Padilla Visits Mass Vaccinations Sites in CA, Holds Town Halls Across State on COVID Relief, AAPI Hate Crimes

CALIFORNIA – U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) hosted half a dozen town halls across the state with California lawmakers and visited two mass COVID-19 vaccination sites during his recent visit to California. 

In Oakland, Senator Padilla joined Vice President Kamala Harris for an event at a local small business on the impact of the American Rescue Plan, and successfully advocated for the Oakland Coliseum mass vaccination site to remain operational. He also held a virtual event highlighting the impacts of the American Rescue Plan on children and families in the Central Valley. In Los Angeles, Padilla joined Los Angeles School Superintendent Austin Beutner and the Los Angeles Rams at the SoFi stadium vaccination site to encourage Californians to get vaccinated and spoke about how the vaccine is safe and effective.  

Additionally, Padilla participated in two statewide televised townhalls, including one in Spanish hosted by Univision with Representative Tony Cárdenas to discuss COVID relief and immigration reform, and held regional town halls with Representatives Barbara Lee, Salud Carbajal and Ted Lieu where he discussed a variety of urgent issues facing Californians, including the impact of the American Rescue Plan, COVID-19 relief and recovery, and the recent rise in violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

Key Coverage from Padilla’s CA Visit:

San Joaquin Valley Sun: Alex Padilla touts Biden’s stimulus package as a Central Valley poverty killer

  • California Sen. Alex Padilla joined Fresno and Kern Counties economic leaders to praise President Joe Biden’s stimulus package and predicted that the Central Valley will be a main benefactor of the extra funds. 
  • Overall, the Central Valley region is receiving $2.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act in state and local funding. On a smaller level, Fresno County will see $414 million come its way, while $314 will head to Kern County. 
  • “For too long, prior sessions of Congress, prior presidents, frankly, have been more focused on giving tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations than they have on assisting working families,” Padilla said. “So this time it’s different.” 
  • Padilla specifically pointed to the expansion of the child tax credit. The bill includes a $300 per month, per child credit for children six and under, as well as a $250 per month, per child credit for children under 17.  “That alone has the potential to uplift nearly half the children living in poverty in America out of poverty,” Padilla said. “Imagine that, being able to cut child poverty in half through the implementation of the American Rescue Plan.” 
  • Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission CEO Emilia Reyes agreed with Padilla and is excited to see the impact of the stimulus package play out in the area.  “It’s obvious our families and individuals need help, and there’s no doubt Fresno County’s poverty has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Reyes said. “And with the American Rescue Plan, there’s actually hope that we can actually make some headway in tackling this issue head on. COVID-19 increased the need for assistance in our community, and we adapted to those needs.” 

KGET: Padilla: Help is on the way for struggling families in Kern County

  • Senator Alex Padilla pledged help Tuesday for struggling families in Kern County.
  • “It’s been a tough year to put it mildly,” said California’s newest senator about the impacts of the pandemic across the state and Kern County. During a virtual phone call Tuesday with leaders from the non-profit Community Action Partnership of Kern, Padilla promised that the resources of the Untied States government are dedicated to families in need.
  • “The good news is both hope and help are on the way,” he said as he touted the recent $1.9 trillion dollar signed into law known as the “American Rescue Act of 2021.” In addition to sending stimulus payments of $1,400 to individuals making less than $75,000 per year, the bill also will help young families and children across the nation, according to Padilla.
  • The legislation, per Padilla, will allow many parents to reduce their tax bill by claiming a child tax credit. Parents earning less than $75,000 on a single return can claim a tax credit of $300 per month, or $3,600 per year per child less than six years old. For every child younger than 17, but older than six years old, that credit stands at $250 per month per child.
  • Valley Congressmembers David Valadao and Kevin McCarthy have argued the legislation does not focus enough on COVID-related relief and is too expensive.
  • When asked to respond, Padilla said “it was very intentional to be comprehensive and inclusive in this COVID relief package for the sake of our public health and economic recovery.”

Bakersfield Californian: Hundreds of millions coming to Kern County municipalities under latest COVID stimulus bill

  • Newly minted U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla held a press conference Tuesday with Community Action Partnership of Kern and the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission to highlight the benefits the Democrat-backed spending bill is expected to have on the Central Valley.
  • A native of the San Fernando Valley, Padilla spoke to the plan’s intentions of helping disadvantaged communities that have been particularly hard hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • “It’s been a tough year to put it mildly. We know that COVID has taken the lives of more than 540,000 people in this country,” Padilla said during the press conference. “But the good news is, both hope and help are on the way.”
  • “The American Rescue Plan means hope for children and low income families throughout Kern County,” CAPK CEO Jeremy Tobias said during the press conference. “Through expanded partnerships and funding, the goal of lifting children out of poverty can be realized.”
  • “It was intentional to have a very comprehensive package,” Padilla said in response to criticism from Reps. David Valadao and Kevin McCarthy on the bill’s scope and spending priorities. “Most economists agree the danger was not having a dollar figure that was too big, but having a dollar figure that was too small.”
  • Cities throughout Kern County will receive millions of dollars as part of the plan. As efforts to vaccinate the country’s entire adult population get underway this summer, a significant portion of the funding will be dedicated to getting the nation to herd immunity.
  • “We hope this is the last significant package that we need,” Padilla said.

KCRW: Senator Alex Padilla on vaccine hesitancy and immigration reform

  • California Democratic Senator Alex Padilla is in Inglewood today, touring the coronavirus mass vaccination site at SoFi Stadium. “We have to get the right information out there. Yes, the vaccine is safe. Yes, the vaccine is effective. I’ve had it, I’m doing okay,” he tells KCRW.
  • Also earlier this month, Padilla unveiled the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented essential workers. “The very workers that we’ve all been praising in health care and agriculture and transportation and construction during the course of this pandemic … they have earned an opportunity to become citizens of the United States.”

