News 11's Adonis Albright breaks down the highlights from the discussion
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Senator-elect Mark Kelly is already hitting the ground running following his victory against Republican Senator Martha McSally.
On Thursday morning, Kelly held a roundtable discussion with several members of his bipartisan transition team to discuss how to navigate the coronavirus pandemic moving forward.
Among the topics that were discussed include unemployment assistance, job creation, as well as rental and housing assistance for Arizonans who have been struggling to make ends meet.
Coral Evans, Flagstaff's Democrat Mayor, emphasized the need to address funding for local towns and cities, as well as job security.
“We need a jobs bill. A lot of the people who have been displaced by covid, those jobs are never coming back. We need to acknowledge that, and we need to start working now on how to get those individuals retrained."Coral Evans (D-Ariz.), Flagstaff Mayor
On the cusp of two potential vaccines, Dr. Joe Gerald, an associate professor of public health and management at Arizona State University, said it's imperative that people take all the necessary precautions over this holiday season.
“We are now exceeding 2,500 cases daily. That’s a pretty big number, we haven’t seen numbers like these since the last outbreak in June", said Dr. Gerald.
This comes as hundreds of thousands of Arizonans remain out of work, and small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. It's an issue that Kelly's team is looking to tackle head-on.
“The Paycheck Protection Program provided a lifeline - a lifeboat, for a period of time. The air is going out of that lifeboat, and as the air goes out of that lifeboat, a lot of those small businesses will not be able to keep going. It’s not so much a Paycheck Protection Program, it’s a jobs program" said Neil Giuliano, President/CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership.
Kelly's transition team is going through the process of creating advisory groups for his first 100 days in office. He is expected to be sworn in next month, after Arizona's election results have been officially certified.