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5 Principles for a Just Recovery

by Vanessa Butterworth

April 18, 2020

Now is the time to protect all workers, prioritize everyone’s health, and move away from our extractive economy that produces and consumes until no end.

No Oil Bailout! Give families the help they need. Not corporations!

The COVID-19 news today is stark: Close to 20,000,000 people in the U.S. are now unemployed without a way to make ends meet. More than 600,000 people are fighting to recover from the virus. And multitudes of essential workers are risking their health and well-being in unsafe conditions to take care of us without proper protections.

I’m so angry that our government isn’t doing enough. But we can’t stop fighting. Congress is already discussing the next massive economic relief package.

We will fight to uphold these five principles for any and all responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure a just recovery and transition to a better future for those most in need in the wake of this crisis.

Five Principles for a Just Recovery

  1. Ensure all people have access to healthcare, with no exceptions
  2. Help everyone pay their bills
  3. Protect the workers and communities who keep this country functioning, not corporate executives and Wall Street shareholders
  4. Launch a Green New Deal and transform our exploitative and extractive economy to prevent future crises (like the ongoing climate crisis!)
  5. Defend our democracy and protect each other across communities and borders

If we’re loud enough, we can get those relief funds directed towards saving lives, helping people pay their bills, centering workers’ safety, and changing our economy so it actually takes care of people and the planet — not towards filling a few billionaires’ bank accounts. This might be our last chance to make sure Congress gives real people the support they so desperately need.

Send this message to Congress right now: Commit to COVID-19 relief that puts people first, not corporations and polluters, for the next economic aid package.

Demand relief for people, not corporations

You don’t have to look far to see how broken our system was even before COVID-19. Those cracks in the system are becoming so big that it feels like we’re going to be crushed if we don’t rise up now.

Instead of focusing on helping real people, Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking U.S. taxpayers for a ride in the midst of this human tragedy. On Tuesday, a new tax loophole for multi-millionaires and billionaires was discovered in the last stimulus package Congress passed that will cost us ~$90 billion this year alone.

Oil companies on shaky financial footing are inventing harebrained schemes right now too. Instead of slowing down production to coincide with plummeting oil prices, Trump and U.S. oil have come up with a shady, convoluted plan to keep drilling and fracking even though the oil industry is producing so much oil that it’s running out of places to store it.

It’s never been more urgent to expose the cracks in the system that allow Trump and the oil industry to exploit this pandemic. Black, Brown, and low-income communities are dying from the coronavirus at a higher rate because they’ve typically been exposed to higher levels of air pollution and have less access to healthcare. This is unconscionable.

Now is the time to protect all workers, prioritize everyone’s health, and move away from our extractive economy that produces and consumes until no end.

Once you send a message to Congress telling them to put people first in the next relief package, you’ll be part of the millions of people who are rising up right now. Keep fighting and so will we.

Demand relief for people, not corporations

Vanessa Butterworth

By Vanessa Butterworth

Vanessa currently works as the Senior Digital Strategist at Greenpeace and sits on the Rising Tide North America organizing team. Outside of paid work, she organizes with frontline groups against police brutality, gentrification, and environmental racism. Over the past ten years, she's worked on campaign, mobilization, direct action, and movement strategy across the US and Canada. She's originally from Mississauga of the New Credit Territory as known as Caledon, Ontario, but now lives in Oakland, California on Ohlone Territory.

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