As lawmakers deliberate on the next phase of the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has sent an urgent request for resources to House and Senate leaders.
Mayor Bill Edwards is among the coalition of more than 1,400 mayors seeking a total of $250 billion in local aid. The emergency funding would cover a wide range of critical activities needed to stem the spread of the virus and bolster city services and economies.
The request includes resources for public health departments, displaced workers, small business support, food insecurity and substance abuse programs, as well as existing federal programs such as the Community Development Block Grant.
The officials signed the letter last week, citing that their request is critical to helping those most vulnerable.
“I signed the letter in support of residents and small business owners during this time of hardship,” said Edwards. “The funding will support those most impacted by the crisis. It is important that we allocate the necessary resources to those who need it the most.”
The letter included specific examples of how the funding would be used, including covering overtime, sick time, other employee compensation and telecommuting equipment and the procurement of protective gear. These are expenses South Fulton officials and City Manager Odie Donald II have already committed to in order to ensure city employees’ financial security and keep personnel safe.
Other examples of funding uses in the letter included offering direct cash assistance to small businesses, providing support to child care operations that have been negatively impacted and providing assistance to jobseekers who need help with reemployment.
As stated in the letter, the funding would equip cities to tackle immediate needs and also lay the foundation for future recovery.
Photo Credit: City of South Fulton