Government at all levels is working quickly to respond to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. As you know, I am committed to sharing new information with you as it becomes available to deal with the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
First, I wanted to remind everyone about the importance of supporting our nonprofit and community organizations who are feeling the squeeze of COVID-19. Please consider making a donation to support your local nonprofits, who are providing critical services in our community. We need them now more than ever.
With Debbie Christian, Executive Director of the Auburn Food Bank. Food Banks and other nonprofits need our help as they continue to provide critical resources to people across our communities during these trying times.
Yesterday afternoon, Governor Inslee announced that he has instituted a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for 30 days. Earlier this week, I signed on to a letter from Executive Constantine urging the Governor to take these steps.
Also, the King County Sheriff’s Office has said it won’t enforce evictions during the continuing outbreak. Governor Inslee also announced that the state is waiving the one-week waiting period for out-of-work employees to collect unemployment benefits, retroactive to March 8.
To help businesses impacted by the crisis, Inslee said that up to $5 million of the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds will be made available as small grants to small businesses across the state to help prevent closure due to COVID-19. The state will also be able to waive penalties and late fees for certain late business tax payments, and a number of tax fees will be waived for both business owners and residents. For more details and to read about other steps the state is taking, read the full story from Gov. Inslee’s office.
Locally, the King County Office of Equity and Social Justice released criteria for community-based organizations to apply for grants up to $25,000 to fund outreach, education, and community engagement in these critical areas: language access, health literacy, cultural sensitivity, community and ethnic media outreach, and anti-bias and stigma resources. The grants are funded by $1 million that I voted to approve as part of emergency funding for the county’s COVID-19 response. You can read more information on the program here.
If you missed my update earlier this week, we have been compiling resources to help people with financial needs during this unprecedented time. You can find all of the resources on the King County Council website, including options to download each page as a PDF if you would like to share it with others or keep it handy, and you can visit my website to view our comprehensive resource guide at www.kingcounty.gov/vonreichbauer. You can also visit the King County coronavirus page and read updates from Public Health on the Public Health Insider blog.
With best wishes,
Pete von Reichbauer
King County Councilmember