Poverty Amidst Pandemic: A Moral Response to COVID-19

The following comes from a petition to President Trump, Vice President Pence and Members of the 116th Congress by The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, of which Just Harvest is a member.

Poor People's Campaign rally in DC, Jun. 23 2018The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us into an unprecedented national emergency. This emergency, however, results from a deeper and much longer-term crisis – that of poverty and inequality and of a society that ignores the needs of 140 million people who are poor or a $400 emergency away from being poor.

These millions of people are in dire need of critical attention immediately. We call on you to fulfill your moral and Constitutional responsibilities: expand the COVID-19 emergency provisions to care for us all and enact our Moral Agenda immediately.

Why is this important?

We cannot return to normal. Addressing the depth of the crises that have been revealed in this pandemic means enacting universal health care, expanding social welfare programs, ensuring access to water and sanitation, cash assistance to poor and low income families, good jobs, living wages and an annual income and protecting our democracy. It means ensuring that our abundant national resources are used for the general welfare, instead of war, walls, and the wealthy.

We also call on you to immediately enact the demands of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to fully address the COVID-19 outbreak and the underlying crises of poverty and inequality that made so many vulnerable right now. Read them here: bit.ly/PPCDemands


  1. Immediate, comprehensive and permanent paid sick leave for 100% of employees for this pandemic.
  2. Immediate health care for all, including 100% free COVID-19 testing, treatment and quality care to all.
  3. A guaranteed and adequate annual income/universal income, including rapid, direct payments to all low-wage and temporary workers for the duration of this crisis.
  4. A national moratorium on evictions, tax foreclosures, rent hikes, and a national rent freeze.
  5. Debt forgiveness for medical debt, student debt, water, utilities and other forms of household debt.
  6. Protections for our democracy and the right to vote with expanded opportunities to vote during this crisis and an expanded census to ensure every person is accounted for.


  • A national moratorium on water and utility shut-offs, a waiver of all late-payment charges, and reinstitution of any services that have already been cut off due to nonpayment, including access to cellular and internet service.
  • Ending work requirements on all federal benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid.
  • Permanent protections for social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

orange arrowView the rest of the demands and sign the petition at sign.moveon.org


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