This is a Mother’s Day like no other for our country’s moms. We’re trying to keep our kids occupied, healthy, and safe. Watching our jobs disappear and our childcare centers close. Wondering how to keep our aging parents from evading social distancing rules. Struggling to feed our kids. Mourning our loved ones. Trying to understand how, at this moment, any lawmaker can oppose making food, health care, and paid leave available to all of us. Worrying about the future, often as we toss and turn at 3 a.m.
We’re in this together, but the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the fact that, although we’re in the same storm, we’re not all in the same boat. Some of us are experiencing more trauma than others and COVID-19 has compounded existing racial and gender disparities.
That’s why MomsRising and our more than a million members are urging Congress to center the racial disparity in COVID-19 deaths in all policies addressing the pandemic by developing and implementing health equity interventions and collecting health outcomes data by race.
In addition, in honor of Mother’s Day, MomsRising members across the nation are signing up to write postcards to remind other moms to vote in November, and virtually raising their hands on a map to show up as Beacons of Hope for other moms. We are also asking Congress to:
- Address the needs of families requiring childcare, as well as the needs of early childhood educators, such as childcare providers;
- Ensure all workers can access paid sick days and paid leave. The Families First Act expanded limited coverage to many, but it excludes up to 106 million working people. We need to make sure everyone gets access to paid sick days and that every working person gets access to paid medical leave too;
- Secure health care for all who need it, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay, and including those who are newly unemployed. This includes testing, treatment, medical exams, vaccinations, and wage replacement during isolation/quarantine. We also need to ensure that our frontline health care providers have all the assistance and medical supplies they need so they can continue showing up for us in a safe manner, and ensure that meeting health care needs does not lead to financial ruin for anyone;
- Continue to support and improve on the unemployment insurance (UI) system and make sure struggling families have the tools they need to make ends meet, including direct payments, nutrition assistance, UI tied to economic indicators, increased working family tax credits like the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) and Child Tax Credit, and a moratorium on rent/mortgage payments and utilities for those who need it;
- Encourage and incentivize decarceration in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as well as in states by releasing from jails, prisons, and detention centers people who do not pose a public safety risk, such as families held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, elderly people, and those housed in pre-trial detention and who are rehabilitated;
- Protect immigrant families; and
- Implement measures across the nation that will allow all eligible voters to cast their ballots, while prioritizing the public health of our communities.
This pandemic is exposing how the cracks in our national policies relating to work, life, and parenting are becoming catastrophes for working families. We will not recover if we ignore them for any longer. This Mother’s Day, America’s moms are demanding that lawmakers listen to our concerns and priorities, and address them now.
Reporters: Read this as a statement in our newsroom.