Submitted by Rebecca Parson Campaign.
Tacoma, WA — Rebecca Parson, a progressive Democrat challenging Rep. Derek Kilmer for his House seat in WA-06, has been hearing from worried Tacoma residents faced with increasingly dire economic consequences as local and state officials take wide-ranging actions to stop the spread of novel coronavirus. While actions such as closing all K-12 schools in the state through April 24 are a necessary response to this pandemic, our meager safety net means that working people across the state, like substitute teachers, gig workers, and part-time workers, may find it impossible to pay their rent or mortgage.
Parson’s campaign has joined with the Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee to call upon Mayor Victoria Woodards and the Tacoma City Council to take immediate actions in order to protect those most economically affected by the social distancing measures that Governor Jay Inslee has instituted. These actions include banning economic evictions and late fees citywide; establishing an emergency fund for renters; requiring utilities and landlords to negotiate payment plans with tenants and homeowners; creating more immediate emergency housing for our unhoused neighbors; and stopping the sweeps until adequate shelter is set up for all unsheltered people.
“This school closure could be catastrophic for many workers if adequate housing and employment protections aren’t put in place immediately,” Parson said. “This pandemic requires immediate and wide-ranging action. We are calling on our local officials to rise to the occasion and set an example for the nation of what a humane response to the coronavirus looks like.”
Parson noted that the coronavirus exposes the inherent cruelty that our most vulnerable citizens face: “In the absence of Medicare for All, universal paid leave, national rent control, and a Homes Guarantee, the City must step up to take these basic harm minimization steps to protect those who will be disproportionately harmed by official actions to contain the virus.”
Parson’s campaign has already suspended canvassing, and was among the first congressional campaigns in the country to do so. Out of an abundance of caution, the campaign will additionally no longer meet in senior centers. All meetings with seniors will be conducted by video conference.
The campaign has now transitioned to a 100% digital campaign and is bringing new tactics to the world of political campaigns in order to conduct digital canvassing.
Parson has spent her entire adult life fighting for progressive values: as a tenants’ rights organizer, a commissioner on the Tacoma Commission on Disabilities, and a court-appointed special advocate for kids in foster care. She has served as a human rights observer in a paramilitary-threatened indigenous community in Mexico, as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and she worked with the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Unlike corporate Democrats, Parson will follow through.
Parson has been endorsed by Brand New Congress, Our Revolution, and the Washington Democrats Progressive Caucus. Learn more about Parson’s campaign at: rebeccaforwa.com, and follow Parson on Twitter: @RebeccaforWA