In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it's never been more important to make sure our communities are protected. As young activists, we know how to raise our voices to do just that.
Every day, Congress is working on new relief packages to help get the country through the crisis. It's up to us to make sure they get it right.
We need a just relief package that protects our communities, provides real support for workers, and doesn't solve one crisis by exacerbating another.
Tell Congress to protect our health, our communities, and our future.
As a young constituent, I am writing today to urge that any federal coronavirus relief must put communities first, protect our health, and ensure that the response does not solve one crisis by making another worse. Air pollution and climate change go hand in hand with the worst impacts of the novel coronavirus. As we recover, we must protect our communities from all threats to our health.
As someone who will have to live with the consequences of your choices for decades to come, I am asking you for the following on behalf of young people across the country:
* First and foremost, protect our health. We support the calls of community leaders, public health organizations, unions, and others to make sure that our essential workers have the protections they need to do their jobs.
* We also demand support for essential environmental protections. Air pollution causes heart and lung disease, which makes coronavirus more deadly. But in the midst of this unprecedented public health crisis, the Trump Administration is rolling back public health protections that keep us safe from air pollution.
*Every day, the health of those who live in vulnerable communities is at risk, whether from air pollution or the coronavirus. People are getting sick. Congress should ensure affordable access to healthcare for all people , especially communities of color and low income communities most likely to be hit first and worst by COVID-19, who are already facing the worst health impacts of pollution.
*Any relief package must work to help communities address systemic environmental injustice that is only being further exacerbated by the pandemic. Environmental injustice is deeply intersectional, so it is no surprise the pandemic has brought to the surface more racial and wealth inequality in America. Nearly all of us are being asked to shelter in place, but low-income and minority communities are sheltering in areas that tend to have more dangerous levels of pollution in their air or water.
* We cannot solve one crisis by worsening another. Any support given to polluting industries must include deeper restrictions on their pollution. Any stimulus funding for capital projects, construction, and industry, should take into account the climate crisis and strive to reduce pollution and mitigate negative impacts of pollution, and start in communities that are most vulnerable.
*In order to have strong communities, we must provide needed support for individual community members, keep people in jobs, and provide jobs for more people. Financial assistance should put workers and small businesses first, where it can do the most good.
* Finally, we must protect our democratic process in the face of this pandemic. We cannot make environmentalism a priority in Washington if we cannot vote. That's why safe, fair elections across the country are essential. Our futures are on the line, and we deserve the ability to safely exercise our right to help shape those futures with our voices and our votes. The federal government must support states, by providing funding and technical support wherever needed, to ensure that every American can vote safely in primary and general elections.
Please stand with us to keep our communities safe for generations to come.