We urge you to pass the HEROES Act. Additionally, we urge you to also put attention on creating more pathways and funding to reduce incarceration, which is critical to public health; and to the emerging crisis in child care, which has become a national emergency with centers closing every day and many not expected to reopen. It is imperative that you encourage the development of health equity interventions across all components of coronavirus response legislation, collect national health outcomes data by race, and ensure that all new policies urgently address these racial and ethnic disparities.
Our list of demands remains the same:
- Address the needs of families requiring child care, as well as the needs of early childhood educators, like child care providers;
- Ensure all workers receive paid sick days and paid leave.The Families First Corona Response Act was a good first step but it only covers about 25% of working people. We need to make sure everyone, regardless of the size of their employers, gets access to paid sick days and we need to make sure every working person gets access to paid medical leave too);
- Secure health care for all those who need it, regardless of status or ability to pay—this includes testing, treatment, medical exams, vaccinations, and isolation/quarantine. We also need to ensure that our frontline health care providers have all the assistance and medical supplies they need, so they can continue showing up for us in a safe manner. Ensure those who are newly unemployed are able to access quality, affordable health care;
- Continue to support and improve on the unemployment insurance (UI) system and make sure struggling families have the tools they need to make ends meet, including direct payments, nutrition assistance, UI tied to economic indicators, and a moratorium on rent/mortgage payments and utilities for those who need it;
- Give guidance to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant and other criminal justice grants that encourage and incentivize decarceration in states by releasing from jails, prisons, and detention centers people who do not pose a public safety risk, such as families held by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), elderly people, and those housed in pre-trial detention and who are rehabilitated.
- Protect immigrant families;
- Implement measures across the nation that will allow all eligible voters to cast their ballots, while prioritizing the public health of our communities.
It’s women who bear the burden of this crisis.