For Immediate Release
November 20, 2020
Just Democracy Coalition to GSA Administrator Murphy: Certify Election Results, Save Black and Brown Lives
Delay In Certifying Results Endangers Black and Brown Communities As COVID Spikes
Dear General Services Administrator Murphy,
We, the 45 undersigned members of the Just Democracy coalition, urge you to fulfill your statutory duty to ascertain the election, and start the transition process with President-elect Biden. We are troubled by how the delay erodes the political process, undermines the will of the voters, and further disenfranchises Black and Brown communities — the same communities too often left behind by this country’s leadership. As members of Just Democracy — a coalition of mostly Black and Brown-led grassroots organizations committed to racial justice in our communities and democratic institutions — we are also deeply concerned by how the delayed transition directly places the burden of a piecemeal COVID-19 response on Black and Brown people. The longer this process is needlessly delayed, the more lives we fear will be lost.
As Dr. Fauci said this week, a successful transition is critical to the fight against COVID-19. In order to get the vaccine distributed safely and equitably, the Biden-Harris transition team must be granted access to the necessary federal government infrastructure to ensure they are properly prepared to address the complex logistical challenges associated with widespread vaccine distribution and public health administration. Failure to do so will hurt every American, but particularly Black and Brown communities, who suffer from vastly higher COVID hospitalization and death rates than their white counterparts.
In most public health crises, the heaviest burden of illness — and ultimately death — falls on communities of color, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. According to the Centers for Disease Control, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people had an age-adjusted COVID-19 hospitalization rate about 5.3 times that of non-Hispanic white people. COVID-19 hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black people and Hispanic or Latinx people were both about 4.7 times the rate of non-Hispanic white people. Members of racial and ethnic minorities are also more likely to live in multigenerational homes, work jobs considered essential, and encounter obstacles when attempting to access medical care. When experts say the COVID-19 response will be negatively impacted by a delayed ascertainment process, it’s our families and neighbors that will pay the price.
Playing politics with the ascertainment process is playing politics with our lives. When you swore an oath to serve this country in your role as General Services Administrator, you did so to all Americans, not to this president, whose inaction throughout the pandemic has disproportionately hurt communities of color and led to thousands of needless deaths. The American people have spoken, and in particular, Black voters have spoken. In record numbers and in the face of rampant disenfranchisement and voter suppression, voters of color have decided that they want a president who treats the pandemic as the crisis that it is and has the expertise and the temperament to deal with it. Anything short of immediately signing the letter of ascertainment and granting the Biden-Harris transition the ability to do their jobs is only an effort to support and condone the vanity project of this president and his enablers as he tries to salvage a reputation that is beyond repair at the expense of our lives. We urge you to weigh the implications of inaction and recognize the results.
Thank you for your time,
A Little Piece of Light
Alliance of Families for Justice
Arizona Coalition for Change
B.R.A.V.E. Youth Leaders
Be A Hero
Black Male Voter Project
Black Women for Wellness Action Project
Black Women Organized for Political Action
Black Women's Health Imperative
Caravan For Racial Justice
Center for Community Change
Center for Popular Democracy
Colorado Black Women for Political Action
Colorado Org for Latina Opportunity and Repro Rights
Community Justice Reform Coalition (CJRC)
Democracy For America
Financial Services Innovation Coalition
Health in Her Hue
Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Legal Empowerment & Advocacy Hub
Long Live Go Go
National Black Justice Coalition
North Carolina Black Alliance
Not Just a Black Body
Purpose Over Pain
Stand Up America
Take Back the Court
Truth and Conciliation
Working Families Party
About Just Democracy
Just Democracy is an intersectional coalition with racial justice at its core — uplifting voices from all walks of American life that are too often left out of the conversation. The coalition is made up of over 30 progressive organizations and counting, working across issue areas. It mobilizes thousands who know that advancing social and racial justice issues first requires bold structural democracy reform.
To speak with a Just Democracy spokesperson, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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