Victor Reyes Releases COVID-19

Relief and Recovery Plan

The COVID-19 crisis shined a spotlight on the vulnerable and on the undeniable challenges that families across New Mexico have been facing for years. From the personal loss of loved ones, to lost jobs and wages, to increased financial hardship, and to endless health care crisis, rebuilding our lives and our communities will take both time and consistent federal and state investment. Just this past November, in the absence of a federal COVID-19 relief bill,  Governor Lujan Grisham called on me to develop a strategy to provide desperately needed relief to struggling New Mexicans.
 
Over the course of just weeks, and in the face of political challenges, I successfully put together and negotiated a plan that provided, among other items: direct stimulus checks to every New Mexican on unemployment, $100 million in aid for small businesses, $15 million for assistance for those struggling to pay their rent and the homeless, and $5 million for emergency food banks. I helped lead New Mexico’s efforts to aid local governments to coordinate community response and ensure that our tribes and pueblos had access to the food, shelter, and resources they needed. I worked closely with local community leaders, the state’s health agencies, and the New Mexico National Guard to support on the ground efforts that helped New Mexico families during this pandemic.
 
This is the type of bold action that I’ll bring to a Congress that’s often too afraid or too late to act. And while we hope that the Biden Administration and Congress will act in the coming weeks to provide a next-phase of relief legislation, we’ll have to work to ensure that the federal government is held accountable, and that stimulus happens on the ground here in our community. 
 
That’s why I’ve developed a plan to fight for real federal COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts that directly and equitably help New Mexico families, essential workers, business owners, and those struggling to make ends meet. 
 
In Congress, I will support a bold, multi-pronged approach to put us on the road to recovery with a focus on ensuring that our communities in New Mexico benefit directly:
 
Focus Federal Relief to Directly Help Those in Need

  • Provide continued $2,000 monthly stimulus checks – especially to lower-income New Mexicans 

  • Continue expanded unemployment benefits through 2022

  • Fight for a minimum wage increase to $15 

  • Provide rent and mortgage assistance to stop evictions and keep people in their home for the remainder of 2021

  • Expand Housing Choice Vouchers/short-term assistance to provide support for low- and middle-income families

  • Create an emergency public plan to expand health care access for the uninsured or unemployed 

  • Increase food assistance for low-income families, through expanded SNAP benefits 

  • Immediately cancel up to $50,000 in student debt and freeze payments

  • Cancel medical debt, and

  • Ensure that the immigrant families have access to all the relief efforts above. 

 
Protect New Mexico Essential Workers and Put Its Workforce Back on Track 

  • Increase aid to state and local governments so that they can provide public services necessary 

  • Ensure strong workplace health and safety protections

  • Ensure necessary equipment to frontline workers 

  • Ensure hazard pay and paid leave to all essential workers

  • Essential workers and our workforce continue to rely on public transit. We must fully fund public transit agencies to maintain pre-COVID 19 service levels, improve safety, and accessibility of public transit.

 
Defeat the Virus In Every Community, Regardless of Geography, Wealth, and Demographic Makeup

  • Create 100,000 new public health jobs to ensure effective contact tracing and response in communities facing disparate challenges 

  • Ensure that race, geography, immigration status, or gender do not stop people from receiving free vaccines, treatment, and testing 

  • Protect the vulnerable directly, including those in prisons, jails, and detention facilities, in addition to schools, nursing homes, and churches

  • Ensure federal agencies collect and distribute disaggregated data by race, socioeconomic status, occupation, and geography.

 
Support Small Business & Targeted, Equitable Economic Development 

  • Provide continued assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses, with a focus on minority-owned businesses, and requirements to keep workers on payroll and in benefits

  • Call on the Small Business Administration to increase funding and remove barriers for lenders that best understand what is happening in the district and want to get loans out quickly

  • Fight to provide grants and forgivable loans to minority-owned small businesses so they have the financial security to recover and grow

  • Support direct grants that further cover operations for small businesses with 100 employees or fewer, forgive  Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans under $150,000, continue to expand funding for the PPP program, and extend the payback period of PPP loans

  • Provide broadband Internet access to Indian County for more equitable access to telehealth, education opportunities, and economic relief for Native American Communities. 

 

Provide Resources, Accountability, and Coordination for the 1st District 

  • Create a task-force of dedicated Congressional staff for the 1st District so my office will remain focused on providing resources and tools needed for constituents 

  • Create a constituent/stakeholder-led working group to inform me and my staff on the ongoing needs of our district’s communities

  • Develop a long-term recovery plan specific to ensuring federal resources are leveraged and distributed equitably in the 1st District for COVID recovery and relief. 

 

Victor Reyes for Congress

P.O. Box 7301

Albuquerque, NM 87194

info@victorreyes.org

Paid for by Victor Reyes for Congress.