America is not okay.
In the 1968 Rescue Agreement, 98 international States agreed that, no matter what, they would rescue each other from a crisis in space exploration. This was borne out of deep respect for each other and the experiment they were undertaking together. People over politics. In America, Democracy is our experiment; this pandemic is our dire state, and we choose people over political games. This is our Rescue Agreement.
We demand a comprehensive relief bill that focuses on the people and small businesses that are the backbone of this country and we demand it now. If we don't come together on this the consequences are truly catastrophic for millions of people’s lives, our economy, and the morale of America. We need a bill that meets this moment and matches the severity and size of the crisis.
A targeted version of the letter below and the full list of demands will be submitted to the US Senate, US House of Representatives, and the White House negotiating team in a demand for comprehensive pandemic relief now. Millions of people in this country have been thrown out into space with no tether. It’s time to unite and reel each other in.
The Full Letter
Our system is broken.
200,000 of our friends and family members have died alone during a global pandemic, while our government points fingers and paints the country blue and red, leaving millions of struggling people without a plan for relief.
Word on The Hill is that despite “agreeing” on many of the key issues, a relief bill may not be passed at all. No FPUC, no PUA, no PPP, no stimulus. Nothing more to help people still pinned down by a pandemic raging unchecked.
The consequences are heavy and many feel like We The People can’t be heard without cash or celebrity to contribute. We’re quickly losing faith in our leadership’s ability to solve this country’s life-or-death problems. We’ve been fed a narrative that there are two sides and that “the other side” is inhuman. We’re encouraged to hate and disbelieve everything outside our own echo chamber instead of having conversations. Leaders fan the factional flames by slinging blame, lining their pockets with what we have lost. America is burnt out on toxic partisanship.
This has us yelling at our own neighbors about what they do or do not deserve and competing for the morsels falling from billionaires' silver spoons.
It shouldn’t be this way. The soul of the American public is kind; People come out in droves to help each other. We donate blood. We volunteer. We give money to funds for struggling families or people that were treated unfairly. We are passionate people who fight for what we believe in.
When we wash off the red and blue and come out from behind the screens that have consumed us; we’re just a bunch of humans trying to survive. And we are not going to survive this polarized system much longer.
We each deserve relief in this public health and economic crisis. A pandemic is not our fault and no one should be punished for it. We have to come together.
At the dawn of space exploration, the Rescue Agreement of 1968 was made between 98 international states. It reads that no matter the circumstances, “States shall take all possible steps to rescue and assist astronauts in distress and promptly return them to the Launching State...” It was an agreement made out of respect for the great experiment that they were entering together. No matter what was happening between their country’s governments, their space teams would always help one another in dire times.
Democracy is perhaps America’s greatest experiment; this pandemic is our dire state, and we choose people over politics. This is our Rescue Agreement.
The stock market is not a reflection of our economy. It represents billionaires and corporations, not the small businesses and workers that are the backbone of this country. Entire industries have shuttered. Those based on human interaction, like live entertainment and events, travel, hospitality, restaurants and bars will struggle to come back. Millions are unemployed for the first time in their long careers. Others have returned to jobs at limited capacity, and in turn, limited hours and pay. We have recovered fewer than half of the jobs we lost at the height of the pandemic; by the most optimistic metrics, we still have at least 11.5 million fewer jobs that we did pre-pandemic. Federal relief has prematurely ended for 26 million people and was not even made available for millions more who are excluded completely. Up to 40 million people are at risk of eviction. 12 million are without health insurance. 5.4 million are hungry and up to 54 million are projected to be if no further relief is passed. The lines wrapped around food banks are unprecedented. 50% of unemployed people cannot afford basic necessities. Essential workers have worked without hazard pay for months, providing the rest of us the ability to eat and survive in our homes. They, along with frontline hospital workers, have even had to provide their own PPE. Over half of our small businesses fear we have closed doors permanently. The need for relief is urgent and every second we wait lessens the likelihood of a full recovery. The scarring, of people and of the economy, will be deep.
On top of all that, during a global pandemic that is causing an incredible amount of fear, insecurity, instability, and depression we have to scramble and beg the leaders we elected for empathy from a government that we fund.
Convincing us that we’re helpless in all this is how dictatorships take hold. We are not helpless. Together, the workers of this nation outnumber the leaders of this nation, and our voices are powerful. Nothing gets done without us making it happen. We cannot stand idly by, being told there isn’t enough for us all, while our tax dollars are shoveled into corporations.
This country has never gotten through by thinking small, and we’re not about to start now. America cannot be bought and it cannot be bullied; it was built by the workers and small business owners and it belongs to us. We The People demand comprehensive pandemic relief that supports workers and small businesses through this pandemic. No more extra for the rich. No more skinny bills that don’t help us all. Our needs are many, but there is nothing superfluous or padded about them.
Millions of people in this country have been thrown into space with no tether. It’s time to reel them in. If we don’t, the losses will be deep and they will be permanent.
We need a comprehensive relief bill that includes support for the unemployed (full $600) and expansions so no one is excluded; support for essential and front line workers; rent, mortgage, and healthcare relief; funding for state and local governments; support for small businesses and independent contractors; support for social services that will help people survive this pandemic; and more.
Democrats and Republicans must set aside their partisan differences. If we don't, we will be left with widespread business closures, the permanent elimination of millions of jobs, and irreparable damage to the social, cultural, and economic life of our communities and country. Leadership should focus on a bill that meets this moment and matches the severity and size of the crisis. No one should be left behind in America. History--and voters--will judge those who abandon The People in this time of crisis.
We need comprehensive pandemic relief for The People. We need it now. We demand it together.
WHY SIGN? HOW WILL THIS BE USED?
Once we have amassed a coalition of voices agreeing to advocate for each other, we will submit a targeted version of the letter and demands to Congress as a unified ask.
Together, we will demand a comprehensive People First bill to ensure we all survive this pandemic.