking what we’ve learned from this pandemic to address the disparities that this pandemic made more clear.
Please visit our revised guidance on masks here. In a nutshell, your mask should be made with two or more layers of tightly woven, breathable materials. Make sure your mask completely covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly against the sides of your face and around your nose. Let’s shield each other from COVID!
In Need of Food Assistance?
There are many different types of food resources available in Los Angeles County, and finding what you need can be confusing and overwhelming.
211 LA is here to help navigate the different food supports and programs, and connect you quickly to food resources. For more information, visit 211la.org/food-resources or call 2-1-1.