NCLEJ’s Statement in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

NCLEJ stands in solidarity with and in support of those that have been most affected by the COVID-19 crisis as it continues to ravage the nation and the globe. In a time when public officials have instructed most of society to stay at home in order to protect themselves and others from exposure, NCLEJ knows that many of the communities we serve are instead on the frontlines.

They are the healthcare and restaurant workers providing the necessary and lifesaving services that sustain us during this difficult time. They are the wage and hourly workers whose jobs have been furloughed and earnings have been slashed. They are the individuals with disabilities and preexisting conditions, who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, and to whom we owe the greatest duty and care. It is on behalf of those communities that NCLEJ continues to work.

We supported New York State’s new emergency paid leave bill and are working with our allies to ensure that the program is implemented in a way that provides essential funds to as many workers as possible.

We are working closely with our worker center partners to answer their questions about the crisis and support their organizing efforts as they navigate supporting themselves and their families without their regular paychecks, and we are preparing comprehensive resources for low-wage workers in New York City so that everyone has access to existing protections and programs, and fast access to new benefits being created under city, state, and federal law.

We are consulting with other advocates and sharing our knowledge and expertise as critical safety nets such as public assistance, food stamps (SNAP), and Medicaid become even more crucial than ever before while simultaneously facing potential capacity, accessibility, procedural issues as providers and consumers alike seek to maintain “social distance.”

Finally, we are raising our voices, along with fellow social justice advocates in support of a debt collection moratorium in New York, the suspension of Title IX rulemaking during the crisis,  and the removal of immigrant family exclusions to any proposed federal COVID-19 relief.

As developments continue to unfold, NCLEJ will continue fighting to ensure that low-income families, individuals, and communities across the nation retain their rights as well as access to critical, life-saving programs. We hope that you will support us in these efforts.

In the meantime, please stay safe and well,

The NCLEJ Team