A message from Community Labor United on COVID-19

Dear friends and allies of Community Labor United,

In these unprecedented times, we are heartened to unite with and to witness the acts of solidarity and responsiveness that our partners are marshaling within the community. Many are fighting day-to-day on the frontlines—working, volunteering, and speaking out–to ensure the most vulnerable in our community are fed, sheltered, healthy, and sustained.

With brutal efficiency, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the stark inequities in our systems and society. The struggles that so many are facing to win just and sustainable access to health care, child care, housing security, and the dignity of economic security has never been more pressing—and the special preference and privileges awarded to wealthy individuals and corporations at a time like this are an indecent contrast. This moment affirms the indispensable role of good governance and full investment in public goods, like transportation and education, in ensuring that each and every one of us can thrive—whether in times of crisis or not.

Community Labor United’s role, as always, is to build a united front among our partners to make our work stronger and our force more powerful. As we respond to the moment and struggle to ensure the basic needs of our communities are met, Community Labor United will continue to:

  • LISTEN: Listen to our partners and work with them to assess the needs they are hearing about on the ground, linking them to critical resource and support systems. Our partners are transforming their activism and are increasing online engagement to ensure our government hears from communities and workers about the needs of the most vulnerable.
  • SHARE: Share opportunities to show solidarity and support, as well as resources, by tapping into the vast and growing network of Community Labor United allies and partners. We will foster unity, resource-sharing, and mutual aid, and work toward securing safety and protections for all, especially for poor people, for people of color, and our undocumented sisters and brothers.
  • FOCUS: We are working with our partners to update our scope of work in a way that focuses on the specific and urgent needs of workers, immigrants, and people from low-income communities and communities of color, in this urgent moment. Even as we shift our work and priorities to respond to this new crisis, we will remain true to the principles that guide us and bring us together and fight forward by waging strategic campaigns.
  • WORK: Our staff has transitioned to working remotely and have the tools to continue their organizing, research, advocacy, and coordination roles while doing so.
  • ORGANIZE: We recognize that employers, corporations and the right-wing often take advantage of crises like this one, pushing policies that hurt working and poor people in both the short and long terms. Too often, influential corporate lobbyists attempt to use disasters to their advantage, securing tax breaks, privatization, and austerity. In close coordination with our partners, Community Labor United will remain vigilant in identifying and calling out those threats from corporations and the right-wing as they arise. At the same time, the public health and economic impacts of this virus starkly illustrate the need for the world of equity and justice we are already fighting for. Together, we will continue to advance actions and policies to both flatten the curve of the virus; and to bend the arc of this urgent moment toward justice for the benefit of working and poor people today, tomorrow, and in the future!

In the coming weeks, you will be invited to share solidarity actions and resources with CLU, so that we can help to amplify, to aid, and to promote your efforts among our community and network of advocates. We aim to be a clearinghouse of information for the many inspiring things happening on the frontlines of local and regional activism and to send out regular updates that make it easier for communities to both access resources and to stay engaged in the fight. 

Thank you for being a part of Community Labor United’s efforts to build the most effective and unified response to this crisis for the benefit of poor and working people.

We know that a better world is possible — and together, we will make it happen. Thank you, as always, for standing with us in that effort.

In these difficult times, we stand with you, and we will be there for you.

In unity,
Lee Matsueda
Executive Director, Community Labor United

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