Dear Editor:

Our families are hurting! COVID-19 cases are surging again, unemployment remains high, especially among women, and many schools and childcare centers remain closed. Georgia now has experienced more than 420,000 verified COVID cases.

Yet on Dec. 26, an estimated 12 million workers will be suddenly cut off from unemployment benefits, including 150,000 Georgians who will lose Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) — the program that supports caregivers whose kids’ schools or childcare programs are closed or remote.

According to the chief economist of Lending Tree, nearly a quarter of Georgia renters didn’t make last month’s rent payment, the fourth highest in the nation. Many more are afraid they won’t be able to pay for housing this month. This bleak picture comes as a federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire Dec. 31.

To protect public health and keep the economy afloat, Congress must deliver the support our families need.

We need U.S. senators who will stand up to Mitch McConnell, stand up for our families and immediately pass a comprehensive COVID-relief bill which extends federal unemployment programs, restores the $600-per-week boost in unemployment benefits, expands paid family leave and earned sick days, expands eviction protections that includes ALL who are on the front lines fighting COVID, and ensures every family can access the testing, care and vaccinations we need to fight COVID-19. 

We don’t need senators more concerned about increasing their personal wealth than looking out for us.

Peggy Perkins

Winder

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