Our Message to Governor Ducey
By Emily Kirkland
The numbers are grim. Arizona diagnosed 4,273 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and we now have one of the worst outbreaks in the world. More than 300,000 Arizonans are out of work, and 5,000 families could lose their homes over the next few weeks in Maricopa County alone.
We’re dealing with a health crisis, an unemployment crisis, a housing crisis, and an education crisis, all at the same time. Arizonans are being asked to make impossible choices, with the suffering concentrated in working class communities of color. We need bold action and we need it now – really, we needed it months ago.
Governor Ducey’s leadership has been sorely lacking throughout this crisis. Here is what he needs to do now:
1. Protect our health. Require masks statewide. Do everything possible to increase and speed up testing.
2. Ensure Arizonans who have lost their jobs can eat, pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. Fix the continued problems at the Department of Economic Security. Bring the legislature back for a special session to increase weekly payments.
3. Keep families in their homes. Get rent assistance money to those who need it. Extend and strengthen the eviction moratorium.
4. Fund schools. Bring the legislature back and push them to fund virtual learning, along with retrofitting, smaller class sizes and protective equipment once we’re ready for students to come back. Do not open schools before it’s safe!
5. Protect the most vulnerable. Identify and release medically vulnerable people from Arizona prisons and jails.