Our communities were devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and are in urgent need of comprehensive, direct relief. Our neighborhood businesses have made sacrifices to protect the health of our community and they deserve immediate relief. Students are falling behind without in-person classes and families are struggling to make virtual schooling work. People who are doing the right thing by sheltering in place as much as possible should not have to bear the added burden of worrying about paying rent, struggling to put food on the table, and affording childcare. In each of these struggles, undocumented communities, low-income families, women, and communities of color are disproportionately impacted. When an economic crisis strikes, these communities are historically the first to feel its impact and the last to recover. We’re showing up for our communities, we deserve representation in Congress that shows up for us too.
It is our moral obligation to ensure that our plans for COVID relief and recovery center these communities and to do everything in our power to make sure that relief goes directly to working people, not big corporations. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is evidence of what Democrats can deliver for working people when we act boldly and with urgency. The law reduces overall poverty in America by one-third and drastically expands healthcare coverage for the duration of the pandemic; the $1400 survival checks deliver immediate relief to Americans including millions of mixed-status households, and the child tax credit puts money directly into the pockets of families and will cut child poverty in half. The American Rescue Plan opens the door to turn this triage COVID relief into long-term structural change to the systems that intensified this crisis.
But there’s more we can do. We need monthly $2000 survival checks for everyone, immediate emergency Medicare enrollment for the uninsured, a moratorium on rent, mortgage, and debt payments, cancelation of student debt, immediate economic relief for small businesses, and vaccinations for teachers to safely reopen schools. As vaccines become more widely available, we need to increase education and awareness around COVID vaccinations to ensure everyone understands the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and how to access them. It is critical that vaccine administration plans prioritize our essential workers and the communities who’ve suffered the most during this pandemic.