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To: President Trump, Majority Leader McConnell, House Speaker Pelosi and Members of the 116th Congress

We Demand a Comprehensive Relief Package

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us into an unprecedented national emergency. This emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis - that of poverty and inequality and of a society that ignores the needs of 140 million people who are poor or a $400 emergency away from being poor.

These millions of people are in dire need of critical attention immediately. We call on you to fulfill your moral and Constitutional responsibilities: expand the COVID-19 emergency provisions to care for us all, enact our Moral Agenda immediately and full fund and protect the US Postal Service and vote by mail in every state.

Why is this important?

We cannot return to normal. Addressing the depth of the crises that have been revealed in this pandemic means enacting universal health care, expanding social welfare programs, ensuring access to water and sanitation, cash assistance to poor and low income families, good jobs, living wages and an annual income and protecting our democracy. It means ensuring that our abundant national resources are used for the general welfare, instead of war, walls, and the wealthy.

We also call on you to immediately enact our Moral Policy Agenda to Heal America: The Poor People's Jubilee Platform to fully address the COVID-19 outbreak and the underlying crises of poverty and inequality that made so many vulnerable right now. Read more here: bit.ly/ppcjubilee

WE DEMAND THAT YOU INCLUDE:

1. Immediate, comprehensive and permanent paid sick leave for 100% of employees for this pandemic. Paid sick leave must become standard across all sectors of the labor market.
2. Immediate health care for all, including 100% free COVID-19 testing, treatment and quality care to all, regardless of income, age, disability, citizenship or any other factor, and including the uninsured.
3. A permanent guaranteed and adequate annual income/universal income, including rapid, direct payments to all low-wage and temporary workers for the duration of this crisis. This also includes living wages and hazard pay.
4. A national moratorium on evictions, tax foreclosures, rent hikes, and a national rent freeze. This includes an immediate halt to encampment sweeps and towing vehicles of unhoused communities. Federal resources must be directed to local and state governments towards opening and preparing vacant and habitable buildings, properties and warehouses to house and provide adequate care for all people who are homeless, including ensuring education, food assistance and health care for homeless children and provisions for medical testing, treatment and respite for the homeless.
5. Jubilee and debt forgiveness for medical debt, student debt, water, utilities and other forms of household debt.
6. Protections for our democracy and the right to vote with expanded opportunities to vote during this crisis, including the full funding of the U.S. Postal Service protection of vote by mail in every state, and an expanded census to ensure every person is accounted for.
WE ALSO DEMAND:

1. A national moratorium on water and utility shut-offs, a waiver of all late-payment charges, and reinstitution of any services that have already been cut off due to nonpayment, including access to cellular and internet service. We demand policies that establish affordability-based plans for water and other utility services.
2. Expansion of resources and funding for FEMA and the EPA to ensure access to emergency care and clean air, water and land for all.
3. Ending work requirements on all federal benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid.
4. Resources to keep all rural hospitals and community health centers open, and an infusion of resources to Indian Health Services.
5. Permanent protections for social security, Medicare and Medicaid.
6. Emergency OSHA standards for health care workers, first responders and anyone else in frontline positions.
7. Protections for people in mental health facilities, prisons and juvenile detention centers, especially supplies, personnel, testing and treatment. This includes the release of all at risk populations and non-violent offenders and detainees.
8. Suspension of all CBP and ICE enforcement and ensuring all emergency provisions are made available to immigrants, including undocumented people.
9. Increased support for public schools to provide continuous, equitable and quality remote learning access for the duration of any school closures, including for children with disabilities, and for schools to continue to provide social services for qualifying children and families.
10. Lifting all military and economic sanctions, ending unnecessary military operations overseas and bringing our troops home.
11. Measures to ensure that nobody — no individual or corporation or financial interest — profits off this public health crisis by making vaccines and treatments affordable and/or free for those who cannot afford the costs.

We also call on you to immediately enact the demands of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Read them here: bit.ly/PPCDemands

Before COVID-19, nearly 700 people died everyday because of poverty and inequality in this country. The frontlines of this pandemic will be the poor and dispossessed - those who do not have access to healthcare, housing, water, decent wages, stable work or child care - and those who are continuing to work in this crisis, meeting our health care and other needs.

It should not have taken a pandemic to raise these resources. In June 2019, we presented a Poor People’s Moral Budget to the House Budget Committee, showing that we can meet these needs for this entire country. If you had taken up this Moral Budget, we would have already moved towards infusing more than $1.2 trillion into the economy to invest in health care, good jobs, living wages, housing, water and sanitation services and more.

This is not the time for trickle-down solutions. We know that when you lift from the bottom, everybody rises. There are concrete solutions to this immediate crisis and the longer term illnesses we have been battling for months, years and decades before. We will continue to organize and build power until you meet these demands.

Many millions of us have been hurting for far too long. We will not be silent anymore.

Rev. Dr. William Barber, II
Co-Chair, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and
President, Repairers of the Breach

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis,
Co-Chair, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and
Director, Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice


Reasons for signing

  • If you can bailout Wall Street with $1.5 TRILLION then you can bailout the citizens of United States.
  • Now more than ever we must support our poor sisters and brothers and fellow human beings. Let this crisis be an awakening moment for the moral obligation we should feel at all times. Let us translate it into action and a revolution against inequality, corruption, cruelty, indifference, and exploitation. Only lack of imagination and will prevents us from building a better world for all.
  • I want people who don't have a voice to have a vote. I want affordable housing for all because that would be just.

Updates

2020-04-07 17:26:40 -0400

Thanks to everyone for helping us reach 70,000 signatures! Can you take a few minutes right now to share this link on your social media and invite your friends to sign on with you? 👉 moveon.org/poverty 👈

2020-03-25 22:07:43 -0400

50,000 signatures reached

2020-03-24 21:08:17 -0400

20,000 signatures reached

2020-03-19 17:30:06 -0400

In an hour (Thursday, March 19 at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT) we will be conducting a a live discussion in about a Moral Response to the dual crises of Pandemic and Poverty—we'll be live on the MoveOn and Poor People's Campaign Facebook pages: facebook.com/MoveOn and facebook.com/anewppc Join us!!

2020-03-19 14:19:46 -0400

10,000 signatures reached

2020-03-19 13:28:08 -0400

https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5e18dd6eb171e62f80549cb6/1584638769334-C7VS1YAIZJUVWF0Y5ZXH/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kDJK8DkVyMf7oPbScVDMLNAUqsxRUqqbr1mOJYKfIPR7LoDQ9mXPOjoJoqy81S2I8N_N4V1vUb5AoIIIbLZhVYy7Mythp_T-mtop-vrsUOmeInPi9iDjx9w8K4ZfjXt2dpjqP4CsOrKRtQSnIuVOYKg--ukYFCGI3syR9nOALadrCjLISwBs8eEdxAxTptZAUg/unnamed+%283%29.png?format=1500w

2020-03-19 13:23:38 -0400

Join us for a live discussion TONIGHT (Thursday, March 19) at 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT about a Moral Response to the dual crises of Pandemic and Poverty—we'll be live on the MoveOn and Poor People's Campaign Facebook pages: facebook.com/MoveOn and facebook.com/anewppc

2020-03-19 06:00:30 -0400

5,000 signatures reached

2020-03-18 19:18:55 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-03-18 19:02:57 -0400

500 signatures reached

2020-03-18 18:55:07 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-03-18 18:54:25 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-03-18 18:53:53 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-03-18 18:53:32 -0400

10 signatures reached

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