TENAC Urges Rent & Cash Assistance for Excluded Workers
FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS:
TENAC URGES RENT AND CASH ASSISTANCE
FOR THOSE EXCLUDED FROM THE STIMULUS
Sample Letter(s) and Pitches Are Below
Contact The Council and Mayor! Time Is of the Essence!
Urge Coverage through Cash Assistance and for Rents
for Those Not Covered by Adequate Assistance!
BRAVO CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR BOWSER! TENAC greatly appreciates the Council and Mayor enacting a moratorium on evictions and late rent fees. But expect a flood of evictions when the crisis is over for those not receiving beefed-up unemployment assistance. A one or two time $1200 stimulus won't cover the rent if you don't qualify for the generous stimulus unemployment assistance passed by Congress under the leadership of Sen. Sanders.
First, urge all residents to contact the City Council by email, social media, phone or any means you can - - to urge them to implement a rent assistance program for those who cannot pay the rent. To prevent what could be mass displacement of those not covered, contact the councilmember for your ward and each councilmember at-large (Bonds, Grosso, Silverman, Robert White, and Council Chair Mendelson. (How can renters who have lost their jobs and aren't receiving assistance, pay the rent when the crisis ends?) Urge the council to assist those excluded from conventional forms of assistance and from the stimulus check(s) and beefed-up unemployment assistance like, as Councilmember Grosso points out, day laborers, domestic workers, street vendors, and undocumented residents.
Prevent the cruel flood on those excluded to follow; we hear landlords are still issuing orders to vacate and waiting, nay itching, for DC Landlord Tenant Court (call it what it is, Eviction Court) to re-open on May 15th! Looks like some red cites don't care (above), but DC - bluest of the blue should!
Second - We urge you to contact the Council to also support the push by DC Jobs With Justice for cash assistance for these WORKERS EXCLUDED from the stimulus package. Cash assistance would provide practical help for excluded workers, again, like day laborers, domestic workers, street vendors, and undocumented residents. Those excluded from traditional forms of assistance and the stimulus need help in the pandemic and until recovery takes place. (SEE the PLEA AT BOTTOM from DC Jobs for Justice, DETAILING WHY CASH ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED).
So, we urge you to contact the Council and urge them to pass TWO important assistance packages: 1.) a rent assistance program and 2.) cash assistance, for workers excluded, as described above.
FOR A LIST OF COUNCILMEMBERS FOR YOUR WARD AND THE AT-LARGE MEMBERS, INCLUDING CHAIRMAN, click: https://dccouncil.us/councilmembers/
Just Below is A SAMPLE EMAIL/PHONE/SOCIAL MEDIA PITCH:
(TAILOR IT AS YOU WISH)
Dear Mayor Bowser, Chairman Mendelson, At-Large members and [FILL IN YOUR COUNCILMEMBER]:
BRAVO CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR! As a concerned D.C. resident, [I/we] stand with TENAC and other advocates in greatly appreciating your enacting an evictions and late rent fee moratorium. But expect a flood of evictions when the crisis is over for those not receiving beefed-up unemployment assistance and even conventional means of assistance. Even a one or two time $1200 stimulus won't cover the rent if you don't qualify for the generous stimulus unemployment assistance passed by Congress.
So, we urge,
1.) a rent assistance program for workers excluded from traditional assistance and stimulus help, such as newly expanded unemployment benefits. This would prevent what could be mass displacement of excluded workers;
and 2.) cash assistance for the duration of the crisis, the program being pushed for by DC Jobs With Justice. This would help supply living expenses for workers not helped by stimulus efforts. It would provide workers excluded from the stimulus with urgently needed funds to survive the pandemic.
We strongly urge you to pass these assistance programs so needed by excluded workers in light of the national emergency.
YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND EMAIL OR PHONE NUMBER
WHY CASH ASSISTANCE? DC Jobs with Justice Explains:
Support Excluded Workers: cash assistance desperately needed
Labor unions, faith community, service providers, community organizations, and concerned neighbors [call] on Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to make individual grants available to residents facing financial hardship.
We call on Mayor Bowser to make $5 million available to DC residents who are ineligible for other cash assistance, and for the DC Council to legislate it's use. We encourage you to make cash assistance available to residents who will not be able to access federal assistance or unemployment benefits.
We were very disappointed to learn that funding for excluded workers which had been included in the bill circulated to the DC Council on Friday, has been fully removed from the more recent version circulated last night.
These "excluded workers" include tens of thousands of immigrant families and other workers. These people make DC work, but their work is sometimes invisible. They care for children and grandparents so others can go out of the home to work, they clean hotel rooms to make our hospitality sector strong, they power our new development by constructing our buildings, they keep our offices clean overnight, they wash dishes and keep bars stocked so we can enjoy our cocktails and DC's fine dining.
These individuals and families are already extremely low income and face numerous barriers to make ends meet in the best of times. Now they have even fewer resources to make it through the COVID emergency. Without assistance they will struggle to access food, toiletries, regular phone service, maintain informal housing arrangements, and other basic necessities. Housing may also be at risk since many people live in informal housing situations where they will not be protected by DC's wise eviction moratorium.
Our neighbor, Montgomery County has appropriated $5 million to "assist residents facing hardship." We call on DC to do the same.
There are already nonprofits standing by, ready to distribute city funds in an effect, accountable, and speedy process to lessen the pain on our excluded neighbors. See their letter here.
The federal government has left our neighbors behind. But we cannot. Individual donors, philanthropy, and private companies are stepping up to help. Our local government must too.
The impact of local investment in our neighbors will be multiplied. It will help our neighbors Stay Home DC and limit the need to seek informal work, forced displacement from safe housing, or leave home to access information. It will circulate in the local economy, keeping other families afloat. And it will preserve the health and well being of our children who are already missing the social and educational value of school.