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Coalition of Civil Rights leaders pen letter to Congress

Call for immediate state and local aid

OW Staff Writer | 5/28/2020, midnight

The National Action Network, civil rights leaders, and faith leaders — representing combined congregations of more than 25 million people — sent a joint letter to Congress calling for swift passage of state and local aid in the next stimulus bill.

  The public health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has exposed long-standing systemic racial and economic injustices, including a lack of access to health care, which has contributed to higher rates of underlying conditions in the African-American community.  

  The letter states, “According to the Centers for Disease Control, African-Americans constitute 20 percent of all U.S. coronavirus deaths, although we are only 12 percent of the U.S. population … The economic harm that communities of color will suffer, if the federal government fails to act, will also be devastating.”

  “A pink slip is no way to thank our everyday heroes – but that is exactly what will happen unless Congress moves quickly to invest enough aid to fix the problem,” the leaders say in the letter. “We urge Congress to remember that, for decades, the public sector has been one of the nation’s most dependable employers of African-Americans, lifting generations of Black families into the middle class.”

“We are troubled by the reluctance of some elected leaders in Washington to step up for America’s communities in the same way they have for big banks and corporations. During this unprecedented moment of challenge and crisis, Main Street clearly needs the same consideration as Wall Street. And we are appalled by the impact this callous disregard for public services will have on