Now that we are a couple months into the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, we’re starting to get a better idea of what’s possible when #PeopleLikeUs are in our public institutions and local and state governments to prioritize the health and well-being of all people in our communities.
It means giving people the resources they need to survive the pandemic and rebuild afterward. It means supporting undocumented immigrants when they are excluded from federal relief and making sure that the next bill protects them. But more of these kinds of inclusive responses are needed. We need all of our elected officials to follow the example of New Americans and people of color in office and stand with our communities. This is our moment to build a stronger, more inclusive democracy and world.
Here’s what a few of our alumni and other #PeopleLikeUs in office have done recently:
The Tri-Caucus—made up of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus—pushed for economic relief for foreign taxpayers without Social Security numbers in the last House coronavirus package, including for many undocumented immigrants and their U.S. citizen spouses and children.
U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass and Congressman Ruben Gallego drew attention to how states are putting workers of color at risk by re-opening businesses too soon.
Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym and her colleagues introduced an Essential Worker Protection Bill, which will protect workers who make sure their workplaces are healthy for themselves, fellow workers, and the public.
Michigan State Representatives Darrin Camilleri and Abdullah Hammoud introduced legislation that would strengthen Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act.
Michigan State Senator Stephanie Chang and her colleagues introduced five bills to protect worker safety and health.
U.S. Congresswoman Veronica Escobar called for the need to pass the Equality Act one year after it was passed by the House, reaffirming fairness and equality as core American values.
Georgia State Representative and NAL National Policy Advisor Bee Nguyen brought up the need for a hate-crimes bill in light of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
U.S. Senator Cory Booker introduced legislation to expand access to comprehensive health coverage for immigrants by reducing unfair and unjust barriers that currently exist.
From Yuri Kochiyama to Dalip Singh Saund to Larry Itliong, May is the month we pause and honor the Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders who led our fight to create a more inclusive democracy. Now, as we close out the month, we’re proud to uplift three of today’s fiercest AAPI leaders on Wednesday, May 27th at 3pm ET as they discuss how they are serving the people of New York during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
Our panelists—New York State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, NAL alum and President & CEO of Fountain House Dr. Ashwin Vasan, and candidate for Democratic district leader in AD 24 Moumita Ahmed—will share their insights on the pandemic’s impact on New York’s most vulnerable populations, reveal how Asian Americans are stepping up to lead, and share lessons learned for other cities during COVID-19 Stories from New York: Asian Americans in the Fight for Equity. Make sure you don’t miss this all-star lineup and the start of our new online series, The Tea on Democracy—sign up to reserve your spot today!
And now, because we all need an extra dose of positivity these days, here are three feel-good stories from the week:
- 73-year-old graduates with Ph.D. from Howard while amplifying the voice of Igbo women
- Princeton names its first black valedictorian in the university’s history
- The pandemic canceled her graduation. But this DACA holder still got her moment to shine.
Remember: Although we are physically distant, we are stronger together and always just a call, message, or post away. We’re in this together.
Stay healthy and safe!
The NAL Team