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Large Coalition Calls for State and Local Aid

Jan 14, 2021

SiX signed on to this statement:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer: 

We urgently write you to prioritize a proven solution to help overwhelmed front-line workers,  jumpstart the economy and accelerate the pace of vaccinations: the passage of $1 trillion in emergency funding for states, cities, towns, and schools.  

For the last 10 months, public service workers have stood courageously on the front lines of the fight against this pandemic, doing everything in their power to keep their communities safe and healthy. But as you know, the last COVID-19 relief legislation – despite your best efforts – failed to include desperately needed aid to support them. 

Since early last year, nearly 1.4 million front-line public service workers – nurses, EMTs,  sanitation workers, teachers, corrections officers, child care providers, and others – have lost  their jobs, devastating families and communities, as well as stymieing the nation’s ability to  beat the virus. African American workers who account for nearly one in five workers in the  public sector have been especially hard hit. With a new president taking office next week and  with Democrats assuming control of the U.S. Senate, this investment in states, counties, cities,  towns, and schools must be an early and top priority. We urge you to make it a reality within  days of President-elect Biden’s inauguration. 

With state and local governments (in blue and red states alike) facing devastating revenue  shortfalls, this funding is essential to maintaining the services that sustain our communities – public education, public health, public safety, and much more. We need investment in these  core functions to meet the logistical challenges of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine and end  this pandemic once and for all. And this aid is required to breathe life back into an underperforming economy, which bled 140,000 jobs in December.  

With respect to education, while the recently passed COVID-19 relief package included $82  billion for education, that is only a portion of what is needed to sufficiently address the  overwhelming effects of the pandemic on the safe operation of schools and what students  need at this perilous time. That is why funds for states, counties, cities, towns and schools are  so critical: they can address both the revenue losses due to the downturn in the economy and  the additional costs needed to respond to the ongoing effects of the pandemic on schools and  students. 

We need $1 trillion in funding – unrestricted funding, free of any poison pills, conditions or limitations that undermine working people, and an increase in the federal Medicaid match  (FMAP) – not just to get back to normal, but to build back better. We need this level of  investment to restore our communities’ ability to handle crises and respond to emergencies,  capacity that has been vastly diminished since the austerity measures imposed during the Great  Recession about a dozen years ago. 

The obstruction last year from Senate leadership and the Trump administration flies in the face  of public opinion and expert analysis. Economists of all ideological stripes have been clamoring  for aid to states, cities, towns, and schools, correctly arguing that it will have a multiplier effect  that will trigger GDP growth. Local elected officials from both parties – who are responsible for  

somehow running functioning governments in this environment, without the ability to run  deficits – are on board. And polls have consistently indicated overwhelming popular support  from voters as well. 

The mandate is clear. This federal assistance is good politics and good policy, a moral and an  economic imperative. We look forward to working with you and the Biden-Harris  administration to get this done right away. 

Sincerely,

A. Philip Randolph Institute

AFL-CIO 

African American Ministers in Action 

Alliance for Quality Education 

Alliance for Retired Americans 

American Federation of School Administrators 

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) American Federation of Teachers  

American Library Association (ALA) 

American School Counselor Association 

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) 

Americans for Tax Fairness 

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO 

Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents 

California After School Network 

Center for American Progress (CAP) 

Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues 

Coalition on Human Needs 

Coalition of Labor Union Women 

Communications Workers of America (CWA) 

Council of Administrators of Special Education 

Democratic Municipal Officials 

Democrats for Education Reform 

EDGE Consulting Partners 

Every Texan 

Feminist Majority Foundation 

For Our Future Action Fund 

Girls Inc. 

Health Care for America Now 

Health Care Voter

In the Public Interest 

Indivisible 

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy 

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Mi Familia Vota 

MomsRising 

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) 

National Association of Secondary School Principals 

National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors 

National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) 

National Education Association (NEA) 

National Organization for Women 

National Superintendents Roundtable 

Our Revolution 

Pride at Work 

Rebuild America’s Schools 

RootsAction.org 

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 

State Innovation Exchange 

Take on Wall Street 

Tax March 

Teach for America 

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers  of America (UAW) 

The United States Conference of Mayors 

Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO 

Voices for Progress