Latest in a series of posts on the coronavirus
In the previous post, Gadfly summarized the coronavirus reports from City Hall at the April 21 City Council meeting.
At this historic meeting, Council also passed the following corona-virus-related resolution by Councilman Reynolds (the entire resolution is here):
Resolution calling upon the City Administration to investigate initiatives to help protect the economic survival of our residents and local businesses in response to the COVID-19 health emergency.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, THAT THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BETHLEHEM encourages the Mayor’s Administration to investigate any and all feasible options for helping to protect the survival of our residents and local businesses in response to the COVID-19 health emergency, including working closely with the federal and state government, financial institutions, educational institutions, and non-profits to identify and publicize economic assistance options for our local businesses, including without limitation, emergency loan programs and programs to help businesses modify their operations to comply with social distancing and other new public health practices.
Here’s Councilman Reynolds’ statement about the resolution and subsequent discussion (video min. 1:29:20):
Councilman Reynolds sees public health as the #1 priority, and he acknowledged the good work being done by the City in that respect. But this resolution is about priority #2, commingling the City to working on the economic and social consequences of coronavirus on our businesses and residents. This resolution is a statement that we need to be creative in coming up with city-wide initiatives regarding the short- and long-term consequences of the pandemic. People will look to us to do more that work on public health. The pandemic has revealed economic problems that can have far-reaching consequences. The City can’t do it all, can’t solve all problems, but it must play a leading role, an organizing role. One specific problem this crisis has revealed is the number of people who don’t have broadband access, without which it is hard to function, and which it is now clear that we must address. The City needs to be the center of creative solutions.