The Urgency Of Now: We Must Create Policies For The People
We are living in a dystopia in the United States. The Pandemic of 2020 will be known as the straw that broke the camel’s already splintering back.
Our economic model has failed us.
Entire industries that rely on large gatherings of people, like the events industry (including sports events, movie theaters, zoos and museums, hotels, etc) and the restaurant and dining industry, face collapse.
The oil industry, a foundation of trading and other economic predictions, lending, budgets etc, has crashed.
More than 70% of jobless Americans did not receive March unemployment benefits.
In April, over half of low income American workers said they or someone in their household “had lost a job or taken a pay cut as a result of the pandemic.”
Creditors are attempting to seize the already meager $1200 stimulus pay from many, when the median rent in the U.S. is $1,500 per month. Puerto Ricans have received no stimulus check. 1.2 million American citizens wont get checks because they are married to immigrants.
We have not built an economy were workers can save and weather economic storms. Most Americans cannot afford a $400 emergency without using debt or selling belongings.
We are struggling mentally.
Our already struggling collective mental health is at risk.
The Federal government has abandoned us.
The Trump Administration and the Republican controlled Senate continues to run like a criminal enterprise, filtering public money to private entities, giving tax cuts to the wealthy and planning additional cuts, unconcerned with the deaths and suffering of others. Trump’s response to the pandemic has been shocking to a degree not thought possible:
· Forcing states to bid against the feds and each other for medical supplies.
· Designing a “relief” program that filtered funding for small businesses to corporations and eliminating oversight.
· Paying a bankrupt company with no employees $55 million for N95 masks it doesn’t manufacturer.
· Destroying the rule of law and legal oversight by firing inspector generals.
Marginalized communities are being devastated.
Native American tribes have received none of the 8 billion in aid they were promised.
Black and Brown people are being over-policed, while white people not obeying social distancing rules are treated with deference, even as they invade closed public property, physically attack police, and carry guns to protests.
The rush to “return to normal” is an illusion.
COVID-19 is real, dangerous, and we are just beginning to understand its effects on the body.
We are at best 12 to 18 months away from a vaccine being developed and tested for COVID-19.
That does not include the time it will take to produce and distribute a vaccine once one is found.
We cannot wait any longer. We demand state and federal elected and public officials rise to meet the needs of their communities. We demand you work on the following policies for immediate implementation, with direct involvement from marginalized communities and constructed with equity principles:
Universal healthcare for all permanent residents and citizens of the U.S.
Universal basic income of at least $2,000 per month
Guaranteed housing for individuals and families
Government subsidized childcare
We cannot and should not return the world that led us to this place. We must build a new and better world where human life, and the planet that sustains it, are valued, supported, and given the tools and opportunity to thrive. #policies4thepeople