Central TX Interfaith Supports Relief in a State Emergency (RISE), Recommends Direct Income Payments

Central Texas Interfaith understands that millions of low-income people across the country will not be reached by the benefits of the CARES Act, leaving the most vulnerable with limited options to survive, let alone recover from the Covid-19 crisis. Included in these millions are members of our congregations, our schools, nonprofit associations, and neighbors. It is for that reason that our organization is calling on Congress to provide sustained financial support to every person in the United States through the duration of the crisis, and the Governor to invest Rainy Day funds in similar ways.

Our City has the opportunity today to invest local dollars in those left out of the federal stimulus package. Extending financial relief to them is not only in line with our faith traditions but will give us all a better chance of recovering from this public health crisis. We ask our Mayor and City Council to support the RISE (Relief in a State Emergency) fund, and we recommend that a substantial portion of those funds go directly into the hands of people through direct income payments. Direct aid is the most economically efficient way to support low-income individuals and families, and to provide survival options for those most in need. Direct income payments furthermore offer stimulative supports to our local economy and reduce administrative and bureaucratic overhead. We also support funding for other vital social services like food pantries, which are currently experiencing shortages.

For the sake of efficiency, and for justice, we hope that the Council will support the RISE fund, make funding available to people left out of the current stimulus packages, and ensure that a substantial portion of that funding be provided as direct income assistance.