Santa Barbara News Press: Carbajal, Padilla discuss American Rescue Plan

  • During a virtual town hall Thursday, U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, and Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, unpacked the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan.
  • The elected officials answered questions from California residents about the contents of the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package that was signed into law by President Biden in March. 
  • Both Rep. Carbajal and Sen. Padilla voiced support for the plan during Thursday’s town hall, expressing optimism that the stimulus package will poise the U.S. for economic comeback.
  • “Economists keep telling us … invest more not less to really stimulate the economy and accelerate our recovery,” Sen. Padilla said. 
  • Both Sen. Padilla and Rep. Carbajal expressed support for this aspect of the plan, noting that local and state governments were heavily impacted by the pandemic and are in need of financial support to continue providing necessary community services. 
  • “When a certain part of the country gets devastated by a hurricane or tornado or floods or earthquakes and wildfires, we have the mechanisms in place to provide support to get through a disaster time period and rebuild,” Sen. Padilla said. “COVID has been a national and global pandemic, so it is in the national interest to invest in state and local governments at a time like this.”
  • One aspect of the package, the Child Tax Credit, is already garnering support to become permanent legislation, the congressmen said. Sen. Padilla said the increased tax credit could drop rates of child poverty from 14% to 6% and would help 8 million Californian children living in tough economic situations. 
  • “There’s already a movement afoot to extend the Child Tax Credit beyond just the pandemic, or to in fact make them permanent,” Sen. Padilla said. “I know I am supportive of that not just because I am a father of three, but I know how much of a return on investment it is for families, for communities and frankly, for the economy when we do better by investing in our young people.”

FOX 5 San Diego: Sen. Padilla talks citizenship for essential workers, other priorities in exclusive town hall

  • U.S. Senator Alex Padilla joined Inside California Politics for a special 30-minute town hall this weekend to talk about a range of topics affecting Californians.
  • “We have to make it clear as long as the pandemic lasts, the federal government will be there to support American families and small businesses,” Padilla said.
  • After a record number of migrant children were picked up at the border in March, Padilla gave his thoughts on the ongoing crisis and the Biden administration’s border policies. “It was wrong to rescind the opportunities for these individuals, and in some cases, families, to apply for asylum from their native countries,” the senator said.
  • Padilla’s first bill in the Senate would provide a pathway to citizenship for essential workers. “They have earned protection, peace of mind and a pathway to citizenship,” he said.

NBC Bay Area: Vaccination Site at Oakland Coliseum Could Stay Open Beyond April 11 Shutdown Date

  • The federal mass vaccination site at the Oakland Coliseum is set to shut down April 11, but there’s hope it could stay open beyond that date.
  • Earlier Monday, Sen. Alex Padilla toured the site and said he was working to get FEMA to stay longer. When asked if he could say for certain that the site would remain open, Padilla offered a confident “maybe.”
  • “The contract with FEMA is through this Sunday, this coming Sunday, but we have a commitment to figuring out how to extend the life of this facility,” he said.
  • It’s ultimately up to Alameda County to keep the site going, which, according to officials, depends on a number of factors. It’s all coming at a time when eligibility for the vaccine is set to expand in a matter of weeks.

San Francisco Chronicle: Kamala Harris: Oakland Coliseum vaccination site will stay open

  • Vice President Kamala Harris said the federal government plans to keep a mass vaccination site at the Oakland Coliseum open beyond its scheduled closure Sunday, after local officials expressed concern about the planned shutdown just as demand for inoculations is about to explode.
  • Sen. Alex Padilla, visiting the Coliseum vaccination site on Monday, said federal, state and local governments will “continue to work together to extend the life of the facility.”
  • Asked whether the site would close Sunday, the California Democrat said “the goal” was to avoid that, but he didn’t provide concrete plans on who would run it. As for where the vaccine doses would come from, Padilla said, “We’re still working out those details.”
  • Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan said the county will not be able to take over the Oakland site by Sunday and that the operation will have to close without continued federal help. “We need them here because it’s not feasible to replace these contracts and staffing on short notice,” she said.
  • Chan added that “ there’s no way that we can take from our existing vaccine supply to make up for all the vaccines that are given here. So we’re very hopeful that with (Padilla’s) support, we’ll be able to work out a transition plan.”

NBC San Francisco: Padilla, Lieu Stop AAPI Hate Town Hall (TV)

  • During a virtual town hall, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla says he expects to call on the Senate to vote against hate later this month. 
  • “We’re advancing a resolution that condemns all forms of anti-Asian discrimination and calls on federal officials to address the rise in Covid-19-related hate crimes,” said Sen. Alex Padilla.

ABC San Francisco: Padilla greeting VP Harris(TV)

  • She [Vice President Kamala Harris] was greeted by three California dignitaries: the Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Senator Alex Padilla, who replaced Vice President Harris in the U.S. Senate, and then Congresswoman Barbara Lee. 

Univision (Video): “Sí es efectiva y sana”: el mensaje de Alex Padilla a quienes aún no confían en la vacuna contra el coronavirus // “Yes, it is effective and healthy”:Alex Padilla’s message to those who still do not trust the coronavirus vaccine

  • El senador por California pidió a estas personas agendar su cita para recibir las dosis del antídoto “con confianza”, ya que es seguro. Asimismo, Padilla recalcó que solo con la inmunización de toda la gente se logrará superar la pandemia y regresar a la normalidad. // The senator from California asked these people to schedule their appointment to receive the doses of the antidote “with confidence”, since it is safe. Likewise, Padilla stressed that only with the immunization of all people will it be possible to overcome the pandemic and return to normality.

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