Congresswoman Barbara Lee Completes Week of Events Promoting the American Rescue Plan

Oakland, CA – In three events this week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) partnered with major public and private sector leaders from California to promote the American Rescue Plan, the COVID relief bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden last month to help families and businesses impacted by the pandemic.  

On Monday, April 5, Congresswoman Lee welcomed Vice President Kamala Harris to Oakland, and introduced the Vice President at an event at a local business to highlight the importance of Community Development Financial Institutions (CFDIs). On Tuesday, April 6, Congresswoman Lee and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) held a virtual discussion to highlight ways the American Rescue Plan will support families in California. And on Wednesday, April 7, Congresswoman Lee hosted a panel featuring restauranteur, activist and author Alice Waters and others to provide information and resources to help independent restaurants in the Bay Area access grant money included in the American Rescue Plan. Links to videos and details about the events are below.

: Vice President Harris Visit

Congresswoman Lee welcomed Vice President Harris back to Oakland on her first trip to the East Bay since taking office as VP. Rep. Lee joined CA Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis and Senator Padilla to welcome Air Force Two when it landed in Oakland. Together, they went to a West Oakland businesses to talk about the impact the pandemic has had on small businesses and the importance of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). In her introduction of VP Harris at the event, Rep. Lee said: “CDFIs are not just about access to capital – they are also about economic justice for people and communities that have long been denied equal opportunities. (The American Rescue Plan) is just the beginning of what we have to do to rebuild our economy, address our economic and racial disparities, and respond to the climate crisis and other major challenges facing our country. Helping small businesses and minority entrepreneurs to grow and thrive is an important part of this work, and I’m looking forward to working with the White House on its plan to build back better and bolder.”

Rep. Lee and Vice President Harris have worked throughout the pandemic to provide necessary relief to small businesses across the East Bay, particularly in hard-hit communities.

KTVU: VP Harris returns to Oakland with focus on jobs, infrastructure and clean drinking water


Tuesday: Virtual Discussion / Q&A with Senator Padilla

Congresswoman Lee and Senator Padilla held a live virtual discussion of the American Rescue Plan and answered audience questions. They outlined how families, small businesses, and marginalized communities across California can access COVID relief, and how the relief package will address racial health and vaccine disparities. 

You can watch the full event here to get more information on the funding programs for children and families within the ARP.


Wednesday: Public Service Announcement for Local Restaurants

Congresswoman Lee hosted a roundtable discussion with chef Alice Waters, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rashad Armstead, CEO of the Black Food Collective, and Erika Polmar of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. They talked about ways restaurants can access relief under the ARP and specific details relating to grant programs. The ARP includes over $28 billion in grants for food service and drinking establishments, businesses which have been suffered a massive economic hit due to COVID-19.

You can watch the full event here to get more information on funding programs for restaurants under the ARP.