Valley Center, CA
November 29, 2022
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COVID-19 Relief


Last week, the Board of Supervisors voted to allocate over $600 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. These dollars, which have been distributed by the Federal Government, are intended for COVID-19 relief.
The way I approached this: these are taxpayer dollars and I believe it should be given back to the people who were most impacted by the pandemic. As we all know, the past 15 months have been incredibly difficult, but my hope is these dollars will help San Diegans as we recover from the pandemic! While there were many different items, I wanted to highlight a few.
The restaurant and special events industries have been some of the hardest hit over the last year. As we head towards a full reopening, I want to make sure we do all we can to help the recovery of these businesses. The Board of Supervisors voted to waive County fees for both restaurants and special events. The cost for these fees is about $9 million in total but will be paid for with the ARPA dollars.
Kids have suffered greatly over the last year, from virtually learning to not being able to play the sports they love. Youth sports participation is down in San Diego County, and I don’t want money to be the reason. Through my action, the Board made the decision to allocate $2 million towards a grant program for youth sports and youth camp tuitions.
As more San Diegans head back to their jobs, many children are still participating in school under a hybrid model. This leaves a huge need for access to childcare.
The Board voted to allocate $16 million to provide vouchers to families in need, grants to childcare providers, and investments in childcare facilities.
There were many other important causes that we were able to fund, which you can read about on the County website. This was an extremely important day at the Board and I’m hopeful it will jumpstart our road to recovery!

Jim Desmond is a member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. He represents the 5th District, which includes Valley Center, Pauma Valley, Palomar Mountain and much of the Backcountry.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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