#WeDemandEquity for Communities of Color and the Most Vulnerable
Across our network of faith communities and grassroots organizations we are hearing more and more stories of pain and grief, as people lose loved ones to COVID-19 and struggle with fear and anxiety and the material challenges of surviving and staying safe without jobs, income, and access to health care. The coronavirus has exposed and stands to worsen the already enormous problem of mass incarceration and deportation and health and economic disparity for Black, Brown and working people of this country. This public health and humanitarian crisis calls for bold and moral leadership from Congress to remedy the deep and systemic racial inequities in our country through policies that include:
- Health Care for All
- Universal Basic Wage
- Decarceration and End to Mass Incarceration
- End Deportations and Provide a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented
- Protect Democracy and Everyone’s Right to Vote
- Gun Violence Prevention (Break the Cycle of Violence Act)
CARES2 Legislative Demands to Protect Vulnerable Communities
This pandemic is reaching every corner of the nation, from rural to suburban to urban. Black and Latino communities, immigrant workers, and everyone who lives paycheck to paycheck are being hit hardest. The inequities faced by vulnerable communities are immoral and unacceptable, and they can be remedied. Unfortunately, rather than ameliorating these gross inequalities, Congress has exacerbated them. The more we learn about the CARES Act and watch how it is being implemented the more anger we feel. In place after place the Act prioritizes big businesses, CEOs and the privileged while neglecting those most in need and people of color. These are among its many flaws that must be addressed now.
Faith in Action demands for inclusion in Emergency Response Legislation (CARES2 and the HEROES Act)
- Money to Hardest Hit Communities Target all federal money to people and communities hardest hit by COVID-19 and job losses, with an emphasis on communities of color.
- No Cost Universal Testing and Treatment Provide testing and treatment for all COVID-19 related medical expenses without cost to every person living in the U.S. regardless of citizenship status and report on racial disparities in testing, confirmed cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and program participation.
- Universal Direct Cash Payments Make continuing living-wage cash payments to all working families without exception to immigration status (including mixed-status and immigrant families who pay federal taxes with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN).
- Food and Housing Assistance Provide emergency food and housing assistance to people, cities, and non-profits so that no one goes hungry or lacks a safe place to shelter.
- Re-entry Programs for Returning Citizens Target funding to re-entry programs led by returning citizens so that every person released from jail can remain safe and not recidivate.
- Public Health Corps: Fund community health centers, non-profits, health departments, and safety net hospitals to build a system for testing, contact tracing, community support, treatment, and vaccination in vulnerable communities.
- Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave Guarantee paid family and medical leave for all workers impacted by COVID-19.
- Defend Democracy Guarantee that every voter has the option to vote by mail and knows their vote will be counted.
- Humanitarian Aid Provide emergency humanitarian aid to strengthen health infrastructure, including access to clean water, and provide food assistance to the U.S. territories, the Caribbean and Central America, and protect migrants and refugees.