A message from APA Los Angeles COVID-19 Response Committee

We would like to share our plan to show up in new and different ways to support our community getting through this together. We seek to provide stability and kindness in this time of change and uncertainty. Your participation in our COVID-19 Rapid Response Survey helped us gather feedback to ensure we are pivoting and prioritizing appropriately. The high-level feedback is summarized below, for additional detail see slides. Member feedback is informing all the actions we take as leaders and as an organization as we navigate these challenging times. To respond to COVID-19 we are advancing the following priorities, new communications, and upcoming events:

COVID-19 Response Priorities

  • Focus on well-being: Support members’ physical and mental health
  • Uplift voices of low income, communities of color and people with marginalized lived experiences during COVID-19 pandemic
  • We’ve heard loud and clear you’re most hungry for:
    • Policy discussions on planning and public health
    • Resources on community engagement and public meetings
    • Professional development trainings to help you adapt to the changing market
    • Health and well-being
  • We’ve also heard that you’d like us to have less emphasis on:
    • Long events; e.g., no 3-hour panels
    • Unstructured virtual happy hours—we’ll wait until we can buy you a drink in person
  • Communicate clearly and regularly with the planning community on our many channels
  • Communications should have a personal touch and acknowledge privilege and disparities
  • Regularly express and demonstrate gratitude and respect for members and volunteers
  • Conduct targeted student engagement to better understand student experience/needs

We’re excited to advance these priorities and are delighted to announce the following new communications and events with you:


Opinion pieces by guest authors on our blog


Other Section news



  • Monthly talk series-Conversations on challenge, opportunity, and equity in uncertain times. See all past events on our Events page.

COVID-19 Mental Health

Chill Out for Free! LA County residents can get free Headspace Plus Meditation Subscriptions. It’s hard not to feel anxious and stressed out as the coronavirus crisis drags on. Uncertainty about job status, rent or mortgage payments, and schooling can lead people to feel depressed or overwhelmed. LA County residents can receive a free subscription for the mindfulness and meditation app Headspace. Sign up to access meditations, as well as sleep and movement exercises, designed to help you care for your mind. The offer is good through the end of the year.

Next Step, How you can Help, and Survey Results

APA Los Angeles’ COVID-19 Response priorities are discussed and advanced regularly by our new COVID-19 Response Committee. If you’re interested in helping to support this effort,  sign up to volunteer with APA Los Angeles’ COVID-19 Response Committee. We’re focusing on three specific asks: 

      1. Skills-share: Have job skills or life skills to share with other planners during this time? Let us know, and we can help amplify and connect people to your work.
      2. Job seeker support: Offer your time to help review resumes, portfolios, and conduct mock interviews or informational interviews for new job seekers and graduating students. 
      3. Wellness resources: May is Mental Health Awareness Month! What free wellness resources are you finding helpful during these times? 

Lastly, many of you have asked if you can still take the COVID-19 Survey. Absolutely, yes. We’ll keep the survey open and review feedback periodically to continue to assess the changing economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on our community.  Take the 3-minute survey here and please share with your network. The survey results to date are reflected below.

Thank you,

Sarah Syed
Chair, COVID-19 Response Committee
Director, Sponsorship and Marketing

Tony Mendoza
Section Director


COVID-19 Rapid-Response Survey High-Level Results — Full Results Here