Dear Members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation,
We write today to ask for your support in securing bi-partisan legislation that provides critical additional assistance to communities throughout our state, including local and tribal governments, businesses, non-profits, and first responders to address the ongoing public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We sincerely appreciate the previous three relief measures enacted by Congress and executive action by the President. However, the public health and economic impacts of the pandemic continue to grow. As a result, an immediate and unified response that provides additional support is critical to supporting efforts to contain the virus and mitigate the consequences of this unprecedented crisis.
As members of a diverse coalition of leaders in our state, we can attest to the severe economic and public health impacts facing our members, economies, and the communities we support. Without additional federal financial support, the immediate negative consequences will be significant, and will be compounded by severe long-lasting effects.
Additional federal aid will enable a continued joint response from the public and private sector, and support partnerships between local governments, businesses, and their communities to mitigate the economic, health, and public safety impacts of COVID-19.
For example, Milwaukee County recognized the value of these partnerships early in the pandemic. In addition to direct virus mitigation and recovery measures, the County partnered with businesses and non-profits to address the collateral damage inflicted by the pandemic, especially to communities of color. This partnership resulted in Milwaukee County utilizing roughly one-third of its direct CARES Act allocation to immediately address housing and foreclosure needs, issue small businesses grants, and partner with community groups to address mental health and food assistance needs.
This unprecedented situation requires action at scale with the problem. Addressing the issue now with bold solutions will prevent larger systemic economic damage. To enhance the fiscal responsibility of this legislation, reasonable guardrails could require COVID-19 relief dollars be tied to the public health, economic, and community impacts of COVID-19, ensuring resources are utilized in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
As evidenced by the diversity of the groups who have signed on to this letter, the effect of delaying further relief will have second- and third-level impacts on business, property owners, and a multitude of other industries throughout the state.
We sincerely appreciate your earlier efforts to assist our communities in addressing this crisis. However, we request further action – a bi-partisan solution that provides additional resources to address the public health and economic impacts of this pandemic. Our businesses, employees, and communities depend on the continued support of our federal government in these trying times.
Advocate Aurora Health
Apartment Association of South-Central Wisconsin, Inc.
Apartment Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc.
Commercial Association of REALTORS Wisconsin
Community Advocates, Inc.
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin
Forest County Potawatomi Community
Greater Milwaukee Committee
Hunger Task Force, Inc.
League of Municipalities
Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
Local Public Health Officers of Milwaukee County
Medical College of Wisconsin
Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
Milwaukee County Commission on Aging
Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley
Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force
Wisconsin Apartment Association
Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards
Wisconsin Bankers Association
Wisconsin Counties Association
Wisconsin Credit Union League
Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association
Wisconsin REALTORS Association
Wisconsin Restaurant Association
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