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To: Mayor Muriel Bowser, District of Columbia Department of Health, Council of the District of Columbia

Mayor Bowser: Close the Bars and Restaurants (and make workers and businesses whole)

3/16/20 UPDATE: MAYOR BOWSER HAS ORDERED SUCH ESTABLISHMENTS CLOSED. NOW SHE AND COUNCIL MUST ACT TO PROTECT WORKERS AND BUSINESSES WHO ARE SACRIFICING TO PROTECT THE REST OF US. Please close all bars, restaurants, and non-essential gathering places in the District of Columbia to save lives by limiting the spread of the dangerous new coronavirus. Please also ensure workers at such establishments are made whole and compensated for any lost wages, and that local businesses are financially supported so they can weather this storm.

Why is this important?

A dangerous new coronavirus (COVID-19) is at its early stages of spreading in the U.S., and appears to be spreading rapidly, with new cases increasing at an exponential rate.

The DC Department of Health has established that the virus is present and spreading within Washington. Public health experts agree that more than a million lives are at risk nationwide — as the virus can cause severe respiratory distress and lung failure.

The oldest among us and those with chronic health conditions are most at risk, but everyone can be sickened, and people who aren't exhibiting any symptoms can carry and spread the virus. We have seen in China and are seeing now in Europe what happens when hospitals become overwhelmed -- it is a terrible scene.

We must act aggressively or we will be in the same place. Forcing businesses to temporarily close may not be an easy political choice, but it is the morally clear one, in the best interest of the people of Washington. Mayor Bowser and the DC government should heed the advice of public health experts and do all they can to #flattenthecurve at which this virus spreads.

If the federal government will not take decisive action, state and local governments must. Mayor Bowser, please close non-essential businesses, especially those such as bars and restaurants where large groups may congregate, to prevent unnecessary contagion and save lives.

And please recognize the impacts this will have on workers and small businesses, and use the resources of the District to ensure workers continue to get pay and that businesses forced to temporarily close are made whole.

This is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, with a strong tax base and progressive council. There is no reason we can't both act to prevent public health while also taking care of the workers and local businesses being asked to sacrifice so we can do so.

How it will be delivered

Via email and social media.


2020-03-15 17:40:44 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-03-15 12:28:08 -0400

500 signatures reached

2020-03-15 00:43:45 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-03-14 23:12:06 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-03-14 22:50:05 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-03-14 22:36:45 -0400

10 signatures reached