From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jesse advocated for a response centered on the most vulnerable – the families and workers being disproportionately impacted by this crisis.
Jesse has led in this campaign by calling for creating a robust safety net that is long overdue and enacting policies that rebuild our economy in a just and equitable way.
As we work to rebuild, Jesse knows we need to make sure we are centering vulnerable populations and equity in our recovery, including tackling the climate crisis through an environmental justice lens, creating a fair economy, investing in safe and reliable public transit, investing in our education system to focus on equity, ensuring access to affordable housing, fixing our broken health care system, and addressing the systemic racism and inequity in our systems.
Leading during a crisis is nothing new to Jesse – she helped lead Planned Parenthood Massachusetts when abortion rights were at grave risk, she stood alongside Governor Deval Patrick during the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath, and she helped secure urgently needed paid family and medical leave for workers in Massachusetts. Her experiences led Jesse to center the needs of residents across the Fourth Congressional District, especially the most vulnerable among us, as the COVID-19 crisis emphasized and worsened the existing inequities in our communities. Jesse compiled a resource bank to share with residents who need support, raised money and awareness for direct service organizations that serve our communities, and spoke out continually about what needed to be done to provide relief to people, protect our elections, and rebuild a fairer economy.
Jesse wants to bring that experience to Washington to ensure we recover from this crisis and rebuild an economy that is equitable – an economy that works for everyone.
Here is Jesse’s plan to lead us out of this crisis:
- Build a Real Federal COVID-19 Response
- Ensuring frontline workers have PPE. The continued shortage of PPE that has been reported by frontline workers is inexcusable. Jesse will continue to demand that Donald Trump use the powers of the Defense Production Act to ensure that frontline workers are given the necessary protections. This includes first responders, teachers and others on the frontlines who will need PPE to ensure our safety as the Commonwealth opens up and moves forward over the next year.
- Ramping up testing, contact tracing, and treatment. We need better tracking of COVID-19 to prevent a resurgence. Jesse wants to ensure all Americans have access to treatment and testing. She will demand that our government collects and shares comprehensive data around race, ethnicity, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and gender identity and sexual orientation so that disparities can be addressed in real time. This crisis has also shown us the potential of Telehealth and the need to expand access to telehealth services and ensure they are properly regulated and reimbursed.
- Centering voices of frontline workers in the re-opening process. Jesse knows that, as we move to re-open our economy, our doctors, nurses, residents, EMTs and frontline support workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities must have a voice in this process as they are on the frontlines of this crisis and can provide key guidance on how to re-open safely and reduce the risk of a resurgence. Workers’ voices must be part of figuring out how to best create safe and healthy work environments moving forward.
- Preparing for resurgence or future public health crisis. In addition to centering the voices of frontline workers and taking their advice on protective measures we can take to avoid a resurgence, we need to reinstate the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense to ensure we are better equipped to handle and able to predict future pandemics and public health crises.
- Building a Fair Economy
- Implementing a national paid leave program. No one should have to make the decision between earning a paycheck and taking care of themselves or a loved one. Jesse believes we need a national paid leave program, including emergency sick leave. Just like she helped secure paid family and medical leave in Massachusetts, Jesse will bring this fight with her to Congress.
- Providing financial stability for workers and families. Jesse knows that Congress must do better than a one time $1,200 check. She supports providing a payment of $2,000 per month per person as we navigate this crisis, ensuring funds go to those who most need it and are protected from debt collector seizures, and expanding relief to include students and undocumented immigrants so that those who are unemployed have the support they need to recover from this economic crisis. She also supports proposals to provide immediate debt relief to consumers, protect consumers’ credit, cancel student debt, increase food stamp assistance, invest in job creation and training, and protect renters from eviction.
- Providing additional aid to cities and states. Jesse is committed to ensuring that our local and state governments have the federal support they need to recover from this crisis, including emergency funding to address COVID-related budget deficits to properly fund our frontline services, schools, hospitals, and transportation systems.
- Funding the Postal Service. Jesse also believes we have a responsibility to support the United States Postal Service, which provides a critical and irreplaceable public service to our entire country.
- Getting meaningful relief to small businesses. Jesse wants to ensure that Paycheck Protection Program funds are actually going to small businesses, not publicly-traded or large national or international companies. She believes we must also ensure that women and minority-owned businesses in particular are given equitable access for relief funds.
- Implementing an emergency Medicare program. Jesse knows that we need to pass Medicare for All, now more than ever, as a long-term solution to our country’s health care crisis. In the interim, we must enact an emergency Medicare program to provide health care coverage to those who lose their jobs but don’t yet qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.
- Providing affordable early education and child care. Jesse will advocate for affordable early education and child care. It is critical that, as we move to re-open, we provide support for those parents who have to return to work before schools reopen. Early education and child care providers must be supported in the re-opening process, and workers in these important roles must be paid a living wage.
- Enacting a national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. No one should be faced with the threat of losing their housing in the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis because they can’t pay the bills. Jesse is grateful that Massachusetts passed a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions but this must be extended and implemented at the national level through the recovery.
- Supporting the economy throughout the re-opening phases. Jesse understands that we need to address barriers to businesses getting back and running as businesses of all sizes will have to figure out new ways to operate and protect workers. She will advocate for business leaders to be a part of discussions as we chart a path forward and support innovators that have been at the forefront of developing a vaccine, creating new PPE and testing methods, and figuring out to keep workers safe and offices clean going forward.
- Protecting our Democracy & Vulnerable Populations
- Adopting vote-by-mail. Jesse believes we must establish vote-by-mail and no-excuse voting immediately and remove restrictions such as witness requirements to protect people as we exercise our right to vote. We also need to expand voter participation safely through early voting, same-day registration, online registration and additional polling locations. These steps are necessary to ensure that our elections are free, fair, and safe for all, because a functioning democracy is vital to America’s recovery.
- Minimizing risk in the criminal justice system. Jesse believes detention facilities must have plans in place to protect the health of inmates and staff. Non-violent individuals who are at high risk for the virus should be released. There should also be a freeze on low-level, non-violent arrests and pre-trial detentions due to cash bail to limit overcrowding.