Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen this week addressed the work of the the city’s new COVID-19 Response, Recovery and Resiliency Task Force.

Since the Elk Grove City Council approved the group’s formation last month, 16 people representing local business, labor and nonprofits were selected as members of this task force. The group held their first meeting on Feb. 8.

Co-chairing the task force are Angela Perry, Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce president/CEO, and Angela Spease, owner of a cybersecurity services business.

Singh-Allen, who heads the task force with Council Member Darren Suen, described the group’s work in approaching the short-term and long-term needs of residents, businesses and nonprofits in and near Elk Grove.

“The main purpose of (this) task force is to ensure all resources, local, state and federal, are utilized in the most effective and quick way to provide much needed help to small, local businesses, and working families,” she said. “Their recommendations will be an essential part of reopening our economy safely and moving Elk Grove forward.”

Singh-Allen stressed the group’s commitment to seeking resources.

“Everything in terms of resources, whether they may be programs or funding, is part of what the task force will explore,” she said.

“It will also be looking at the legislation signed into law by Gov. (Gavin) Newsom regarding the eviction moratorium. How will it apply to both tenants and landlords? The task force also plans to look at other innovative approaches involving partnerships to help landlords/tenants even further.”

As part of the task force’s recent meeting, they discussed the impact that the pandemic has had on local businesses, determining financial, workforce and other needs, and making plans to coordinate with local, state and federal representatives.

The agenda also focused on recovery methods, including the possible creation of additional funding resources in the future.

The impact that COVID-19 has had on in the community is far reaching, Singh-Allen noted.

“Small businesses and working families are struggling,” she said. “Our schools are rapidly approaching one year of closure. My brother owns a local pizzeria. He stays open to protect his employees and their livelihood.

“The food bank’s line is longer than it’s ever been, with working families experiencing food insecurity for the first time.”

The mayor noted that she recently visited the Elk Grove Food Bank Services’ center and was “heartbroken” to witness the great need for its services.

She also mentioned that she has been speaking to local families and teachers impacted by school closures, and has met with health care providers for safety protocols and measures to administer the vaccines.

Singh-Allen described the task force as part of her pledge to lead the city in its economic recovery efforts.

“During the (mayoral) campaign, so many business owners and individuals told me they did not know about the various programs and resources available to them,” she said. “Not only was it made clear that we needed strong communication and outreach, but we needed to do a better job compiling all of our resources and collaborate more with many partners, including the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce.”

She mentioned that there is a definite need for collaboration to assist those struggling due to the pandemic.

“We need to all be working together to help our community come out of this pandemic stronger,” she said.

Singh-Allen noted that she appreciates the work of this diversified task force.

“(Having) various stakeholders in the decision-making process ensures that we take a broad and thoughtful approach to address the needs of our community,” she said.

Moving forward, Singh-Allen told the Citizen that she anticipates that the task force will complete its work in the next two months.

“I hope to wrap up the work in 60 to 70 days or so, with opportunities to help Elk Grove immediately as (methods) come up in meetings,” she said.

The COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force’s next online meeting will be held on Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. via the Zoom application.

Who’s in the COVID-19 Response, Recovery and Resiliency Task Force

Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen (ad hoc committee)

Elk Grove City Council Member Darren Suen (ad hoc committee)

Angela Spease, ISSE Services (co-chair)

Angela Perry, Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce (co-chair)

Rachael Brown, city of Elk Grove

Tim Ching, Tri Counties Bank

Sarah Costa, Sutter Health

Fire Chief Felipe Rodriguez, Cosumnes Community Services District

Kevin Ferreira, Sacramento-Sierra’s Building & Construction Trades Council

Marie Jachino, Elk Grove Food Bank Services

Tim Murphy, Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange

Monica Patel, Bank of the West

Rohit Ranchhod, American Hospitality Services

Sandy Rasmussen, Tri Counties Bank

Angelica Tellechea, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs

John Wallace, LocalCenters

Sharie Wilson, DreamGirls hair salon