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Democratic LA mayor: Power, water will be shut off for nonessential businesses that refuse to close amid coronavirus 'safer at home' order


'This is your chance to step up and shut it down — because if you don't, we will shut you down'

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Eric Garcetti, the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, announced Tuesday that power and water will be shut off for nonessential businesses that refuse to close amid California's coronavirus "safer at home" order, KTLA-TV reported.

What are the details?

"If we see continued noncompliance, they'll wind up facing misdemeanor charge, and [the Department of Water and Power] will step in and shut off their water and power," Garcetti remarked. "You know who you are, you need to stop it. This is your chance to step up and shut it down — because if you don't, we will shut you down."

Calling such businesses that don't voluntarily shut their doors "irresponsible and selfish," Garcetti unveiled the city's "business ambassadors program," which is designed to convince nonessential businesses to close, the station said.

Garcetti said neighborhood prosecutors will implement safety measures and contact noncompliant businesses before the city flips the switches on them, KTLA said.

"The easiest way to avoid a visit is to follow the rules," the mayor added, according to the station.

Garcetti speaks in the below video just after the 3-minute mark:

Who are neighborhood prosecutors?

According to the website of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, neighborhood prosecutors are "local problem solvers who combat the most destructive community crimes like drug sales, prostitution, illegal dumping, graffiti, and more. By addressing such criminal activity before it mushrooms into more serious offenses, they are making our city safer and improving quality of life every day."

More from the site:

Neighborhood Prosecutors are big parts of the communities they serve, and actually work from each of the 21 LAPD stations across the city. By being outside of City Hall and side by side with residents, Neighborhood Prosecutors are plugged-in to the unique challenges and frustrations faced, are accessible, responsive and ready to assist you.

'The peak is not here yet. It will be bad.'

Garcetti also said Los Angeles is six to 12 days behind New York in terms of being hit with a wave of positive COVID-19 cases, KTLA said: "The peak is not here yet. It will be bad."

L.A. County had 669 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Tuesday with 11 deaths, the station said, adding that California had 2,566 cases with 51 deaths.

“We need to be prepared for some of the darkness that is ahead," Garcetti added, according to KTLA. “Each one of us can be a light. We can light a match of hope. We can navigate that tunnel with each other and not alone. And more importantly, what we do can ensure that more people exit that tunnel together ... and that our city will rise again."

On the positive side of things — taking after Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — Garcetti also announced that restaurants and bars could deliver alcoholic beverages in order to stimulate business amid coronavirus social distancing.

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