COVID Action and News

In this pandemic, there are daily changes and much to advocate for. Please take time to take actions mentioned and consider donating or volunteering with these organizations. If you have additions or corrections, please email 

National Advocacy

Call the White House 202-456-1111 Demand our federal government to implement the National Defense Production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and test kits. NY TimesReuters For context, check out Heather Cox Richardson’s column from April 2nd.

Call the White House to support Governor Ducey’s request to declare a “major disaster” in Arizona due to COVID-19.

State Advocacy

Click Here for Call Scripts and Contact Info

  1. Obtain allotments of PPE and Test Kits based on needs (cases/capita) rather than population. Based on population, many supplies are staying in Maricopa, neglecting the fact that Northern Arizona has more cases per capita and the healthcare facilities are getting overwhelmed. County Stats.
  2. Ask Governor Ducey to send funds for Shelter Services. Our homeless population is at a crisis point. It is difficult to adhere to social distancing and isolation, therefore are at high risk for infection. The Governor has a fund for this and we need to advocate for that money to be sent to Coconino.
  3. Secure Property Tax Relief: An effort spearheaded by Sarah Benatar, County Treasurer. Extend the delinquency date on property taxes from May 1 to June 1. The Federal government announced today that relief checks will not be mailed until May 15 (direct deposits will come sooner).
  4. Allocate money from the Rainy Day Fund. So far, they have only appropriated $50 million (with an M) for COVID relief. The State Government has $1 billion (with a B) in its “Rainy Day Fund.” COVID-19 has given us a tsunami. The legislature needs to return to session and allocate some of that money for emergency housing, food assistance, and medical supplies. True, revenues will likely be down because of the recession that’s following the pandemic; nonetheless, there is more than enough to help Arizonans now.

Local Advocacy

  1. We are advocating for regular County Virtual Townhalls. The current Facebook videos by limited staff have low-quality audio and aren’t allowing for community questions. We need increased two-way communication with County officials and the public. Please email/call your County Supervisor:
  2. We are advocating for a safe housing solution for the homeless in light of COVID-19. The County is paying for a 123 room hotel to house those who are awaiting COVID test results or quarantining due to COVID. We need to advocate the necessity of individual rooms for the homeless prior to getting infected in order to save lives. Please call and email Flagstaff City Council and your County Supervisor.

Navajo Nation Relief Efforts

Covid-19 has hit the Navajo Nation particularly hard, and their government has been aggressive in trying to control the spread. Help is needed for food/water/supplies as elders are sheltering in place and supplies are not always readily available in local stores.

We have been in contact with Klee Benally with Kinlani Flagstaff and Ethel Branch (former Attorney General with the Navajo Nation) with the Navajo/Hopi Covid-19 Relief Fund, who are partnering together. Klee is going to be working with Jonathan Yazzie (our Democratic organizer in Leupp/Tolani Lake/Birdsprings area) to help coordinate no-contact food/water/supply deliveries to the elder population in this area. Jonathan has been doing elder delivery in this area for many years. The Navajo Hopi Covid Relief Fund is a grassroots organization that is doing bulk ordering and distribution to elders in need across the Navajo Nation and Hopi lands. There is a storage and distribution center in Flagstaff. They will be coordinating with official Navajo Nation relief efforts when that infrastructure is set up. This makes us confident we can recommend this organization as a place to donate for the time being until official channels are open. Fill this form to Volunteer or Request Support.

For the Tuba City Area, we are in contact with the Chapter House and the Navajo Nation Health Command Operations Center (928-871-6294). There is, as of yesterday, an Incident Commander in the Tuba City area, so we are hoping for more information on ways to donate to their efforts directly. We are following the Navajo Nation COVID-19 Website for additional information on ways to support.

Flagstaff Family Food Center, Flagstaff Shelter Services, and Blood Donation

Emergency Food Box distristribution is open Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 1 pm, no-contact distribution. We have just been notified that they will no longer use volunteers – only paid staff. Donate Here!

Flagstaff Shelter Services is struggling to keep up with increased demands (byproduct of Coconino Jail release of nonviolent inmates, which we were glad to see) and social distancing recommendations. They can use your support as well as your advocacy (above).

