L.A. Nonprofits Press for Better Deal as They Fight Post-Pandemic Inequities
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
During the pandemic, nonprofits in Los Angeles took on the monumental task of helping feed, house and vaccinate millions of Californians suddenly thrown out of work. Now, a new report calls on the city to overhaul the way it works with the nonprofit sector.
The Committee for Greater LA found nonprofits are struggling, for example, to get paid on time for services rendered.
Efrain Escobedo, president and CEO of the Southern California Center for Nonprofit Management, said the relationship between the city and nonprofits needs attention.
"While nonprofits have been playing this critical role, the way government contracts and treats nonprofits in these contracts is not strengthening that sector," Escobedo explained. "It's not helping them be better. It's not helping them reach more people. It's simply more of an extractive type of relationship that really overburdened a sector that has gone above and beyond."
The report called on the new Mayor, Karen Bass, to reset the relationship with the nonprofit sector, which provides 23% of jobs in the city. The authors asked the city to start paying its bills on time, cut bureaucratic red tape, and consider funding projects up-front rather than asking nonprofits to provide services and then be reimbursed.
Escobedo noted the Committee for Greater LA was formed to tackle crises flaring up during the pandemic, such as hunger, homelessness, poverty and unequal access to affordable high-speed internet.
"The inequities that we were seeing right up in front, in our faces, during the pandemic, are solvable," Escobedo contended. "We did not want to just recover to the same state of affairs that we were in going into the pandemic."
Mayor Bass, in a statement, said the city will not be successful if nonprofits are burdened by unnecessary costs, red tape and delays, and vowed to work to improve the city's relationship with the sector.
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