A Message From Our Executive Director: Promoting Health and Protecting the Vulnerable During COVID-19

Dear Friends:

As we work together to confront the challenges of COVID-19, all of us at PSR-LA are hopeful that our members, friends and allies are safe and healthy. Our staff moved swiftly over the past two weeks to implement work from home procedures, and we are so very grateful for our health professionals, who are on the front lines of the medical response to the pandemic. 

As part of the justice response to the deep systemic failures this pandemic is laying bare, PSR-LA is proud to join with our local movement partners in support of demands for a moratorium on evictions for families and small business, services not criminalization for unhoused Angelenos, and forgiveness of student debt. We also demand a federal stimulus package that prioritizes the needs of workers and families and does not reward polluters or worsen the climate crisis. 

Our government’s inadequate response to COVID-19 is exposing our country’s misplaced budget priorities and the vulnerabilities of our extractive economy. Given systemic racism and gross inequalities of wealth and power, we know that low income and communities of color will be hardest hit by the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. This unprecedented crisis shows just how urgently we need to promote health as a right while fighting to protect our planet and its people. 

This moment also demands that our movements fight for the things made possible by this shock to the system: a green new deal that puts community and workers first; a healthcare system that guarantees quality care and health to everyone regardless race, income and immigration status; and an equitable economy that places the basic needs of people above the needs of corporate interests like the oil industry and nuclear weapons manufacturers. 

The health voice is at the center of the conversation and PSR-LA is prepared to do what we do best — move ideas forward for justice-based solutions that protect the most vulnerable. Things are moving rapidly and we will communicate frequently to keep you informed of our work. In the meantime, we strongly encourage our allies and partners to take action with us to urge the LA City Council to protect residents during the pandemic and demand a federal COVID-19 relief and stimulus that bails out the people and not corporations. 

We’re in for some difficult days ahead, but with continued courage and the unity created by our shared goals of health and justice, we can make it through this crisis and create a safer, healthier world. Please follow us on social media to be part of the conversation and contact us directly at [email protected] if you want to be in touch.

Health and justice for all.

In solidarity, 

Martha Dina Argüello

Executive Director

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