heart of america

People’s Movements Call for the Rebirth of America

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Dr. Paul Zeitz
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People’s Movements Call for the Rebirth of America

Demands Congress Pass the “COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal”

(Washington, 11 May 2020)  The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the United States, and tens of thousands of lives are at imminent risk. Thus far, the Federal government’s response has been nothing less than a catastrophic failure of short-sighted inaction–despite the multi-trillion-dollar investments made so far.

Dr, Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of Build A Movement 2020 and Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, stated: “The public health emergency is just beginning, and the cascading economic crises and the weakening of our democratic values threaten our ability to save lives and recover quickly. Understandably, American workers and employers are anxious to get back to work, and many politically driven pundits are telling leaders it’s time to pull the switch that will turn on the economy once more. But it needs to be done in a way that prioritizes justice and the needs of all Americans.”

It has become clear that Americans cannot count on their national leaders to make coherent, evidence-based decisions that prioritize human lives and health over the economy. That is why Build A Movement 2020 and the partners of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group are advocating for Congress to immediately pass the “COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal Act” before the summer recess.

Professor Phil Harvey, Rutgers University and Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group, stated, “The COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal” positions economic recovery plans around saving lives and livelihoods, and it addresses the racial, ethnic and social disparities that put at highest risk our most vulnerable populations: Latinos, African Americans, immigrants, incarcerated people, the poor elderly and the homeless.  As we move to open our society, we must ensure that we are saving as many lives as possible while reversing the wave of joblessness, hunger and homelessness that is sweeping over our country and ensure the rebirth of America.”

Funding allocated for America’s COVID-19 response recovery should support people, not greed-driven profits. Focusing on opening American businesses quickly at the expense of human health will cause a devastating second wave of infections that will cost both lives and treasure.

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Build A Movement 2020 is a newly forming political movement that connects political parties, movements, coalitions, organizations, and individuals to solve the existential threats facing humanity. The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group was formed in March 2020 to mobilize people’s voice to save as many lives as possible.

1 reply
  1. Carol Leigh
    Carol Leigh says:

    This is a powerful and urgently needed document! Thank you for this work! I have been compiling such documents specifically addressing marginalized populations: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IPz_41uLT0IJFn9_IM4EjNxCsELFWZvd_8uu-3amg1s/edit?usp=sharing

    I suspect that another element that should be included is to stop the use of punitive codes and criminal justice solutions when individuals are working to survive, especially if they or their families don’t have the resources they need to stop work… in other words, if the above doesn’t happen, at least they shouldn’t throw people in jails or write citations which threaten future incarcerations.

    I think activists also need to review the problems for all those who are targeted by police, including people of color, immigrants, sex workers, transgender people and LGBT folks in general, drug users (and by extension, sellers) and houseless people. One starting place you also need for this document if to examine how the governments will address those who are not compliant with various mitigations.

    These may be the kind of times that could increase targeting of the above folk who are not receiving the supports you recommend on the New Deal (because these goals are not necessarily going to be met). As a sex worker activist I am concerned with these possibilities. During the AIDS crisis soliciting a hand job (even with a condom) because a felony, impacting transgender people more than others. This was only recently repealed.

    Thanks again for this important document!

    Reply

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