Pat Brown Institute at Cal State LA survey reveals economic impacts of COVID-19 in Southeast LA

Majority of residents surveyed have lost jobs or have had work hours reduced
LOS ANGELES - June 9, 2020 - PRLog -- A new survey released by the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs (PBI) at Cal State LA reveals severe economic impacts of COVID-19 in Southeast Los Angeles County and neighboring communities served by the university.

The survey of 500 adults provides a quantifiable portrait of historically underserved communities grappling with the devastating effects of the ongoing public health and economic crisis. A majority of area residents have lost their jobs or had work hours reduced and lack options to work from home, according to the findings. Many said they are struggling to pay rent and need financial assistance to stay afloat.

The poll was conducted May 8-14 by Latino Decisions, a leading national polling firm, in partnership with the Pat Brown Institute and the SELA Collaborative, and was made possible by a grant from the California Community Foundation.

The area surveyed includes some of the communities in California hardest hit by the pandemic, and the findings highlight the challenges facing government officials as they attempt to revitalize the economy.

"This survey shines a light on one particular region of Southern California that has often been overlooked but that resembles other places in the state surrounding major cities," said Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director for the Pat Brown Institute. "By spotlighting the voices of Southeast L.A. County residents, this ground-level approach will help policymakers to enact solutions that reach the grassroots level and address the crisis where the people are."

The survey area included the Southeast Los Angeles County cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Maywood, South Gate and Vernon, as well as unincorporated Florence-Firestone and Walnut Park. Also included in the study were the nearby cities and unincorporated areas of Commerce, East Compton, East Los Angeles, Lynwood, Paramount and Rancho Dominguez.

The area is home to one of the highest concentrations of Latino residents and undocumented individuals in California, according to a recent report by PBI (

A sizable swath of the area straddles the 710 Freeway and is impacted by pollution from industrial facilities that abut residential neighborhoods. Heavy truck traffic using the freeway to transport goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach also has contributed to poor air quality in the region.

Since early May, low-income communities in Los Angeles County, including the survey area, have seen COVID-19 infection rates that are higher than those in wealthier neighborhoods, according to reports by Advancement Project California and the Los Angeles Times.

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