On Wednesday Mayor Bowser declared a state of emergency in DC in response to several confirmed cases of coronavirus in the region.
The safety of our community and our team is more important than anything else. With that in mind we’ve decided to change our approach to reaching voters over the next few weeks. I wanted to take a moment to share with you the steps we’re taking to protect our team, our community, and our vulnerable neighbors.
- We’re washing our hands *a lot* — and you should too. We are following all of the personal health recommendations from DC’s Covid-19 information team as well as the CDC. Our team will stay home if they feel sick and we ask all campaign volunteers to do the same.
- We’re going to suspend canvassing and door-knocking for at least two weeks. The health and safety of both our volunteers as well as our vulnerable neighbors is our highest priority right now and this is clearly the best way to support low transmission rates. We’ll provide more updates about our door-knocking plans later in March.
The moment we are in right now is also a reminder that things like Paid Family Leave, equitable access to hospitals and health care, and housing that is safe and affordable are life-or-death issues, and our work for stronger leadership on DC Council matters more than ever. Here’s how we plan to continue our work during this time, and how you can help:
- You can now sign up to phonebank from home. Phone banking has always been easy from our offices but now we’re making it possible for you to do it from your home. Sign up right here for an upcoming shift: the first 30 minutes of every shift is reserved for an orientation to walk you through how to do it.
- You can write postcards from home too. Want to write some postcards while you’re home? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll drop a stack of postcards at your front door along with addresses of where to send them.
- We’re working to create online conversations. We’ll be shifting some of our plans for in-person town halls to an online format like Facebook Live. We are still looking into the most accessible ways to host an event like this and will have more information for you soon.
- More to come. We’re working to get text-banking set up as well and are open to more ideas of ways to approach this challenge! This is a new moment and we are working hard to be creative about how to have conversations about the issues we care about.
In addition, I am thinking of those members of our community who are already directly impacted or at risk. I also recognize the way a crisis like this disproportionately impacts communities along racial and economic lines, from exacerbating economic insecurity, to unequal access to health care, to increased stigma, racism, and xenophobia. And I know everyone has different relationships to risk tolerance around health-related concerns, whether for themselves or a loved one. Consider checking on your senior neighbors to see how you can assist them right now, and donating to our homeless service providers.The best response is the one that puts the health of our most vulnerable neighbors first.
With care and solidarity,