URGENT ACTION: EMAIL AND CALL TODAY
Email Mayor Bowser and Chairman Mendelson
Call Mayor Bowser – you may need to try more than one of the following numbers:
Message: Mayor Bowser, the federal government will not take care of all the members of our community. We have to. Please commit $5 million for cash assistance to those who have been left behind. Add your personal story.
Social media: Images and sample tweets here
Labor unions, faith community, service providers, community organizations, and concerned neighbors call on Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to make individual grants available to residents facing financial hardship.
We call on Mayor Bowser to make $5 million available to DC residents who are ineligible for other cash assistance, and for the DC Council to legislate it’s use. We encourage you to make cash assistance available to residents who will not be able to access federal assistance or unemployment benefits.
We were very disappointed to learn that funding for excluded workers which had been included in the bill circulated to the DC Council on Friday, has been fully removed from the more recent version circulated last night.
These “excluded workers” include tens of thousands of immigrant families and other workers. These people make DC work, but their work is sometimes invisible. They care for children and grandparents so others can go out of the home to work, they clean hotel rooms to make our hospitality sector strong, they power our new development by constructing our buildings, they keep our offices clean overnight, they wash dishes and keep bars stocked so we can enjoy our cocktails and DC’s fine dining.
These individuals and families are already extremely low income and face numerous barriers to make ends meet in the best of times. Now they have even fewer resources to make it through the COVID emergency. Without assistance they will struggle to access food, toiletries, regular phone service, maintain informal housing arrangements, and other basic necessities. Housing may also be at risk since many people live in informal housing situations where they will not be protected by DC’s wise eviction moratorium.
Our neighbor, Montgomery County has appropriated $5 million to “assist residents facing hardship.” We call on DC to do the same.
There are already nonprofits standing by, ready to distribute city funds in an effect, accountable, and speedy process to lessen the pain on our excluded neighbors. See their letter here.
The federal government has left our neighbors behind. But we cannot. Individual donors, philanthropy, and private companies are stepping up to help. Our local government must too. The impact of local investment in our neighbors will be multiplied. It will help our neighbors Stay Home DC and limit the need to seek informal work, leave safe housing, or leave home to access information. It will circulate in the local economy, keeping other families afloat. And it will preserve the health and well being of our children who are already missing the social and educational value of school.