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The following article was posted on January 19th, 2022, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 47 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 22, Issue 47

Political Watch: January 20, 2022

• The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announced in a statement that Santa Barbara County received two funding awards totaling nearly $10 million to address homelessness. The first was $6.9 million from Project Homekey Round 2, awarded to the county in partnership with Good Samaritan Shelter. Project Homekey is a California program aimed at purchasing hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other properties to convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, according to a Jan. 13 statement. State HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez said in a statement that Santa Barbara County—and other awardees—showcase the “essence” of the project. “We are ecstatic to learn that the soon-to-be-named housing project in Isla Vista has been awarded almost $7 million in a Homekey grant,” 3rd District County Supervisor Joan Hartmann said in a statement. “This project demonstrates that, with the right kinds of support, people who have lived unsheltered for years can indeed get stabilized and turn their lives around. It is an incredibly rewarding effort to be part of, requiring the coordinated work of so many different county and community partners. We are tremendously gratified by this stellar result.” The county also received $2.73 million from COVID-19 relief funds designated to help individuals experiencing homelessness due to the virus. 

• Gov. Gavin Newsom announced major investments in transportation and infrastructure, highlighting the Blueprint for a Safer Economy  plan’s $9.1 billion funds for climate friendly, clean transit projects that will create thousands of jobs, according to a Jan. 13 statement. The Blueprint plan includes $2.3 billion to support ports and goods movement throughout the state, and an additional $6.1 billion to accelerate the state’s transition to zero-emission vehicles. “These bold investments will deliver safer, faster, and greener transportation options connecting communities across the state while creating thousands of jobs and tackling our latest source of harmful pollution and emissions,” Newsom said in a statement. Transportation accounts for 50 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions when considering the production and deployment of fuels. According to the governor’s office, this investment also advances the state’s affordability goals by increasing access to clean transportation options, and pushing zero-emission vehicle innovation to continue driving down costs for everyone. “With California on the front lines of the intensifying climate crisis, the state is committed to building a clean transportation future that protects the health of our communities, environment, and economy,” Newsom said. 

• U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla (D-California) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan) introduced legislation to strengthen the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster response efforts for underserved communities that often face barriers to securing federal aid following flooding, wildfires, the pandemic, and other emergencies. According to a Jan. 13 statement, the Achieving Equity in Disaster Response, Recovery, and Resilience Act would establish the Office of Civil Rights, Equity, and Inclusion at FEMA to increase access and improve the quality of disaster assistance for minority, rural, and disabled communities, and would be dedicated to reducing disparities in disaster assistance delivery. Underserved communities are often disproportionately affected by disasters but receive less—and lower quality—assistance. The bill would also classify rural communities as underserved communities and task this office at FEMA with reducing these disparities as well as require community partnerships. “From wildfires to floods, natural disasters disproportionately impact marginalized and underserved communities, and these communities often face additional challenges in receiving federal disaster assistance,” Padilla said in a statement. “We need to close these gaps and improve equity in disaster relief efforts. This legislation will empower FEMA to work closely with underserved communities in California and across the country and help reduce disparities in the delivery of disaster assistance.”










Weekly Poll
What type of vegetable would you grow in a free community garden?

Brussel Sprouts, they are the best.
Broccoli because it can go with any meal.
Tomatoes, although I think those are technically a fruit.
French fries!

| Poll Results






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