WASHINGTON – As Congress works through the reconciliation process and the nation passes 500,000 COVID deaths, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders joined People’s Action at a virtual town hall to call for comprehensive COVID relief now that fights inequality and addresses racial disparities. People’s Action has been running weekly deep canvass phone banks to states like Arizona, West Virginia, and Missouri to secure relief and holding meetings with key legislators across the country.
“We are on a mission in 2021 and beyond, not just to heal the wounds of our nation but to lay the foundation for real, lasting progress, and real, lasting justice,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “That’s why we have to pass President Biden’s Rescue Plan as soon as possible and give our country the help it needs to end this pandemic and get our lives going again.”
“To get people to feel good about democracy, and the political process, you got to show something that’s real. You’ve got to deliver,” Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders said. “This bill begins to deliver real, tangible benefits for working class people.”
“These systems have been broken for far too long. The people of West Virginia have been hurting. We need Joe Manchin’s voice in D.C. to carry the weight of what the future will look like for all of us,” West Virginia Action Group Leader Alex Gallo said. “We’re excited to be a part of something bigger that allows West Virginia a seat at the table.”
“My father struggled with addiction for my entire life, and most of his,” Hoosier Action Leader April Lopossa said. “We should not be incarcerating people for drug use, we need deeper investment in compassionate responses to the overdose crisis and drug use by investing in harm reduction services. This relief package is so important but it’s just a first step. We need a system that saves lives.”
People’s Action’s demands include getting cash into people’s pockets, raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance, guaranteeing health care coverage, preventing overdoses from climbing, vaccinating everyone for free, supporting renters, stopping evictions and utility shut offs, cancelling student debt, making local and state governments whole, and funding jobs for a just recovery.
View the town hall here.