Local and State Elected Officials call on Congress to Provide Financial Assistance

Dear Members of Congress,

We write to you as elected representatives of states and municipalities across the country.

The Coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented global crisis. In cities and states across the country, families are facing a double threat: hundreds of thousands are sick or performing essential services that elevate their exposure to the virus; millions more have been laid off or forced to close non-essential businesses, cutting off cash flow needed to cover basic expenses. Just as our front-line healthcare workers are uniquely vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 at a time when their work is needed most, so are our local and state municipalities most vulnerable to financial hardship from lost tax revenue just as our residents most need our support.

In this critical moment, the federal government’s unique constitutional power of the purse, which includes the power to coin money, is essential for ensuring our communities are able to survive and thrive. We, the undersigned, call on the federal government to take necessary action (described in greater detail here) to address these deficiencies, and ensure that state and local governments have the financial confidence and support they need in this time of crisis. These include but are not limited to providing direct fiscal grants to state and local governments, strengthening the next relief bill to instruct the Federal Reserve to directly purchase state and local debt, directing the Federal Reserve to refinance existing state and local debt to alleviate the burden of financing costs, and directing the Fed to support state or municipal governments that issue their own currencies or other tax-receivable obligations via currency swap lines, similar to those currently being provided to over a dozen foreign countries. 

Experts agree that this is both possible and necessary. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently committed the Federal Reserve to “step in” to provide loans “wherever … credit is not flowing,” and clarified that the Fed was “not going to run out of ammunition. That doesn’t happen.” Additionally, on March 22, fourteen state treasurers signed a joint letter to Chairman Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, in which they argued that in order for “state governments to do their part in mitigating the associated economic and social costs” in the current crisis, “they need to have confidence that they will continue to have access to financing.” Similarly, on March 27th, President Trump noted that the federal government could “handle…easily” the $6.2 trillion dollar price tag of the recent relief package, because it was “our money, our currency.”

The Federal Reserve has provided over $1.5 trillion of financing at 0% interest to the private finance sector due to the impending recession with a commitment to finance further if needed. It is unjust that the Federal Reserve has yet to make such a commitment to the public sector though it has the means to do so. State and local budgets deserve at least the same access to Federal Reserve financing as the private sector, our peoples lives in our cities and states depend upon it.

This is a moment for action, and not to be timid. We implore the federal government to use its unique constitutional powers and financial capacity to provide support to state and local governments, who serve as the front line responders to the very worst of this crisis, in our hour of need.


Alderman Rossana Rodríguez (Chicago, IL), 

Alderman Jeannette Taylor (Chicago, IL), 

Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (Chicago, IL), 

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (Chicago, IL), 

Alderman Daniel LaSpata (Chicago, IL), 

Alderman Andre Vazquez (Chicago, IL), 

Alderman Matthew Martin (Chicago, IL), 

Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza (Chicago, IL),

Alderman Ariel Reboyras (Chicago, IL),

Alderman Roberto Maldonado (Chicago, IL),

Alderman Michael D. Rodriguez (Chicago, IL),

Alderman George Cardenas (Chicago, IL),

Alderman Silvana Tabares (Chicago, IL),

Alderman Gilbert Villegas (Chicago, IL),

Alderman Felix Cardona (Chicago, IL),

Alderman Scott Waguespack (Chicago, IL),

Chicago City Council Latino Caucus

State Senator Robert Peters (Illinois), 

State Representative Delia Ramirez (Illinois),

State Representative Will Guzzardi (Illinois),

Commissioner Brandon Johnson (Cook County, IL),

Commissioner Alma Anaya (Cook County),

Village Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla  (Oak Park, IL),

Councilmember Kat Kerwin (Providence, RI),

Councilmember Rachel Miller (Providence, RI),

State Senator Sam Bell (Rhode Island),

Councilmember Jonathan Grieder (Waterloo, IA),

State Senator, Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris (New York),  

State Senator Julia Salazar (New York),

Councilmember Robin Wilt (Monroe County, NY),

City Treasurer Hon. Darius Shahinfar (Albany, NY),

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (Philadelphia, PA),

Councilmember Helen Gym (Philadelphia, PA),

Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (Philadelphia, PA),

Councilmember Kendra Brooks  (Philadelphia, PA),

Councilperson Erika Strassburger (Pittsburgh, PA)

State Representative Elizabeth Fiedler (Pennsylvania)

State Representative Sara Innamorato (Pennsylvania)

