Learn what's next for the Supreme Court, CDC's eviction moratorium, & more.
Learn what's next for the Supreme Court, CDC's eviction moratorium, & more.
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September 24, 2020 | Volume 24, No. 9 | Archives
"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)
The End (of 2020) Brings Significant Challenges
Welcome to the last quarter of 2020. A global pandemic is ravaging our country. In July we lost two giants in the civil rights movement: C.T. Vivian and Representative John Lewis. This month, we are grief-struck over the loss of women’s rights icon, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Fires and other disasters are bringing mass devastation. We are in the midst of a major racial justice movement in response to centuries of violence toward black bodies. Sick immigrant children are sent away by the thousands and a whistleblower exposed mass forced sterilizations at a government facility. The political divide in this country grows as science and history are rejected by our leaders. Greenland is broken. Aliens might be real. All this (and more) on the precipice of a major election.

We can’t control the agony and pandemonium that define 2020, but we can find comfort in knowing we are part of a larger movement to achieve housing and health care justice. We will continue on the path paved by our heroes: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, and others.

Catch up on the latest updates and find some time – even if only a few minutes – to TAKE ACTION on COVID-19 relief, prevent evictions, and promote voter registration. The end of 2020 is indeed a challenging time – join us as we continue on together.

Regina Reed, MPH
Policy Organizer

Ruth Bader Ginsburg & Upcoming Supreme Court Decisions
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, 2020, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy, famously dissenting against voter suppression and pioneering gender equality for decades (among many other significant accomplishments). Her passing sets up Capitol Hill for a chaotic battle over confirming a new Judge, throwing a wrench in already stalled action on COVID-19 relief (see more below). In the days following the election, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear nine cases on issues such as criminal justice, LGBTQ rights and, on November 10, the legality of the Affordable Care Act – to include Medicaid Expansion. How the Supreme Court rules on these cases is dependent on when and if a Judge is appointed. President Trump is expected to announce his nominee this weekend, setting up the battle over an imminent confirmation hearing. The Council will continue to report opportunities to fight back against hypocrisy and injustice.
Capitol Hill Update
Congress has failed to reach an agreement on COVID-19 relief. Four months ago, the House passed their comprehensive COVID-19 stimulus bill (HEROES Act and our analysis). Since then, the Senate introduced -- but failed to pass -- the dismal HEALS Act (our analysis) and an even more inadequate “skinny bill.” This month, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus released a seemingly middle-ground proposal (with $25 billion for rental assistance), but it was immediately deemed dead on arrival. This week, in a rare showing of bipartisanship, the House passed a proposed continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through December 11 that includes a full extension for Community Health Centers. The CR is expected to pass the Senate ahead of the September 30 budget deadline. As the Senate bulldozes forward to confirm a Supreme Court nominee against the wishes of many, advocates must keep up the noise on the dire need for Congress to instead act on COVID-19 relief to prevent homelessness.
TAKE ACTION: Congressional leadership needs to act immediately to provide long overdue housing and homelessness protections (included in the HEROES Act passed by the House months ago) and to prevent homelessness, poverty, and financial ruin that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable. Take a few minutes to act on your outrage (no policy expertise required); find tools on NLIHC’s portal to contact your member of Congress; sign your organization on a letter; share stories; and post on social media. Tell Congress to #DoYourJob
CDC's New Eviction Moratorium
The CDC released an order halting most evictions due to nonpayment of rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order is in effect from September 4, 2020, through December 31, 2020. However, renters need to complete a signed declaration to be protected. This order is a Band-Aid to postpone evictions for some and notably does NOT stop the rent from being owed or stop fines or penalties from being added. It also does NOT prevent evictions for reasons other than nonpayment, including criminal activity, damaging property, and more. A lawsuit is pending on the legality of this order, claiming it is burdensome on property owners and outside the scope of federal powers. Notably, the plaintiffs agree that we need immediate action from Congress to provide rental assistance (see Take Action above). Find an Overview of National Eviction Moratorium and National Eviction Moratorium FAQ for Renters (Español).
TAKE ACTION: Prevent client evictions by forwarding this notice to case managers and other front line staff so they can help clients understand this process and, if possible, help clients complete the signed declaration to provide to their landlords (available in Arabic | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | English | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese).
Voter Registration and the Election
Aria DiMezzo is the GOP nominee for Sheriff in Chesire County, NH 
