We’re shifting plans to slow the spread of COVID-19
The next few weeks will challenge us in ways we may not have imagined. I say that both as a director of Citizen Action, Deacon at my church, and mother of two.
The COVID-19 outbreak has laid bare the fact that we are only as strong as the most vulnerable member of our society, and that the lack of meaningful investment in our communities has left us all worse off.
As schools close, children are wondering where they’ll get their next meal. People living paycheck-to-paycheck are already losing income and having their hours cut. Seniors are facing the loss of their homes due to eviction or foreclosure. This is a wake up call: an economy that allows a small handful of people to get rich at the expense of the rest of us — particularly people of color, immigrants, and low-income families — is unsustainable and immoral.
Even before this outbreak, millions of families were living in crisis. But unlike so many elements of our society, the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. Whether it’s this virus or the other crises that too many people in our state are facing — poverty, hunger, lack of health care, or housing instability — the only answer, the only response that really gets to the root of the problem, is a whole-society response. And the vehicle we use as a society to implement that response is government at the local, state and federal levels.
Our state government, as it responds daily to COVID-19, is also facing an April 1 deadline to pass a state budget. In that budget, legislators and Governor Cuomo have a choice: Either they will continue underfunding and underinvesting in our communities — with austerity measures that hurt our ability to cope with crisis — or they can make billionaires return some of the $1.3 trillion in tax cuts they received last year from the Trump administration and invest in solutions to challenges our communities are facing.
As we shift plans to help slow the spread of the virus and cancel in-person rallies and actions across the state, we MUST continue to take our demands to legislators. Click here to let us know you’re committed to taking action from home — online or over the phone — to protect our communities and strengthen the democratic foundation of our society:
- Join our giant, statewide Telephone Town Hall on Tuesday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. as we hear the latest on our campaign to make billionaires pay and fully fund our schools, expand health care, guarantee housing for all and pass Paid Sick Days statewide!
- Join our Going the Distance group of at-home action-takers to text voters, make calls to State Senate and Assembly members, share stories of the impacts of underfunding in our communities on social media, and more!
The world we want isn’t just possible — it’s necessary. Investing in public goods makes all of us stronger in times of crisis and every one of us deserves the freedom and security that comes with knowing our basic needs will be met.
We can come together and demand a society that puts the needs of our families before the profits of the ultra rich. We can guarantee health care for all, stable housing, universal child care, good public schools for all and worker protections. We can protect our climate and make sure that our resources are democratically-owned and controlled. We can end the crisis of mass incarceration and invest in community support. And we can tax the millionaires and billionaires who have bled our communities dry. Don’t worry about them, they will be ok.
Thank you for all you do, especially now.
Citizen Action of New York