Blood donations are down due to the difficulty of holding large blood drives because of COVID-19. The treatment of COVID-19 doesn’t commonly require blood transfusions. Call Vitalant at 877-258-4825 (formerly United Blood Services) to find a location you can donate, if you are able. 

Anyone with extra supplies of N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, and gowns should donate to your local hospitals. FMC is collecting donations at their foundation office, across the street from the ER 1030 N. San Francisco Suite 130, 928-773-2093. Tuba City Regional is accepting donations, contact via email KAFF list of Facilities in Northern Arizona in Need of Supplies

If you want to volunteer to sew: Join Debbie at Sinagua Middle School 8-5 PM every week day to sew reusable gowns for FMC. They are also training other sewing groups on gown sewing techniques. If you want to join email  or call/text 928-707-0610. They are sewing with Tyvek a material obtained from hardware stores which can be reused. They will also give you pre-cut pieces for you to sew at home. They are also a drop-off location for PPE donations to FMC. They do not want monetary donations but will accept donations of polysynthetic thread, velcro, and elastic.

Changing guidance on Masks

Widespread use of non-medical masks could reduce community transmission. CDC guidance is expected to change soon. Hospitals are also accepting hand made masks to give to patients and patient’s families to reduce the spread. Sewing homemade masks is a worthwhile effort!

Disaster Response Volunteering

Anyone wanting to volunteer to work on Coconino County’s COVID-19 disaster response can sign up online. They are looking both for people with healthcare experience (including retired people ) as well as general volunteers. It is important that before you sign up that you think through what skills and services you might be able to contribute, and also to be able to identify what you are willing to do as well as what you are NOT willing to do. So far, the county has not activated their volunteer list, but they expect to do so as the number of cases rises.

Unemployment Expansion

COVID-19 will affect many employment opportunities for months, so please apply and encourage your friends and neighbors to apply for unemployment if they qualify. Independent contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and those who are sick or caring for someone who’s sick, anyone who is quarantined and can’t work, or those who have lost income because they are in a vulnerable population can apply. Benefits include a $600 increase in weekly benefits from the feds on top of the state maximum of $240/week. KNAU

Download the formapply online, or by phone 1-877-600-2722. Governor Ducey assures us all the answers will be found at this website. We recommend contacting Congressman O’Halleran’s office, 928-286-5338, if you are denied.

The Scoop on Signing up for the ACA

(Shamelessly stolen from the Prescott Indivisible newsletter, thanks Marie!)

Last week, Gov. Doug Ducey wrote an open letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking him to open a special Obamacare health insurance enrollment period so that Arizona residents hit hard financially by the coronavirus crisis might get some coverage. Other elected officials in the country made the same request.

President Trump has opted against opening a special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, as huge swaths of the population suddenly lose their job-based health insurance. Thus, many more people will be uninsured in the midst of a pandemic, and either face enormous medical bills or risk their lives by not seeking treatment. It’s a completely unnecessary burden on workers who are already struggling.

Importantly, you can still sign up for ACA coverage outside of enrollment periods if you lose your job, you’ll just need a little extra paperwork. Spread the word!

Go to https://www.healthcare.gov/

The 2020 Census – Fill it out TODAY!

We should be strongly encouraging everyone, in social media and other means, to complete the census. Visit the website or call 844-330-2020 for help.

Victory!

Recent victories in slowing the spread in Northern Arizona, Grand Canyon Park was finally closed and popular Sedona Trails have been closed. We should discourage tourism at this time.

Resources

Other Items

Our Facebook Page: With Covid, social media is more important than ever. Reactivate your account 🙂 and do some online advocacy and information sharing.

Our Website Calendar has a list of Phone Banks to join. PLEASE make a few phone calls with the LD 6 Campaign or Mission for Arizona. We must elect new leaders this November.

Our Roosevelt Kennedy Auction is still open. Last bids by April 7th, 5pm!

And for some light reading/sedative, this is a 39 page FAQ on the $2 trillion CARES Act recently passed.

If you are interested in being a part of the research team gathering COVID-related information and advocacy ideas, email !

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