For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

AFSCME releases new round of ads in key states urging immediate Senate action to aid struggling states, cities, towns and schools

“Senators won’t get a vacation from voters anxious about cuts to essential services needed to fight the pandemic and get our economy moving” – Lee Saunders

As senators return home for a two-week recess, public service workers and community allies are turning up the volume on advocacy, placing ads, calling and emailing Senate offices regarding the urgent need for $1 trillion in federal aid to states, cities and towns.

Ads will run in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri and North Carolina.

With the coronavirus causing budget shortfalls in states and localities across the country, public service workers and their allies are turning up the heat with new ads in key battleground states calling for federal aid for states, cities, towns and schools to keep essential services running. The push comes as we see spikes nationwide in coronavirus cases and the economic crisis continues to undermine any chance of a full recovery.

The new ads are part of an ongoing AFSCME ad buy in multiple states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Maine and more. The ads warn voters that without aid there will be continued cuts to essential public services like trash pickup and layoffs for teachers, nurses and other essential public service workers who are needed to beat the pandemic and reopen the economy.

“Senators won’t get a vacation from voters anxious about cuts to essential services needed to fight the pandemic and get our economy moving,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “While the Senate leaves for summer recess, our everyday heroes in public service who continue to risk their lives to beat the pandemic and safely reopen the economy are being thanked with pink slips. This aid is not a red state or blue state issue, but a smart investment and the right thing to do. This should be their top priority in July. When trash piles up in the streets, there are longer 911 response times and schools are not able to open safely, voters will know why and who to blame.”

Since May, calls from state and local elected leaders, both Democratic and Republican alike, have expressed growing urgency for federal relief. The National Governors Association (NGA), led by Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), have aggressively called for state and local aid. Calls have also come from within Kentucky, including from smaller communities that have been hit by budget shortfalls due to the pandemic but have not received any federal aid.

Experts also agree state and local aid is essential for getting our economy back on track. According to top economists, every dollar invested in public services yields $1.70 in economic activity. This aid is not a bailout; it’s an investment that will pay for itself by enhancing economic activity and preventing us from falling into a deeper recession.

Polling shows that 84% of voters approve of significant federal funding for states, cities and towns to overcome the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus on the economy, as well as to maintain vital public services.