March 31, 2020

Congressman Neguse Joins Calls for Just COVID-19 Response that Protects Workers and Communities

Washington D.C.—This week, Representative Neguse joined Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-02), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Mark Pocan (WI-02) to call for just COVID-19 relief and stimulus packages which protect workers and communities. 

“We support additional bold and swift measures to save lives and secure the well-being of our constituents,” reads the letter from the group of progressive lawmakers. “The depth of the crisis and the scope of the response mean that choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come [...] As we work to advance further spending packages to ensure immediate relief and long-term recovery, we need to consider the interrelated crises of income and wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified. In this critical moment, we need to adequately respond to immediate needs and chart a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a just recovery.” 

The letter outlines five principles that have been endorsed by over 300 organizations to ensure that future stimulus packages put workers first and protect disenfranchised communities. 

The principles request that stimulus bills: 

  1. Place health as a top priority by ensuring free and accessible testing, treatment and protective equipment, expanded hospital capacity, paid sick leave and family medical leave for all workers without exception and expanded federal funding for Medicaid. 
  2. Provide economic relief directly to the people and expand the social safety net by broadening unemployment insurance, vastly increasing food aid programs, extending housing assistance, expanding childcare for working families, relieving student debt, and halting evictions, foreclosures, and shut offs of water and electricity. 
  3. Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives and ensure any financial assistance directed at specific industries be channeled to workers, not shareholders or corporate executives.
  4. Make a down payment on a regenerative economy, while preventing future crises, by ensuring long-termstimulus that should create millions of good, family-sustaining jobs with high-road labor standards; counter systemic inequities by directing investments to the working families, communities of color, and Indigenous communities who face the most economic insecurity; and tackle the climate crisis that is compounding threats to our economy and health.
  5. Protect our democratic process while protecting each other by providing funding and technical support wherever needed, to ensure that every American can vote safely in primary and general elections.