A Letter From Faith in Action About What We Can All Do to Help During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear Friends,

This week, the reality of the worldwide health crisis is hitting home for all of us in San Mateo County. As faith leaders across many traditions, we share the fundamental truth that our values are built on the foundation of the interdependence of all human beings––a truth that is becoming clear right now in painful ways.

Faith in Action Bay Area and the Peninsula Solidarity Cohort is asking for your immediate help, so that this interdependence may show forth in mutual aid, care for our neighbors, and the health of our whole community. We believe that this is our shared moral imperative, and a matter of immediate, urgent protection for all.

As you know, many of our county’s hardest workers do not have the option to do their work from home. These workers are already struggling with high rents, and many feel they have no choice but to go to their job—or several jobs—even while sick, in order to pay the rent and stave off eviction. . Others, with sudden income loss from illness, layoff or closed businesses, have no way to pay rent.

If people infected with COVID-19 force themselves to go to work to keep from becoming homeless, or lose their homes because they’re sick or laid off, their suffering will not remain solely “their” problem. We are all interdependent and unless we act together, more people, from every part of our county, will not only be exposed to the virus, but many will die as a result.

We urge you to act now to tell the County Board of Supervisors and your City Councils to pass an emergency moratorium on evictions for the duration of the public health emergency, so that families struggling with high rents and facing sudden income loss do not feel compelled to go to work even when they are sick, and can stay in their homes.

We need our Supervisors and City Councils to pass ordinances that:

  • Establish an emergency moratorium on evictions: protect tenants in all residential units from eviction during the coronavirus state of emergency, including units not under rent control, and student dorms.
  • Ban eviction for non-payment if failure to pay is due to following local health guidance; self-quarantine, illness or the illness of a family member; or loss of income related to COVID-19
  • Provide for delayed rent collection after the end of state of emergency, with no late fees

Thank you for all that you are doing to support the entire community at this difficult time. Your moral and compassionate leadership is needed now more than ever. Please sign and circulate the petition below.

In faith and in hope,

Lorena Melgarejo
Faith in Action Bay Area
Executive Director

Petition – Protecting the Most Vulnerable Amidst COVID-19

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