Demand Gov. Newsom Cancel Rents, Mortgages and Provide Aid to the Undocumented

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Governor Gavin Newsom:

We the undersigned residents of California, along with the whole population of the United States, are experiencing the most unimaginable and devastating crisis of COVID-19, which no one could realistically have prepared for. As you are aware, millions have lost their jobs, millions more stand to lose their incomes in weeks and months to come. One of the most critical issues is housing.

We appreciate that you have instituted the necessary isolation measures statewide early in this crisis, and have issued a suspension of evictions, but it is not nearly enough. Your executive order requires the rent to be paid at some point in the future, when in reality the accumulation of rental debt will be insurmountable given the depth of the crisis. Millions face ruin and homelessness for inability to pay the rent or mortgage.

What sounds like an impossible demand — rent and mortgage cancellation — must become a reality because the COVID-19 crisis shows no sign of abating. Already economists predict the economy could reach depression levels that surpass the 1930s;

Whereas, housing and utilities are an absolute necessity for every human being, especially during the life-and-death struggle against COVID-19;

Whereas, the cost of housing for Californians already consumes 30% to 50% and more of a person’s income, and 40% of the population does not even have $400 for an emergency, according to a Federal Reserve 2019 study;

Therefore, we urgently call on you, Governor Newsom, to declare:

  1.  A statewide cancellation of all rents, mortgages for homeowners, small landlords and small business, for the duration of the Pandemic;
  2. No shutoff of gas, electricity and water utilities, the restoration of utilities for households that are currently shut off for lack of ability to pay, no accumulation of debt;
  3. Eminent domain over vacant buildings, homes, hotels, all appropriate structures to house the homeless or people in precarious housing situations, including the undocumented and victims of domestic violence;
  4. Create a public board to register the undocumented workers in the state, so they can gain immediate economic relief with no reprisals. They are a mainstay of the state's economy, in farm labor and packinghouse work, construction, restaurants, hotels, landscaping, factory, childcare, domestic work and more. They must be granted emergency income or employment until the Pandemic crisis is over. They lack eligibility for the CARES Act relief and other benefits like Social Security or Unemployment, due to Congress’s failure to provide legalization for our brothers and sisters. Many of their children are U.S.-born citizens.

This petition is initiated by the Gloria La Riva for President campaign and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. We urge all organizations in California to support the call.

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