How Arizona is Responding to the Coronavirus

progressnowazBlog, Take Action, Uncategorized

Over the last 24 hours, Coronavirus news has moved FAST. 

Keeping people healthy and safe means canceling events & closing everything. That, in turn, means missed work, smaller paychecks, shrinking bank balances and a lot of stress & worry for working people. 

Luckily, AZ already has paid sick leave, thanks to Prop 206 passed by LUCHA & many others. (Shout-out to the power of grassroots ballot measures!) Part-time, hourly and seasonal workers all get paid sick time! Don’t let your boss tell you any different. However, in the case that your employer does try to commit wage theft by not providing you with paid sick leave as guaranteed through #Prop206, contact the Industrial Commission of Arizona. https://www.azica.gov/

But we need paid family leave, bans on utility shut-offs and evictions, relief from student debt and mortgages, and other protections for working families & vulnerable folks. Here’s some of what our AZ’s state, local & federal officials are doing — and NOT doing:

The Arizona legislature is open but galleries are closed to the public. Governor Doug Ducey has declared a state of emergency, making it easier for hospitals to add beds (among other things). The #AZLeg also just passed $55 million in emergency funding. Democrats in the AZ legislature have also been pushing for expanded paid sick time. Republicans in the state legislature are more focused on destroying grassroots ballot measures (like the one that brought us paid sick leave in the first place) — fun times! These are HCR2032 and HCR2039.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve just put $1.5 TRILLION into Wall Street to address a growing economic crisis. For the same amount, we could cancel all student debt – a move just as needed to protect the economy & people’s health. (The government can afford it: investors are desperate to find safe places to put their money and are currently happy to lend it to the federal government at an interest rate of basically zero.)

In DC, Democrats in Congress are pushing a bill that would ensure: free coronavirus testing, paid emergency medical leave, extended unemployment insurance, food assistance, and help for health care workers! But so far, their Republican colleagues have blocked it – in part over a made-up fight about federal funding for abortion. (Yes, actually.) 

CALL YOUR REPS & TELL THEM WE NEED ACTION: http://bit.ly/AZAct

State, local & federal electeds should be working together to advance things like: unemployment & food assistance, moratoriums on evictions, foreclosures & utility shut-offs, compassionate releases of vulnerable ppl in incarceration, & releasing people in pre-trial detention.Local Progress has a good guide on this here.

Civic engagement is different without in-person events or door to door canvassing. But it’s still just as important as ever. Learn who your electeds are and what they are and aren’t doing. Call. Email. Tweet. http://bit.ly/AZAct

And don’t touch your face!