Seven congressional leaders join 450+ progressive organizations to demand people’s bailout in response to coronavirus crisis

(Image: Indigenous Environmental Network - Twitter)

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Dear Colleague letter to Congressional leaders calls for “down payment” on green economy

News Release

Indigenous Environmental Network

Indigenous Environmental Network is participating in a large coalition that is developing the “Five Principles for Just COVID-19 Relief and Stimulus” initiative that is the foundation to the People’s Bailout Campaign in order to ensure that tribal and Indigenous communities are represented.

Senator Ed Markey, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Representative Mark Pocan, Representative Debbie Dingell, Representative Pramila Jayapal, and Representative Barbara Lee join more than 450 progressive organizations across the country to launch a new People’s Bailout campaign to push Congress to focus on the needs of working people and to address the urgent threat of climate change in any federal response to the coronavirus crisis.  

As reports warn of unemployment rates hitting over 2 million Americans soon, the advocates’ push for a People’s Bailout laid out demands in a letter sent by the seven progressive lawmakers to fellow lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate for any coronavirus response legislation, including providing economic relief directly to people, forbidding bailouts for corporate executives, and encouraging investment in a green economy.

“We will not let Congress leave anyone behind — especially our Native nations and Indigenous peoples living in urban cores. Indigenous peoples will be among those hit the hardest and it’s time for the U.S. administration and policymakers to step up and do what's right in fulfilling its legal obligations to our Native nations who are experiencing shortfalls in essential health care and financial crisis by this unprecedented global pandemic,” said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

“As we work to advance further spending packages to ensure immediate relief and long-term recovery, we need to consider the interrelated crises of income and wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified,” reads the Dear Colleague letter sent by Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Pocan, Dingell, Jayapal, and Lee. 

“Opportunists in the fossil fuel industry are looking to benefit from the chaos and pain frontline communities who opposed their extractive projects are experiencing right now. This is a moment for policy makers to pivot to a just stimulus bill that centers Black, Indigenous, people of color,” said Bineshi Albert, Coordinator of Indigenous Movement Building for the Indigenous Environmental Network. “We will be heard or Washington will be held accountable.”

For more information on the Just Stimulus push, including for a full list of participating organizations, click here: https://www.thepeoplesbailout.com.

Established in 1990, The Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. Indigenous Environmental Network’s activities include empowering Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.

Learn more here: ienearth.org

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