March 20, 2020News
Last night Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California is now under emergency “shelter at home” protocols to prevent a surge in coronavirus cases in the state. On the same day, Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles issued their own orders.
In general, nonessential businesses will be closed and all residents must stay inside their residences and limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely essential, such as shopping for groceries or picking up medicine. Outdoor activity is allowed, with social distancing. Only essential business and government functions will stay open, such as hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants for pickup/delivery, gas stations, banks, and pharmacies.
This new protocol is absolutely the right step to save lives, but it will have a devastating impact on workers across the region. We have already seen a staggering rise in jobless claims, and we are just at the start of the curve. The only solution is a guaranteed basic income for all people — like we secured for our substitute teachers — as a human right and as the only way we can stabilize society.
As unionized workers in the public sector, we are using our voice in this time of crisis to advocate for our students and for the larger community through our Common Good and Community Support demands. Our leadership and constant communication across the city has made a difference in pushing on key policy areas, and we are building coalitions to do even more, specifically around guaranteed basic income, eviction, foreclosures, debt, payments, healthcare, ICE, and homelessness.