A Vision for this Crisis and Beyond:
It’s Time to Take Care of All of Us
No matter what we look like, where we live, or how much we make, the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that at our core we’re all just human. For years, young people, people of color, women, and working-class people of all races have been left behind and pitted against each other. As this crisis unfolds, we are seeing the result of the dysfunction and disparities of our broken system.
For too long, we’ve let a powerful few divide us to pad their own profits by making life and health into products for sale. Now is the time to demand that our government not only helps us weather the outbreak of this virus but sets a better course for the future of all of our communities. It’s time to rewrite the rules to ensure that everyone can access the resources and care that we need without fear.
It’s time for our leaders to help all of us — not just the richest 1% and a handful of huge corporations. From people with chronic health conditions to people without shelter, from our undocumented neighbors to people living in detention, people providing vital services or those who can’t forgo a paycheck to stay home — all of us need the ability to survive and thrive.
By coming together, we can create a fair and comprehensive healthcare system that treats us all equally and ensures we can stay well — physically and financially. If this crisis demonstrates anything, it’s that we need and deserve a healthcare system that focuses on caring for people, not generating profits. Our own health depends on the health of the person next to us, and the person next to them. Ensuring everyone can access affordable care is how we take care of ourselves; during this crisis, and always.
We also need to ensure all people can make ends meet. It’s time for government to stop handing out tax breaks for the wealthy and financing bailouts for corporations. Instead, we need government to ensure all workers have fully paid leave, including sick time, furlough, self-quarantine, and providing care to family members. We need immediate cash assistance to everyone who needs it to stabilize finances for families, small businesses, and our economy. We need an expanded and more functional unemployment compensation system to allow the rapid processing of new unemployment applications. We need an immediate suspension of foreclosures, utility shutoffs, evictions, credit defaults, school loan payments, and other liens for workers who may be laid off or have reduced hours for the duration of the national public health emergency. We need enhancement of food security programs for working families, the elderly, and children by increasing funding for nutrition assistance programs.
Now is the time for us to unite across our differences and build a better future for us all. We need our government to take bold and decisive action now, in this time of crisis, that will set a better course for the future of our communities for generations to come. All of us—people of all races and in communities across America— have worked hard to sustain our families, pay the bills, and gain some financial security.
Together, we can create the future our communities need. Our health care system is broken. Our economy is broken. Returning to the status quo after this crisis is not an option because we know that another world is possible. Now it’s time for our government to step up and take care of all of us.