Demand that Mayor Berke and Coppinger take further action to address COVID-19

Demand that Mayor Berke and Coppinger take further action to address COVID-19

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Community Control Now started this petition to TN Governor Bill Lee and

   As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and impact countless lives, we must demand that our state and local officials take action now. Chattanooga’s Mayor, Andy Berke, and Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger must use their executive powers to mitigate the harm and take steps to lessen the impact that this virus will have on our most vulnerable community members. Though efforts are being made in the city and county, these are not enough to guarantee and protect the basic human and civil rights of all our residents. Berke and Coppinger must also use their positions of power to pressure judges, local law enforcement, and Tennessee’s Governor, Bill Lee, to immediately implement the following demands which have been crafted by a coalition of over forty justice-oriented and grassroots groups located across the state. We call on all local and state officials who have the power to meet these demands to ensure that all of our people are safe and have access to the resources they need to survive this crisis and live fuller lives beyond this state of emergency. The full description of the demands, can be viewed by clicking this link:

We, the undersigned, demand:

  1. Local Jail Prison and Detention Center Release
    -Immediate release of people being held in local jails,prisons, juvenile and pretrial detention centers, including life sentences who have served at least 20 continuous years, individuals with less than three years to serve, and any individual incarcerated solely for a drug charge. 
    -End pretrial detention and release all newly accused of a crime on their own recognizance without setting bail and without restrictions. 
    Release all incarcerated people who are particularly vulnerable to illness; including but not limited to elderly and pregnant people, and/or those with serious chronic medical conditions, mental illness or differing ability. 
    -Cease ICE enforcement and all for individuals who have ICE holds to be immediately released from county jails, private prisons and all detention centers. 
    -Cease all in-person court proceedings, in-person parole officer meetings and pretrial hearings. Vacate all outstanding bench warrants, dismiss any pending charges and probation violations, and expedite the release of anyone being held in a halfway house. 
    -Suspend all court costs and parole fees, including fees for video visitation, and telephone calls. Institute daily COVID-19 screening options for incarcerated people who request, including temperature checks.
  2. Housing
    -Immediately enact rent, mortgage, and eviction suspensions.
    -Provide uninterrupted access to public utilities and suspend utility payments.
    -Provide housing and care for the unhoused. Utilize state and emergency powers to commandeer local hotels/motels and other unused land and properties for use as emergency shelters for those who are unhoused and those being released from jail, prison, and detention. 
  3. Workers’ Rights and Economic Justice
    -Provide paid time off, paid sick days, and ensure healthcare is provided to all workers. 
    -Hire back laid-off workers after the pandemic and ban retaliation against workers who miss work due to sickness, emergencies, or choosing to socially distance themselves. 
    -Provide personal protective equipment, health training, migration and travel means for all essential workers. 
    -Urge Governor Lee to establish a Guaranteed Basic (monthly) Income of $2,000 per adult, $500 per child, and an additional $100-200 for those with special needs.
  4. Healthcare
    -Provide free healthcare for all. Urge Governor Lee to immediately expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans.
    -Provide free preventative measures and sanitation products, free medical testing, and free treatment to all people.
    -Maintain full treatment and support for individuals experiencing substance use disorder and/or mental health challenges.
    -Supply food and necessary items including vegetables, fruits, cooking supplies, and sanitizing materials in communities impacted by food aparthied. 
  5. Voting Rights
    -Implement a “no excuse” vote-by-mail/absentee ballot that allows everyone to request a mail-in ballot without regard to age, need, disability, language status, or other reasons. 
    -Extend the deadline to request absentee ballots to three days before elections.
    -Provide early voting and in-person drop off options, as well as mail-return options for those voting by absentee ballot. 
  6. Education 
    -Provide supplies and technology for students to strengthen access to distance learning, laptops, free Wi-Fi, and school supplies. 
    -Provide food delivery to students, as well as financial support to meet the needs of students and educators.
    -Eliminate student loan debt, refund tuition and college fees, and ensure that the degrees for teachers and educational assistants remain accredited and valued. 

    Every resident of Chattanooga deserves to live well, with everything they need, and their innate human rights respected. Mayor Berke, as well as all state and local public officials, must do everything in their power to meet these demands. An inadequate response or anything less than what we deserve is unacceptable, and we will remember. We are not only fighting for what needs to be done right now to prevent the further spread and lasting harm of COVID-19, but also for a commitment to long-term recovery and structural transformation in order to meet the needs of all of our people. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!