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A.M. Brief: L.A.’s $259 Million Rental Relief Program Now Accepting Applications

March 30, 2021 by Brian Champlin
Cancel Rent sign posted the LA Tenants Union. Photo by Brian Champlin

Today: A program offering assistance to struggling renters, a strategy to battle catalytic converter theft, a return to the classroom for 14,000 kids, and an uncertain future for the gubernatorial recall. It’s Tuesday in Los Angeles. This is your news brief. Take it!

Morning News Rundown

Applications for a $259 Million rental relief program open today. Eligible Angelenos can apply for aid for unpaid rent due to hardships from the pandemic. The City of Los Angeles Emergency Renters Assistance Program, which aims to help some 64,000 families, will accept applications through April 30. [CBS Los Angeles]

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In 2020, catalytic converter thefts increased 400%. In response, local law enforcement agencies are deploying a new strategy to combat the spike in crime. Recently, agencies like the LASD have hosted “etching events” where car owners can get their license plate numbers etched on their vehicle’s catalytic converter. [KTLA]

14,000 kindergarten and elementary-age students returned to Long Beach campuses yesterday. Long Beach Unified is now the largest school system in the state to allow students back for in-person learning. [LB Post]

The wonky rules for California’s recall elections offer an unclear path as to if and when Gov. Gavin Newsom will face a recall vote. Proponents say they have more than enough signatures to trigger the recall, but the flexibility in the rules could introduce chaos into the process. Two potential issues: petition signers are allowed to strike their names, and potential candidates may only have 24 hours to enter the race. [L.A. Times]

As Los Angeles prepares to broaden vaccine eligibility in April, the rest of the country is following suit. President Joe Biden announced on Monday that by April 19, he expects 90% of adults will be eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine and that 90% of U.S. residents will be able to access a vaccination site within five miles of their home. [ABC 7]

L.A.’s busiest outdoor destinations are slowly welcoming back pre-pandemic crowds. Photos show the stark difference between today’s foot traffic and what things looked like one year ago. [L.A. Times]

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