Demand Congress fight for working people and families
Americans want to get back to work. But the lingering effects of the pandemic are keeping people out of the workforce. At the same time, employers are having trouble recruiting and retaining employees.
Fortunately, we have the tools at our disposal to strengthen the labor force for working people and businesses, increasing workers’ incomes now when they really need it.
The Build Back Better edition. COVID-19 cases are down and more people are working. But all is not well in America. Staggering numbers remain out of work and now there is emerging evidence, that as Black and brown communities lag behind in vaccinations, COVID-19 could become a disease that overwhelmingly impacts communities of color. Vaccinations – which reached a peak of nearly two million per day in April – have slipped under 400,000 a day, endangering President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of the country vaccinated by the 4th of July. Fewer than one in four Black Americans have received their first shot.
When we say we want to “build back better,” we do not mean that we want to “build back the way we were.” We don’t want to press a magical reset button that takes us back to the pre-pandemic days of late 2019. We aspire to be better and stronger and more united than we have ever been before in the history of the United States.
President Biden recognizes that for years we have neglected to improve the basic building blocks of our economic security – and many of the building blocks that were in place crumbled during the pandemic due to their inadequacy. These can be thought of as physical infrastructure, yes – roads, bridges, transit, housing, water and sewer lines, and utilities, including broadband. But they can also be thought of as human infrastructure. That means access to health care for all Americans, and good education, from preschool through college. It means aggressive intervention to make child care affordable, and ensure adequate pay for our home care workers. It means using government as a powerful force to fight discrimination regardless of race, gender, religion, immigrant status, or disability. It means protecting our workers by vesting in them the power and ability to help determine their wage levels and working conditions.
All of this is what it means to build back better. It will cost, yes, but if the rich and corporations finally pay their fair share, we can readily afford it. If you agree, please tell your Senators and Representative that we need to build back better and we need to do it now. Click here.
The numberof new COVID-19 cases and deaths reported on June 10. That’s down 42 percent and 22 percent from 14 days previously.
Eight of the ten states with thelowest vaccination rates are in the South. Experts attribute this to a combination of factors: hesitancy among conservative whites, concerns among some Blacks, and longtime challenges when it comes to health care access, transportation, and fear of having to take off from work.
As of June 7, less than one-quarterof Black Americans had received a first COVID-19 shot, according to available federal data. This comes even as evidence is surfacing that in recent months, the proportion of people contracting COVID-19 or dying from it increasingly is Black.
Despite accounting for 46 percent of the local population, Black residents in Washington, D.C. now make up more than 80 percent of the District’s COVID-19 cases. And the disparity in deaths is huge – of the 68 District residents who died from COVID-19 in April and May, 88 percent were Black, 6 percent were Latinx, and 6 percent were white.
Thenumberof states that are opting out of providing additional UI benefits, with four states beginning this Saturday (AK, IA, MS, and MO) and the rest ending aid through July. This will harm more than 3.9 million people.
After a total of $2,000 in stimulus checks per individual were distributed primarily in January and again in April, U. of Michigan researchers showedthat household food shortages declined 42 percent from January through April. A broader gauge of financial instability fell 43 percent. And among all households, frequent anxiety and depression fell by more than 20 percent.
The numberof people who continue to be denied health insurance because 13 states have refused to accept federal funding for Medicaid expansion. Nearly all of these states are in the South and Black and Latinx people are disproportionately represented among the 2.2 million.
$600b and growing
The estimated amount of unpaid taxes in the U.S. each year. That’s roughly equal to two-thirds of what the federal government spends on nondefense discretionary programs – meaning we could go a long way toward paying for President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan if we reined in tax cheats.
The national median hourly wage for child care workers. About half of child care programs do not offer health insurance. Yet unlike restaurants and other business, child care centers are largely unable to simply raise wages to attract workers because under the current system, many parents would be unable to pay the added cost.
The percentof Americans who say they have worried about not having a place to live, according to a recent CBS News poll. This is true of 50 percent of Americans with household incomes under $25,000 (and 22 percent with incomes this low have actually lost their homes). 43 percent of Blacks and 39 percent of Latinx have worried about losing their homes, compared to 24 percent of whites.