Do you know who you’re voting for, especially in local elections? These folks sure didn’t! Mark your calendars for upcoming debates, including the September 29 presidential debate and October 7 vice presidential debate. Our Homes, Our Votes and You Don’t Need a Home to Vote continue to provide resources that organizations can use to register and mobilize voters. ICYMI, catch up on our two new webinar recordings on Registering People Experiencing Homelessness to Vote and Getting People to the Polls.
Listen to the 10th episode of the Poverty Policy Podcast on Elections. This episode features Donald Whitehead Jr., the newly named Executive Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. Donald talks about what it means for people without a stable address to vote, his thoughts on mail-in voting in the era of COVID-19, and what organizations and policymakers must do to ensure voting is achieved as a human right. Listen now on Soundcloud, Apple, or Stitcher.
TAKE ACTION: Register Staff and Clients to Vote: Vot-ER is a web portal to help people determine their registration status, register to vote, or request a mail-in ballot from their state. NHCHC has a specialized link for our community to share widely with colleagues and clients. We recommend HCH staff add a line to their email signature “Check to see if you are registered, register to vote, or request a mail-in ballot in your state here.” You can also download resources for staff (badges with QR codes (back) or phone lock screen with QR code) or encourage people to text “Vote NHCHC” to 34444 to begin the process. For questions about Vot-ER or voting for people experiencing homelessness, please reach out to Katherine Cavanaugh, Consumer Advocate, at kcavanaugh@nhchc.org.
Good news! According to a new analysis, diverse candidates are also hiring diverse staff. Your vote goes far beyond the candidate.
Natural Disasters and Support for the HCH Community
Wildfires, a derecho, hurricanes, and other extreme climate-related events create homelessness and put people already experiencing homelessness under extreme duress. It is clear that we need Congress to act to provide resources, including emergency rental assistance (see Take Action under Capitol Hill Update). The Council is concerned about the complexities of disaster response during a pandemic. Join our listening session today at 4 p.m. ET on wildfires on the west coast and contact our Technical Assistance Manager, Michael Durham at mdurham@nhchc.org to let us know how we can help. Find resources on our emergency preparedness page and our partner’s Disaster Housing Recovery page.
Administration Update
Federal vaccine plan: This month, the Trump Administration released a report to Congress on distribution plans once a vaccine is approved. The plan, Operation Warp Speed, details strategies for partnerships with local partners, including community health centers, and mentions the prioritization of “vulnerable and at-risk populations” (although this population is not defined). The CDC Director estimates a vaccine won’t be ready until mid-2021 and called on Congress to provide $6 billion for the logistics of distribution. Note, the Council provided comments on the National Academies of Science Discussion Draft of the Preliminary Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine, which will be shared with the Administration when finalized.
Good news! CDC reverses testing guidance: Last month the CDC rolled back their revised COVID-19 testing guidance, which weakened testing recommendations for those exposed to COVID-19. This unprecedented move went against public health protocols, undermined the hard work in many communities, and was determined to have been prompted by political interference. Following the backlash of many public health groups, including the Council, the CDC reversed the guidance to be back in line with current research on COVID-19 transmission.
The Council comments on anti-transgender housing rule: The comment period for HUD’s anti-transgender proposal, which attempts to prevent transgender people from accessing shelters and services, closed on September 22. Thanks to all who submitted a comment (our comments). The Council will continue to report on the rule’s finalization and legal battles.
Medicare for All
The Council continues to amplify the perspective of the HCH community in the fight for universal health care for all. This summer we spoke at a congressional caucus meeting (The Case for Medicare for All: COVID-19), guested on a podcast ( HealthCare-NOW!’s Medicare For All Podcast) and released two new resources (COVID-19 Response in Countries with Single-Payer & Implications for Impoverished Populations and COVID-19 & the HCH Community: Further Illustrating the Benefits of ‘Medicare-for-All’).

Register for our webinar tomorrow: On Friday, September 25, at 1p.m. ET, join us for a webinar on How to Be a Single-Payer Advocate During a Pandemic. Panelists include congressional staff, national partners, and an HCH clinician to talk about current bills and tangible actions that can be taken. Register even if you can’t make it so we can be sure to send you the recording!
What We're Reading
Submit Proposals for Our 2021 Conference
The Call For Proposals for the 2021 National Conference is open, and we need YOU to submit proposals on important policy and advocacy issues.  Note: Proposals submitted for the canceled 2020 conference do not carry over. Contact cteichert@nhchc.org with questions.

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Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council and by private donations. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
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