Philadelphia, PA, On Monday, April 6th, Rick Krajewski and Nikil Saval released their joint “COVID-19 Recovery Platform for Pennsylvania”. The campaigns have implemented programs to connect neighbors to mutual aid services through phone banking. Both teams have robust volunteer programs and have reached out to 62,000 voters so far this election cycle and 28,000 neighbors since the COVID-19 crisis ensued. The COVID-19 recovery platform follows the campaigns’ immediate response and proposes a larger vision for Pennsylvania amidst and after this crisis. None of the other candidates, including the incumbents in both races, have developed a recovery platform or launched mutual aid services.
Krajewski and Saval’s COVID19 Recovery Plan “For All of Us” is a wide-ranging platform encompassing issues related to economic justice, labor rights, mass incarceration, healthcare, housing, education, and a Green Stimulus. Some features of the current recovery have delivered versions of what our communities have needed for decades: expanded unemployment compensation; guaranteed paid leave; cost-free healthcares; a moratorium on evictions, rent and mortgages; the accelerated release of elderly and juvenile prisoners.
Nikil Saval said, “The current recovery measures, however insufficient to meet current and future demands, are signals of what the government can do to protect its people. We could have always kept people in their homes; we could have always freed our people. Now that’s been proven, we must provide for and protect all of our families. ”
Working class people, already in crisis, will suffer the worst effects of the pandemic and our economic collapse. Last year, the Federal Reserve surveyed Americans and found that 40 percent—140 million people—would have trouble coming up with $400 in an emergency. COVID19 is that emergency, and it has forced millions more into crisis. More and more people are being asked to come up with money they don’t have: for nursing home stays, medical bills, rent, food. More and more people are being asked to make choices among essential goods—even when they need all of them to survive.
As candidates for the Pennsylvania state legislature, Saval and Krajewski have connected with their future constituents about their needs. As community organizers, they have worked for years with social movements that have sought to lay the groundwork for an equitable and sustainable future. This platform draws on both kinds of work; the campaigns are amplifying demands raised by organizations like Put People First – PA, Amistad Law Project, Abolitionist Law Center, and the Our City Our Schools coalition.
Rick Krajewski said, “Now comes the difficult task of turning this plan into real structural change. Our campaigns will be supporting the organized movements to have rent and mortgage moratoriums, to liberate our people from unsafe prisons, and to vastly expand our healthcare system.”
Both campaigns respectively are holding virtual town halls tonight to roll out the platform and are hosting a joint town hall on April 20th.
Learn more about Rick Krajewski at RickforWestPhilly.com.
Learn more about Nikil Saval at NikilSaval.com.