In a joint opinion piece published in Newsweek on Saturday, CWA President Chris Shelton and New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez fought back against attempts to cut pandemic relief funds for state and local governments.
Shelton and Menendez noted that public sector workers, including CWA members, responded heroically to the pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic ... has upended our daily lives and shuttered businesses for significant periods of time,” they wrote. “Local governments in both red and blue states saw a substantial drop in tax revenue throughout 2020. As local revenues fell and demand for emergency services increased, public sector workers were once again on the chopping block. More than 1.3 million public sector jobs were cut nationwide. Women and people of color disproportionately held these positions.”
They concluded that, “[t]aking funds away from state and local governments when they need these resources most after a decade-plus of relentless cuts, would be remarkably shortsighted and economically irresponsible and only exacerbate the economic strife far too many workers continue to experience due to COVID-19.”