The Poor People’s Campaign calls on Governor Bill Lee to provide immediate relief and remedies in the following areas:
1. The Governor must immediately repeal his executive order and allow local school districts and educational agencies the freedom to employ the tools of digital and remote learning whenever necessary and without restrictions, for the health and safety of the students and their families,teachers and staff and their families and communities.
2. He must call for all schools to, as a public health and safety measure, mandate the wearing of masks for students, teachers, staff and all who enter public school buildings, unless there is evidence of a chronic respiratory illness and wearing a mask would compromise the person’s health to a greater degree than being exposed to a serious infectious disease.
3. All federal funds meant for public schools and COVID-19 Mitigation must be used for public schools only.
4. Support teachers through such measures as hazard pay and Covid sick days without compromising existing benefits such as personal sick days and Healthcare.
5. Meet with the Physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, Nurses, and Healthcare Professionals from across this State, then incorporate best practices that they and agencies like the CDC and APA recommend when changing or creating public policies.
6. Encourage and promote increased paid COVID leave, hazard pay, and other forms of assistance to the workers that have been classified as essential but haven’t been given the essentials to survive. These workers have declared that, “ I Am, We Are, Essential!” and this should be affirmed in direct public assistance and policies.
7. We would recommend the first Policy Priority “Enact Comprehensive, free and just Covid-19 relief” to your attention as a guide to creating a more just, effective and moral response to the continuing crisis of Covid in Tennessee.