Dear Governor, I write as a concerned resident of our state. The latest COVID-19 statistics paint a grim picture of what’s to come if political leaders do not act immediately. Over 1 million people have been infected, more than 60,000 have died, and 30 million people have filed for unemployment nationwide. The lack of workplace safety and hazard pay, among other protections, will lead to catastrophe. The effects of the pandemic are multi-faceted and require a robust, multi-pronged intervention centered on human needs and NOT corporate profits. I urge you to use your state executive power to enact the following measures. Given the utterly inadequate federal management of this crisis, it is imperative for state governments to take bold action. This list is based on existing demands from communities on the frontlines of the pandemic: 1. Extend and guarantee paid sick, medical, and family leave for all workers who are forced into isolation or into mandated quarantine, and for all workers whose family members are forced into isolation or into mandated quarantine. 2. Immediate rent and mortgage payment freeze for the remainder of the pandemic, forgiveness of back-rent/mortgage payments owed, and criminal penalties for landlords and banks extorting or punishing tenants and homeowners participating in the rent and mortgage freeze. Bar banks and credit bureaus from punishing renters and homeowners for participating in the freeze. 3.Provide Guaranteed Basic Income to all state residents for the duration of the pandemic, regardless of legal status or employment, to relieve financial pressures and allow people to make the best choices for their health and safety. 4. Release people from local jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers across the state based on affected community input. Released individuals must be provided free testing, healthcare, and safe quarantine accommodations for two weeks following their release. 5. Create substantive employer penalties for obstructing public health emergency measures (e.g. not providing necessary paid leave to employees, using immigration status to deny protections, or retaliating against workers demanding protections). Penalties must involve increasing worker input and representation in corporate decisions related to the pandemic and public appropriation of profits gained during this period. 6. Universal quality & accessible healthcare for all the state regardless of employment or legal status. 7. Protection against federal punishment for all workers and their families residing in our state with visas or other tenuous legal statuses that receive any of these benefits. 8. Strengthen Tribal relationships through increasing sovereignty and funding to aid Tribal communities to manage the pandemic as they deem appropriate. Your action—or your inaction—at this time will be your legacy.
First sent on May 1, 2020 by Danielle
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