It’s important we take COVID-19 — and prevention measures — seriously, while at the same time remaining level-headed. The challenges we face personally, as individual communities, and as a nation are daunting. We are all living through something that we haven’t quite been through before. But that doesn’t mean we have to live in fear or paralysis. Now, more than ever we need bold leadership. We can rise to the challenges ahead.
My heart goes out to the hundreds of thousands of Arkansans who are being told to stay home but can’t because their job won’t let them, or because they simply can’t afford it. Staying put and letting bills pile up is a luxury most people can’t afford. It’s for these people that the Democratic Party of Arkansas must stand up and offer solutions.
We must stand up for them because the health and well-being of our state and nation depends on it. We must stand up for them because good health shouldn’t be a privilege. We must stand up for them because simply saying stay at home, without an income, isn’t good enough. Our people deserve better.
The spread of this virus and corresponding, necessary prevention measures is also causing its fair share of heartache for students. Seniors on college campuses and high schools throughout Arkansas are faced with the prospect of being deprived of their final moments — and celebrations — together. The value of these memories shouldn’t be trivialized, for many they’re quintessential life experiences. And of course they, like many working people, are faced with unforeseen financial and housing hurdles. They too deserve better.
We have seen a wide range of proposed bi-partisan solutions to these crisis, including:
- Direct payments to workers, families, and business owners
- Moratoriums on evictions, foreclosures, and utility cancellations
- Paid Sick Leave and Unemployment Insurance expansions
- Increased funding to hospitals and healthcare services
We must act quickly and decisively on both a state and a federal level. Now is not a time for delay, virtue signaling, or indecision. We must maintain our level-headedness and clarity of purpose and push forward to provide real solutions to this crisis. Decisive action today will literally save lives.
The challenge we face as a Party, as an organization, pale in comparison to the health and well being of the people of Arkansas. This is a serious strain on the DPA — and every campaign and county party in Arkansas and the nation. We have important work to do over the next few months, including our delegate selection process for the Democratic National Committee Convention in Milwaukee. We are committed to ensuring these vital tasks can be carried out in the most responsible manner possible.
The challenges ahead are daunting. But meaningful action now can make all the difference in the world. Our families, our friends, and our communities are at stake here. We need to all be here for each other. Reach out to your loved ones and your neighbors, especially those that are elderly and maybe alone.
It is my sincere hope that we rise from this together as a stronger nation. As a nation that cares more for its people, as a nation that has built stronger systems to protect working people and families, and as a nation that can look challenges head on and rise to the occasion.