Logun Buckley is the Organizer for the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans. -promoted by Laura Belin
On February 16, organizational and community leaders called on U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson to stand up for Iowans when it comes to pandemic relief legislation.
Iowans have been struggling for the past year dealing with the lack of response and urgency to the COVID-19 crisis. Whether it is the need for state and local aid to keep government staffing and services available to the public in this uncertain time, funding for vaccines and vaccine distribution, the need for loans and other financial assistance to the small business that are giving it their all just to hold on, or the moral imperative that the passage of the coronavirus relief bill would provide to the many Iowans who have lost their jobs, their health insurance, and are just barely scraping by each month - we need Hinson to vote in favor of President Joe Biden’s COVID relief plan.
Iowans need Hinson, part of the Republican minority caucus, to fight for us and work across the aisle by passing Biden’s coronavirus relief bill in full immediately. The pandemic continues to devastate the country. More than 5,321 Iowans have lost their lives, and 93 percent of them were over age 60.
Chris Schwartz, Black Hawk County Supervisor and director of Americans for Democratic Action, commented, “Assistance to state and local governments is a critical ingredient for a full and complete economic recovery. Right now cities and counties are facing increased expenses and decreased revenues causing some to cut core services like public health.”
“When we talk about pandemic recovery it’s important to note that the aid is not a red issue or blue issue, but a smart investment and the right thing to do,” said Sue Dinsdale, Director of Iowa Citizen Action Network and Lower Drug Prices Now Iowa. She added,
Robust, unrestricted aid is critical to quickly distributing the vaccine, preventing our children from falling behind, reopening shuttered businesses, and eliminating cuts to essential public services that will prolong the health and economic crisis. We need to use this opportunity to beat this virus and get our communities back to work. We must take a bold approach to testing, tracing and vaccine distribution.
While we are grateful for the incredible effort put forth by these companies to come up with a vaccine in record time, we also recognize that our tax dollars played a huge part in the development of them. COVID-19 vaccines should not be controlled by corporations but rather distributed fairly and made available free of charge, to every individual, rich and poor alike. Absolutely no one should be denied access to a life-saving vaccine because of where they live or how much money they have.
Andrea Geary, owner of Milkbox Bakery in Cedar Falls noted,
The people of Iowa’s first Congressional district elected Ashley Hinson and tasked her with looking out for our best interests. The reality is that after nearly a year of this pandemic being poorly handled, Iowans are suffering. Iowa’s small businesses again that have been lucky enough to not yet have their doors closed are hanging on by the scantest of threads. Today, I’m calling on Representative Hinson to put the power of her Congressional office behind this bill. Our small business community, the backbone of our rural communities depend on it.
Rev., Dr. Abraham Funchess, faith leader and pastor at Jubilee Methodist Church & Freedom Center in Waterloo, commented on the moral responsibility of elected officials.
I just want you to know that I contracted COVID. It took me about a month and a half to come out of it. The symptom that gave me pause was the fact that I could not breathe. Out of that, I began to appreciate all of the people on the front line, everybody that worked with me. The doctor that visited with me and told me that I just needed a little help to get over. They gave me a steroid and a liter of oxygen and after a little bit of time I was able to recover some sense of normalcy.
When I could not breathe, I began to feel something in common with so many brothers and sisters, not only in Iowa but across the United States of America. When we deal with this physical and, shall we say political asphyxiation, where people are trying to take your breath away. If you ever take the moment to realize what it's like not to be able to breathe, not to be able to live, not to be able to move, take care of yourself and or your family. The dignity that's associated with any and all of that is something that comes to the forefront. So we’re asking Congresswoman Hinson to make sure that she uses the power of her office to do all that she can to ensure that there is no delay in getting this relief to the everyday ordinary blues people all over the country, but especially for our brothers and sisters here in Iowa. We need this now more than ever, like we have always and we certainly want her to play her role, play her part in making sure that that comes to us.
Logun Buckley, Organizer with the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans concluded by saying,
This is not a red or blue issue, this isn't a partisan issue. This is about getting relief to people now. People who are struggling, people who are suffering. Representative Hinson has that power. She can vote to authorize this COVID relief bill and help the struggling families in Iowa's first Congressional district. We want her to do that and we will cheer her along the whole way. Please Representative Hinson, when this reaches your ears, please consider this when you are casting your vote because there are peoples' lives on the line here.
The Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans is circulating a petition to call on Hinson to pass COVID-19 relief now.
Click here to view the entire presentation.
Co-sponsors of the event included: Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Lower Drug Prices Now-Iowa, Americans for Democratic Action-Iowa.
Editor's note from Laura Belin: Hinson has said she will oppose the Democrats' latest COVID-19 relief package, and has described aid to state and local governments as a "blue state bailout."