Indivisible together, we must demand more.

11 mins read

Update: Sign up for the #ProtectOurVote virtual townhall on Mon, Apr 20 (tonight!) @ 8pm ET to hear from Sens. Warren, Klobuchar, & more:  

Action#1: Phone Action – Demand that your legislators prioritize a coronavirus “People’s Bailout.”

Congress has now passed three coronavirus-related response bills. While these bills have temporarily filled in important gaps in our paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, and health care systems, they are grossly insufficient given the magnitude of the current crisis. What’s worse, in return for helping people who are desperately in need of support, Trump and his Republican allies demanded hundreds of billions of dollars in unaccountable corporate bailouts and a bizarre $170 billion dollar tax giveaway that chiefly benefits around 43,000 millionaires and billionaires.. Really.

This crisis isn’t over and the Senate could vote on the deal that supposedly fixes all the gaps in the previous bills soon – possibly in a pro forma Senate session today, and a House vote on Wednesday. While they are rightfully putting more money towards small businesses, we need to continue demanding help for the individual people and families who both staff business and patronize them — in other words, we need a People’s Bailout.

We must demand that our legislators consider the interrelated crises of wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified. This is a time to be decisive in saving lives, and bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a just recovery.

Minimal Phone Script: I’m calling from [___] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to make sure the next coronavirus response bill includes the following (add any points from the email script below that are especially important to you.):

  1. Protect our democratic processes while protecting each other.
  2. Make health the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions.
  3. Provide economic relief directly to the people.
  4. Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives.
  5. Make a down payment on a regenerative economy, while preventing future crises.

Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-177
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?:

Action#2: Email Action – Add more detail. Here are some suggestions.

Contact: Rep. Julia Brownley: emailor Rep. Salud Carbajal: email
Senator Feinsteinemail and Senator Harrisemail,
Who is my representative/senator?:
Start this conversation with Biden: 

Minimal Email Script:

Dear [Member of Congress]

My name is [First Name] and I live in [City], [State]. As one of your constituents, I am thankful that Congress has passed three coronavirus response bills. However, while these bills have temporarily filled in important gaps in our paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, and health care systems, they are grossly insufficient given the magnitude of the current crisis.

This reality is that this crisis isn’t over and soon Congress will likely have to pass at least one additional response package, and that response must put people’s needs ahead of corporate profits — in other words, we need a People’s Bailout.

As your constituent, I demand that you work fix the gaps in the previous bills, and make sure that the response to both the outbreak and the likely recession that will accompany it make both less likely to happen in the future. Specifically, I’m asking that you publicly support a People’s Bailout that would include:

Protecting our democratic processes while protecting each other

  • Use Senator Warren’s election protection plan, which builds on the protections of the HR.2711 (passed)/ S.2238 SAFE ACT
  • States must expand vote by mail, extend voting deadlines, increase early voting days, and communicate extensively with voters about date changes, polling closures, or other critical election information
  • States must expand online and/or automatic voter registration
  • The federal government can assist by funding election infrastructure, requiring no-excuse absentee voting in federal elections, and provide additional drop-boxes for ballots in federal buildings and post offices
  • All in-person voting locations must be provided with sanitization equipment and guidelines for keeping voters at a safe distance from each other and poll workers
  • Congress must approve at least $4 billion in funding to implement these changes
  • Take action now to ensure that the November election can happen safely as planned and without disenfranchising any voter, by requiring states and jurisdictions to establish a publicly available contingency plan to enable eligible Americans to vote in the case of an emergency and/or continued pandemic.
  • Require absentee ballots to be counted if postmarked or signed before the close of the polls on Election Day.
  • Require that all states provide envelopes with prepaid postage to all voters who request a voter registration application, absentee ballot application, or absentee ballot, and require that all states offer and accept online absentee ballot applications.
  • Require the Election Assistance Commission to create a domestic version of the federal write-in absentee ballot.

Make health the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions

  • Increase federal funding for Medicaid and other health programs that cover low-wage people and communities of color, and that testing and treatment are available regardless of immigration status.
  • Ensure pharmaceutical and medical device corporations can’t price gouge people for testing, treatment, and preventative measures
  • Enact an emergency OSHA Standard to protect frontline workers
  • Immediately begin a special enrollment period to let people enroll in health care coverage
  • End surprise billing for medical services

Provide economic relief directly to the people

  • Provide monthly, direct cash payments to all individuals and families regardless of immigration status
  • Place a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, repossessions, and utility shutoffs; prohibit debt collection and prevent negative credit reporting
  • Place a moratorium on student loan payments and provide forgiveness for student loan holders
  • Universal paid sick leave at 100% of wages, no matter the size of the business
  • Unemployment Insurance for all, including immigrants
  • Expand SNAP (nutrition assistance)
  • Increase Social Security payments to seniors

Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives

  • Require corporations who take bailout money to maintain 100% of payroll
  • No taxpayer funds should be used for executive bonuses, stock buy-backs, “golden parachute” payments, or dividends
  • Any company receiving a bailout should be required to increase their minimum wage to $15/hour within a year of the end of this emergency
  • Impose transparency requirements on political spending of companies that take bailout money
  • Set strict lobbying limits on companies that take bailout money to ensure we aren’t funding post-pandemic corporate lobbying efforts
  • Provide a seat for workers on corporate boards
  • Keep all collective bargaining agreements in place.
  • Fund communities to stop a catastrophic loss of services.

Make a down payment on a regenerative economy, while preventing future crises

  • Enact a federal jobs program that focuses on creating green jobs and invests in a green economy
  • Prevent bailouts for the fossil fuel industry and other industries that put the future of our planet at risk.
  • Focus resources in frontline communities that are the hardest hit by the twin crises of coronavirus and an exploitative economy

This pandemic is devastating our communities, and we expect you to fight to ensure that every individual, worker, and family in our state gets the support they need. No exceptions.

As your constituent, I expect you to fight for me and my family — not corporations. I request a response to my letter.

[First Name], [Zipcode]

Action#3: Share with your social circles

  • Find graphics and sample tweets here.
  • Write a letter to the editor here.
  • Record a video now demanding your members of Congress support a People’s Bailout with 5 principles for a just response and tell us how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your life. Learn how here.

Here’s a great one from Jessica Craven of “Chop Wood, Carry Water”!

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