Feeling helpless? Yeah, me too. With so many of us across the country in a government mandated lock down or social distancing, it can start to feel like we are in this alone. These times are unprecedented, and I won't pretend like I'm not scared out of my mind, but I'm trying to channel all that energy into small actions.
It is times like these when we really need people to join together and care for those in our communities. This list is just some of the actions I am taking to keep myself moving and from worrying about things I can't change. The things listed below are items that (almost) anyone can do from their home, whether or not they are in a high-risk category.
1. Stay home.
Yes, honestly. You need to stay home and protect those around you. Staying home is doing something to help.
2. Sign a petition to freeze rent and mortgage payments.
Recent estimates show that nearly 20% of the U.S. workforce have either lost their jobs or had their hours reduced. People cannot pay rent and the first of the month is quickly approaching. The government needs to freeze rent and mortgage payments, just as they have put a memorandum on evictions during this unprecedented time.
Sign the petition for your state calling on the governor to freeze rent and mortgage!
3. Donate to your local food back or national food distribution programs.
Food distribution programs are struggling all over the country. In Bellingham, the food bank closed down and in now offering smaller pick-up only options at various locations. Some food banks in Seattle have closed because they are not receiving the donated food they usually rely on. But the people who need this food need it now more than ever.
If you are one of the fortunate people who haven't lost their job, please consider donating financially to your local food bank or one of the programs distributing food in your area. That money could literally save the life of your neighbor at this point.
4. Sign the petition for a Green Stimulus Bill.
If the government is going to start issuing bailouts, we need to insist that the money goes towards those companies that will help us in the future. Big oil executives, Boeing, and car manufacturers don't need this money - their time has come and gone. Jump starting the economy is a perfect opportunity to invest in green energy, green jobs, and green manufacturing. Sign the petition.
5. Call your Congressional Representatives - No Oil Industry Bailout!
Oil industries are already looking to get bailout money from the government. In addition to signing the Green Stimulus Bill, directly call your representatives and tell them that you oppose any bailout to the fossil fuel industry. You can find out how to contact your congressional reps here.
6. Sign a petition to Tax Big Business (Tax Amazon) in Washington State.
Seattle desperately needs relief aid in order to support the healthcare works and community members in our city. We now have a stay-at-home order in place which means most businesses are closed. It is time for Amazon to help, now, by paying their fair share of taxes. Don't wait to tax them until later on - because this tax would make the most difference if implemented today. Sign the petition.