577 organizations have pulled together to publish an EMERGENCY national letter calling on governors, mayors, and utility regulators and boards to institute a n immediate moratorium on all electricity and water service shut-offs in light of the coronavirus emergency, as well as the implementation of policies encouraging distributed clean energy systems and sustainable water payment programs to address the deeper systemic energy injustice issues driving shut-offs.

UU Ministry for Earth signed onto this letter, as did the UUA, Side With Love campaign, UUSC, Oregon UU Voices for Justice, Community Church of New York (UU), and the UU Congregation of Binghamton Green Sanctuary Committee.

The global COVID-19 emergency has impacted and will continue to impact the economy—and in particular, will disproportionately harm low-wealth families, especially in communities of color and American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Everyday businesses and services are increasingly closing to safeguard the public health, with only one-third of the workforce able to work remotely, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, millions of low-wage jobs—including retail and restaurant service workers, security guards, nurse aides, education aides, and janitorial workers—are at risk of being reduced or lost over the course of this national emergency.

As Congress works on passing relief bills to assure enhanced unemployment benefits and paid sick leave for some Americans, it is essential that state and city governments and utility regulators and boards also act to prevent low-wealth families from facing the threat of losing their essential electricity and water during this turbulent period. Families should never be put in the impossible position where they must choose between getting care for the coronavirus or other illness and sustaining access to their power and water services.

Read the Full Letter (PDF)