Industrial Areas Foundation - The IAF represents 65 Broad Based citizens’ organizations throughout the US, working with thousands of religious congregations, small businesses, education institutions, non-profits, civic organizations, and unions to make change on social justice issues.
The Covid-19 pandemic is precipitating an economic crisis of historic proportions, requiring sacrifices from all Americans to avoid a massive loss of life. Congress must respond with a fiscal policy aimed at avoiding a serious Depression. The Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) urges Congress to deliver an economic stimulus plan that protects those who urgently need help the most: American workers, families, and small businesses on the front lines of this national emergency.
Urgent Principles for Maintaining Economic Stability:
1. Help American Workers and Families Now: Make an immediate payment of $2,000 per person, followed by additional monthly payments for as long as the economic crisis persists.
2. Save Jobs and Protect Service Sector Workers: Expand Unemployment Insurance and Paid Sick Leave to cover 90% of wages, for all workers regardless of company size or whether they are contract workers. Provide service and food distribution worker hazard pay and additional health protections. Offer grants to companies, small businesses, and charitable nonprofits that keep workers on their payroll at 80% of pre-crisis wages. Provide 0% loans and grants to charitable and religious nonprofits under the SBA Disaster Relief program to meet immediate community needs.
3. Drastically Expand Health Care Coverage for the Most Vulnerable: Provide universal & free Covid-19 tests with extensive community outreach to targeted high risk populations. Increase Medicaid contribution nationwide by 10 percentage points over each participating state’s rate, and reinstate the 100% federal contribution for Medicaid expansion.
4. Invest Heavily in Health Care Infrastructure to Support Front Line Workers and Providers: Exercise the full powers under the Defense Production Act to produce health care equipment including test kits, ventilators, N95 respirator masks, protective clothing and hospital beds.
5. Protect Our Communities: Suspend all evictions, foreclosures and utility shutoffs for homeowners & renters. Provide free internet, cable and phone – essential for safety and remote public education. Suspend the public charge rule for the duration of the crisis and ensure that no services utilized during this period apply to any reinstated rule.
6. Avoid the Mistakes of the 2008 Financial Sector Bailouts: Require safeguards and strict accountability that all corporations seeking bailout funds provide, among other provisions, protection of workers’ jobs, retirement plans, right to organize, healthcare and paid sick leave. Prohibit executive pay raises and bonuses with these funds. Require market-rate returns on public dollars invested.
Contact your Congressional Representatives and Senators now! The federal government must act swiftly and decisively. We must take all necessary steps to avoid the loss of income, housing, safety, and crumbling communities. Those most at risk should be the direct and primary beneficiaries of federal intervention, not multinational corporations.