Mayor Matt Shorraw (Monessen, PA),

Council President Jesse L. Barlow (Borough of State College, PA),

Mayor Chardae Jones (Braddock, PA),

Mayor Matthew V. Rudzki (Sharpsburg, PA),

Mayor Marita Garrett (Wilkinsburg, PA)

Mayor Emily Marburger (Bellevue, PA),

Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green (St. Louis, MO),

Alderwoman Annie Rice (Saint Louis, MO),

Alderwoman Heather Navarro (St. Louis, MO),

City Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones (St. Louis, MO),

Councilmember Ann Kitchen (Austin, TX),

Councilmember Lauren Doherty (Allen, TX),

Councilmember Brad Lander (New York City, NY),

Supervisor Gregory Young (Fulton County, NY)

Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez (Hartford, CT),

Mayor Jesse Arreguin (Berkeley, CA),

Councilmember Ben Bartlett (Berkeley, CA),

Councilmember Kate Harrison (Berkeley, CA),

Councilmember Rigel Robinson (Berkeley, CA),

Commissioner  James Chang Rent Stabilization Board (Berkeley, CA),

Commissioner Soli Alpert Rent Stabilization Board (Berkeley, CA),

City Council President Rebecca Kaplan (Oakland, CA),

Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells (Culver City, CA),

Councilmember Daniel Lee (Culver City, CA),

Neighborhood Councilmember Andrew Lewis (Northwestwood, Los Angeles, CA), 

Councilmember Jose F. Moreno (Anaheim, CA),

Board of Supervisors Member Gordon Mar (City and County of San Francisco, CA),

Council President Georgette Gomez (San Diego, CA),

Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager (California),

Councilmember Devon T. Reese (Reno, NV),

Vice Mayor Lauren Kuby (Tempe, AZ),

Councilmember Ben Ewen-Campen (Somerville, MA),

Justice of the Peace Harrie Farrow (Carroll County, AR),

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Seattle, WA),

Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (Seattle, WA),

Councilmember Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin (City of Port Angeles, WA),

Councilmember Chris Roberts (Shoreline, WA),

Commissioner James Harnett (District of Columbia),

Councilmember Elissa Silverman (District of Columbia),

Delegate Kaye Kory (Virginia),

Councilman Canek Aguirre (Alexandria, VA),

Mayor Lamar Tidwell (Ecorse, MI),

Mayor Wheeler T. Marsee, Jr. (Melvindale, MI),

Mayor Patrick Wimberly (Inkster, MI),

Mayor John P. Rhaesa (Wayne, MI),

Councilman Patrick S. Frederick (Melvindale, MI), 

Mayor LeRoy D. Burcroff (Romulus, MI)

Commissioner Katie Scott (Washtenaw County, MI),

Commissioner Andy LaBarre (Washtenaw County, MI),

Commissioner Sue Shink (Washtenaw County, MI),

Councilmember Raquel Castañeda-López (Detroit, MI),

Board of Education Member Megan A Miller (Beloit, WI),

Alderwoman Chantia Lewis (Milwaukee, WI),

Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd (Milwaukee, WI),

Councilmember Neil Sroka (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI)

Councilmember Amelia Parker (Knoxville, TN),

Councilmember Seema Singh (Knoxville, TN),

State Representative Steven Woodrow (Colorado),

Councilwoman Robin Kniech (Denver, CO),

Councilmember Robin Kniech (Denver, CO),

Mayor Jamie Harkins (Lafayette, CO),

City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly (Portland, OR),

Councilmember Celina Benitez (Mount Rainier,  MD),

Delegate Vaughn Stewart (Maryland),

Delegate Gabriel Acevero (Maryland),

Councilmember Kristerfer Burnett (Baltimore, MD),

Councilmember Bill Henry (Baltimore, MD),

Councilmember JoBeth Hamon (Oklahoma City, OK),

Councilmember Rachael Dorothy (Worthington, OH),

County Commissioner Mariah Parker (Athens, GA),

City Council President Lisa Bender (Minneapolis, MN),

Board of Education Member Paula Cole (Richfield MN),

Commissioner Trista MatasCastillo (Ramsey County, MN),

Councilmember Andrea Jenkins (Minneapolis, MN),

Councilmember Steve Fletcher   (Minneapolis, MN),

District Supervisor Nervahna Crew, Soil and Water Conservation (Wake County, NC),

Mayor Steve Schewel (Durham, NC),

Mayor Pro Tempore Jillian Johnson (Durham, NC),

Mayor Pro Tempore Delia Garza (Austin, TX),

Senate President Troy Jackson (Maine),

Are you an elected official who wants to sign on?