Tag Archive for: Legislation


Dr. Paul Zeitz

Launch of National Peoples’ Mobilization Calls for “COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal” Requires Putting People First, Not Profits

With the unnecessary death of over 50,000 Americans and many thousands more predicted to die, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group launched a national peoples’ mobilization today to demand that our political leaders prioritize saving as many lives as possible and take action to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 deaths.  

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group calls on Congress to urgently approve a comprehensive package of health and social measures that must address the racial and ethnic disparities that make Latinos and African-Americans more vulnerable, and the needs of immigrants, incarcerated people, and the homeless. Leaders call for the immediate passage of a “COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal” as part of the next COVID-19 stimulus package to protect, test, and treat:

  1. Effective Public Health Response: rapid implementation of the National COVID-19 Containment Program for Rapid Testing, Contact Tracing, & Isolation; All health providers and essential employees must be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that they can prevent COVID-19 infection.
  2. Urgent Services for the People: Emergency hunger prevention by expanding food stamps through SNAP; emergency rental assistance by providing $100 billion of emergency funding; urgent nationwide moratorium on shutoff of water, electricity, and broadband services, and they receive free COVID-19 emergency medical services;
  3. Emergency Support to Cities and Local Governments: At least $500 billion is needed to enable cities and local governments to maintain services and create jobs by prioritizing renewable energy and sustainability as part of the American economic recovery.

Statements from Leaders:

Dennis Kucinich, Former Member of Congress: “As governments move to protect Wall Street and financial systems from collapse, so, too, must they move to protect Main Street and social systems, to provide money, health care, food, and all those things which protect people.”

Professor Elizabeth Kucinich, Regenerative Systems Consultant, documentary filmmaker: “If we have learned anything from this current COVID-19 crisis it is that each of us is interconnected and interdependent. What happens to one affects all. It is imperative that local, state and federal policies address the needs of everyone. An inclusive  approach to food security, healthcare, economic well being, and access to communications for all is imperative for the vitality of our nation. To ignore our most vulnerable populations would be suicide.” 

Mustafa Ali, former Senior EPA Official & former senior advisor to President Obama, Environmental Justice leader: “Communities of color, lower-wealth communities and indigenous peoples continue to be the sacrifice zones where they are hit first and worst from pollution, climate change and now COVID-19. We must move our most vulnerable communities from surviving to thriving-and we can do it together as a beloved community.”

Domingo Garcia, President of LULAC: We must bold action to protect the lives of black and Hispanic people who are suffering disproportionately from COVID-19 because of the system of poverty and poor health care.  Latinos are on the front lines in the COVID-19 crisis on farms and factories, and they must be protected from COVID-19 with personal protective equipment (PPE) every day to reduce the risk of COVID19 infection at their jobs. LULAC is calling for Latinos to have access to emergency paid sick leave, expanded unemployment insurance and free testing and treatment.”

Mayor Jennifer Roberts, former Mayor of Charlotte, NC: “We need more stimulus funds to go directly to our cities and counties. They are on the front lines for public health, housing, small business, and other needs, and thousands of cities are facing budget shortfalls that will result in service reduction – in areas like public safety – without direct federal assistance.”

Jean Su, Energy Justice Program Director and an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, based in Washington, D.C.: “It’s deeply disappointing that this past Congressional package failed to include a moratorium on shutoffs of electricity, water and broadband services during this pandemic. Nearly forty percent of America is not covered by any state-mandated moratorium on power shutoffs, leaving millions of families unprotected and vulnerable to crippling debt. People’s needs shouldn’t be sacrificed for corporate balance sheets, and we’ll keep fighting to make sure this basic safeguard is in the next legislative package.”  

Dr. Walter Tsou, former Commissioner of Health, Philadelphia & former President of the American Public Health Association:  “Opening without a plan will not only cost lives, it will prolong the wave of joblessness, hunger and homelessness that is sweeping over our country. Just the act of gathering in crowds, which violates all social distancing rules, is turning the clock of recovery backwards.” 

Dr. Paul Zeitz, Executive Director of Build A Movement 2020 & Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Group: “Congress took an important step in providing $25 billion for a national testing strategy. Implementation must focus on a robust COVID-19 containment program for people living in nursing homes, the homeless, imprisoned people, and African-America and Latinos who are the most vulnerable populations.”

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group was formed in March 2020 by leading public health experts, faith and business leaders, current & former senior Congressional Hill staffers, current and former local and state elected officials, and leaders of global, national and local NGOs. Our mission is to support others in mobilizing the people’s voice to save as many lives as possible.

