6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

L.A. Stimulus: Helpful or Wasteful?

Support Provided By
KCETcityhall11.jpg

A new report from L.A. City Controller Wendy Gruel makes federal stimulus spending look like it's doing less for L.A. employment than you might have hoped.

Details from the L.A. Times:

Federal stimulus funds yet have created only 55 jobs so far, according to a pair of reports issued Thursday by City Controller Wendy Greuel.The reports conclude that the agencies, Public Works and Transportation, moved too slowly in spending the federal money, in part because of the time it takes to secure approval of government contracts. The two agencies plan to create or retain a combined 264 jobs once all the money is spent, according to the reports....<.p> The controller's audits found that as of March 31, the city had secured $594 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was created to invigorate the economy by spending money on infrastructure projects. Of that total, nearly $71 million went to the city's Department of Public Works, which plans to create or retain 238 jobs by resurfacing streets and bridges, rebuilding sidewalks and storm drains, and adding bicycle safety grates to catch basins. So far, the public works agency has shielded 37 public employee jobs from elimination as a result of the city's ongoing budget crisis and created eight public or private jobs, the report said....

Greuel's report mostly blames delays in bidding processes and city council approval for the slow rollout of efficacy with all these federal bucks. Greuel will be issuing further reports on how different city agencies have used stimulus money in weeks to come.

Journalist (unemployed, as she notes) Chelsea Cody at Ron Kaye's site sums up some of the jumble of numbers floating around regarding L.A. jobs and stimulus money:

Controller Greuel focuses solely on the Department of Public Works and the Department of Transportation. In just these two city departments a mere 55 jobs were created with $111 million in federal stimulus money....The City of Los Angeles has reportedly received a total of close to $600 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds...Back in February, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana issued a memo in response to requests from the Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Recovery and Reinvestment in which he made clear that the city had created or retained only 347 full-time jobs, 860 temporary summer jobs, and 67 jobs in the private sector using ARRA Funds. Contrast these numbers to those spit out by the city's LA Recovery website, which is supposed to monitor and provide records of how the city is utilizing ARRA money, that says the city's ARRA funding program was originally expected to create or retain 8,118 jobs with $55 million of the amount received. In March, those job numbers were called into question and the city reduced this estimate down to 4,763. The Mayor's Office (tellingly) stated that further reductions might be necessary. This was then followed up by the CAO's Office reporting that the funds would create or save 2,822 jobs.

Leftist media watchdog group Media Matters is peeved at the way coverage of the Greuel stimulus study story implies stimulus money isn't working as efficiently as it should, saying most reports ignore possible jobs in contracted-out projects and future or "indirect" positive economic effects of stimulus spending.

A fresh $200 million in federal stimulus is on its way to California colleges and universities. Check out Greuel's stimulus audits for yourself.

Image taken by Flickr user Kansas Sebastian. Used under user Creative Commons license.

Support Provided By
Read More
(LEFT) ER nurse Adwoa Blankson-Wood pictured near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, wearing scrubs and a surgical mask; By October, Blankson-Wood was required to don an N-95 mask, protective goggles, a head covering and full PPE to interact with patients.

As A Black Nurse at The Pandemic's Frontlines, I've Had A Close Look at America's Racial Divisions

Most of the time, I was able to frame conversations within the context of the virus and not race, telling patients that we were doing our best, trying to be the heroes they kept calling us. But I was dying inside .... It was easier to find solace in my job, easier to be just a nurse, than to be a Black nurse.
The City of L.A. is staging a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic in Chinatown for senior citizens, in an attempt to improve access to the vaccine among vulnerable populations.

Long-Awaited COVID-19 Vaccine Access Expanding in L.A. County Monday

Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 vaccination effort will expand vastly Monday, but health officials said today those workers will have to be patient as vaccine supplies remain limited and staff are trained to ensure only eligible people receive shots.
Photo from above of people waiting in line on a sidewalk.

COVID-19 Pushes Many Indian Employers to Grant Informal Employees New Work Benefits

Bank accounts, housing and fixed wages among new benefits being offered to some of India's vast army of informal workers.