By Elpidio R. Estioko
In times of crisis, collaboration, partnership and teamwork are crucial ingredients in addressing the problem in order to mitigate if not totally eradicate the pandemic. We need all necessary support from all sectors in addressing the problem created by corona virus. There should be a concerted effort in winning the war against COVID-19… not fear, not panic, not even passing the back!
Assembly member Kansen Chu of California District 25 is aware of these approaches. This is the reason why he filed three COVID-related bills in order to address the corona virus pandemic tapping others to help support the worthy cause.
AB 385, according to Chu in a telephone interview, said “this is a bill asking large companies with employees more than 250, to set aside funds to be allocated to the general funds of the county and local school districts to be used for their priority projects.” Since the corona virus pandemic COVID-19 is causing a lot of problems in all aspects of our daily life, Chu thought they may be able to use the funds to fund their corona project or purchase PPEs or ventilators. “Well it’s up to them, if they think supporting the front liners or purchasing supply in combating the virus is necessary, it’s up to them… whatever they need,” Chu said. The corona virus has impacted their financial capabilities so the money allocated will help them in supporting their priority projects.
Another bill Chu has filed is AB 1107. “This will give unemployed personnel additional $600.00 per week, in addition to the federal money (unemployment benefits from EDD). Those filing for unemployment benefits (EDD) only get about 60% to 70% of what their current pay are, so the additional money per week will help them pay for bills and other expenses.
The third bill is AB 1916. Chu said “this will require PG and E and local governments to make sure they issue emergency notices in times of power outages in multiple languages, not only in English. California is a state composed of immigrants, so it would be helpful if the notices will be in many languages so the constituents will understand the notices better and clearer.
In addition to the three bills, Chu is doing his part to support, in whatever capacity he has, to address some of the areas caused by COVID such as unemployment of millions of Americans especially in his district. He is hosting an Unemployment Benefits Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm. to 5:00 p.m. He invited to join his panel unemployment experts on eligibility and those who are familiar with the process in filing unemployment benefits. The Tuesday webinar will be in English. The same virtual town hall on unemployment will be held on Wednesday and it will be in Vietnamese and on Thursday, it will be in Spanish.
“I have been hearing about delays with EDD and getting questions from my constituents regarding this issue. That’s why I am hosting this virtual town hall,” Chu said. He enjoins everybody to join him via Zoom: https://caasm.zoom.us/weebinar/register/WN _vc_MxTunTieZ5cnmoaJXQ with Access Code 912-3879-2138 via phone number 1-669-900-6833.
Chu also noted that the administration, local officials, businesses, and advocates are not the only ones tasked to address the problem but even local charities and nonprofits have their important role to play.
Locally here in the Bay Area, Chu has worked with charitable and nonprofit organizations. In his website, Chu wrote: “COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives and create challenges for our community. During COVID-19 pandemic, I have worked with local community nonprofits and businesses to donate thousands of personal protective equipment to our frontline workers, volunteered at local food banks and schools, and donated money to local nonprofits that work to improve the lives of our community members. Please join me in the many ways we can show social connection and support our local community while practicing physical distancing.”
In his call for support, Chu advanced “some ideas we can do to help support the cause to win the war against the virus by supporting healthcare workers by donating supplies, advocating for them, and staying home; giving to the organizations that you love most – no amount is too little and nonprofits need our support; helping out small businesses by buying gift cards or writing an online review; and Combating loneliness by reaching out to neighbors, relatives, seniors or veterans.
Chu acknowledged some local nonprofits that are working hard for our community and encouraged his constituents to find those that they would like to support. He mentioned some institutions like the African American Community Services Agency: An African American cultural center that provides variety of services to community members. www.sjaacsa.com; the Bill Wilson Center: Provides services to more than 4,100 children, youth, young adults and families in Santa Clara County. www.billwilsoncenter.org;
The Family Giving Tree: Helps purchase school supplies for Milpitas students in need. familygivingtree.org.; the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley: Inspiring Hispanic families and children to achieve personal greatness.
Milpitas Family Help Net: Collects gift cards, gas cards, and funds to help families who are trying to stay housed. More information by calling (408)586-0509.; The Milpitas Food Pantry: Provides food to those in need. milpitasfoodpantry.org; Pay it Forward: Provides meals for homeless and low-income families during this time of crisis. staystrongmilpitas.com; PACT: People Acting in Community Together: Brings people together to solve the most pervasive social problems of our day. https://www.pactsj.org; among others.
I would like to join Assembly member Kansen Chu in supporting all the front liners, charitable and nonprofit organizations in combating the corona virus pandemic!
Let us throw our support to the superheroes and organizations in winning the war against COVID 19!