Our next President must save humanity

Our next President must be prepared to save humanity. In the face of a climate emergency that impacts every aspect of our lives, half-measures and plodding steps will not be sufficient. And we have just over 350 days to impact the election with this critical goal.

An effort to save humanity probably sounds extreme. But the science is clear: We are running out of time. Equally clear is that there are options for climate restoration that can do the job. We can save humanity.

This election cycle has focused more attention on climate justice than ever before. Several candidates are calling for a climate emergency. Several are offering bold ideas. But none yet has broken to the top of the field, according to our newly released Climate Restoration Emergency Action Scorecard.

Democratic voters in Iowa and around the country should be alarmed by the lack of ambition to address climate change by the Presidential candidates. 

CREA report card tracking saving humanity

All of the candidates are failing to respond adequately to our climate emergency. We need more than rhetoric and empty promises. 

Climate Restoration Emergency Action (CREA) won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination. Yet with bold leadership, it’s affordable and achievable. 

Now is the time for voters to make sure the next President leads a global movement for climate restoration. 

You can read the full report on the CREA report card here.

Ensure our next President helps save humanity

Our next President must also go beyond current ambitions for climate action. 

Besides ongoing mitigation (reducing CO2 emissions) and adaptation (preparing for inevitable consequences), the next President must set a new goal to achieve “climate restoration” — to repair the current damage and proactively ensure a safe and healthy climate for future generations.

The next President must mobilize the full capabilities of the federal government, universities, and the private sector to deploy innovative solutions to return atmospheric CO2 to safe levels of less than 300 parts per million by 2050. 

In addition, efforts must restore sufficient Arctic ice for eight months of the year to prevent permafrost melt and the resulting disastrous methane emissions. This is an urgent priority.

So far, none of the candidates have committed to this goal.

The next president must lead the rapid acceleration of the three legs of climate action: mitigation, adaptation, and restoration. This will require mobilizing the entire federal government and society on a scale not seen since Americans mobilized to win the battle against fascism in World War II.

So far, none of the candidates have committed to this goal.

Our next President must unify a broad range of constituencies within the Democratic party and demonstrate their skill to mobilize cross-partisan support that attracts Independents, green Republicans, and especially non-voting Americans. A unified political movement is an absolute prerequisite for breaking the political logjam to accelerate federal climate action.

So far, none of the candidates have committed to this goal.

Our greatest presidents have called on shared sacrifice to accomplish broad goals like winning World War II and ensuring “government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

A new president’s mission is a little more succinct: to ensure people shall not perish from the earth. The top agenda must be to save humanity.

Let’s join forces with all Americans and vigorously demand action to restore our climate.


Step 3- Consolidate our focus: Support a single bill for action

People often say our governmental leaders aren’t doing enough on climate change and they are right. The effort to date isn’t close to what’s needed to save humanity, which is why in Step 2 of our roadmap to climate justice we urged you to demand that our leaders commit to Climate Restoration, not just curbing carbon emissions. 

Without a doubt, our leaders are failing us as Build a Movement 2020’s climate scorecard makes clear.

But, we also have to realize that they are doing something (some of them, anyway). Did you know that right now there are about 50 bills languishing in Congress all offering solutions to global warming? 

This piecemeal approach, while commendable, represents a thousand flowers blooming, and nothing will become law. What we need is a bouquet of flowers that becomes a single, powerful message of lasting change. 

What if instead, we urge our political leaders to get behind a SINGLE bill that would in fact spur the tipping point of real change? This is Step 3. 

To recap:

Step 1: Forge systemic change


Step 2Demand more


And Step 3:  Consolidate our focus.

We are building a movement to consolidate support around significant Congressional action for change. 

Climate Restoration is already prioritized in recently introduced Congressional Climate Emergency Resolutions (S.Con.Res.22, H.Con.Res.52) and by Santa Clara County, California (Res. 98193). Passing these bills into law would kickstart a worldwide “Climate Restoration Emergency Action” that can ensure that humanity can survive on Earth for generations. 

So far, our presidential candidates aren’t committing to Climate Restoration. Together, we will change that.

We can mobilize a bipartisan political movement to return atmospheric CO2 to safe pre-industrial levels by 2030 and restore Arctic ice to prevent permafrost melt and the resulting disastrous methane emissions.

Climate restoration won’t be easy — in fact, it will be the most challenging endeavor humanity has ever undertaken — but it can and urgently must be done, as fast as possible.

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