As our country braces for the impacts of COVID-19, Colorado will soon feel the one-two punch of the costs of a large-scale public health emergency response effort and deep economic shutdown. First responders are facing impossible challenges and choices, countless small businesses will be forced to close their doors, and without paid family leave, job security, and affordable health care and housing, countless families who were already struggling to make ends meet are heading toward catastrophe.
Take action by sharing your story & sending letters asking Governor Polis, the Emergency Economic Advisory Council, and Colorado Lawmakers to consider emergency measures in the following six areas:
Ensure no worker, regardless of their status, must worry about losing their job if they need to take time to care for themselves or a family member because of COVID-19. The paid leave law passed by Congress leaves out millions of workers, and Colorado should lead the way and close the loopholes to immediately ensure all workers are covered regardless of the industry or size of business they work for
The state must keep as many people insured as possible, streamline the application process and increase staff to meet rapidly growing demand for state health care programs and enrollment, and ensure that the cost of COVID-19 treatment is free or low cost to all Coloradans regardless of immigration status.
Expand access to unemployment insurance, food assistance, and other supportive programs regardless of status or employee classification. Not only do benefits need to be expanded, but we need to streamline the application process, increase staff to meet rapidly growing demand for benefits, and put steps in place to ensure working Coloradans can start to recover once the country pulls through this and the economy starts to recover.
The state should mandate a moratorium on all evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs for as long as needed and as well as the suspension of rent, mortgage, & utility payments and the forgiveness of any related debt.
The state must ensure that employers are complying with prevention and containment best practices and that all frontline workers receive training and have the proper equipment for their roles to prevent the spread of the virus and stay healthy. All employers -- not just those in critical industries -- must have contingency plans should people see their workplaces closed or their hours scaled back if this health emergency grows.
Workers must be able to raise their voices together for what they need to keep themselves and others safe. All workers deserve the freedom to organize together so they can have the collective voice and the ability to navigate critical situations such as this one.