Community activists in Irvine demanding $2,000 monthly stimulus checks delivered a “past due” invoice on Feb. 4 to the office of Rep. Katie Porter (D-California).
Monica Lazo, California regional organizing director for the Economic Security Project, handed approximately 10,000 signed petitions to Cody Mendoza, a senior field Representative for Porter, calling for monthly payments to individuals struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was joined in the presentation by several University of California–Irvine (UC Irvine) students and a local business owner.
Lazo told The Epoch Times that the group was “submitting invoices for COVID relief, which we believe should have been a part of the assistance last year.”
The Irvine delivery was part of a national “day of action,” she said, where activists across the country planned to deliver petitions to members of Congress in various states, and reach out to them via social media, to make the issue well-known.
According to Lazo, 275,000 California residents signed a petition which called for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks for adults and $1,000 checks for kids.
She said the presentation to Porter, who represents the state’s 45th District, was “a little bit different” because the group knows she supports them, but wants her to be more vocal in Congress. “We want the folks that we consider cash champions to know that we support them as they keep getting and building that pressure in D.C.,” Lazo said.
Allan Calderon, UC Irvine’s External Vice President for Associated Students, said he wants students to be included in future stimulus checks because they have faced plenty of struggles due to the pandemic.
“Students have already faced a number of issues. We have skyrocketing tuition, rents are skyrocketing, and mental health resources are basically inaccessible,” said Calderon. “Now more than ever do we need help, as students are basically ineligible for any stimulus aid from the last two packages. … We’re really hoping that we’re eligible in this next one.”
Mendoza said Porter recognized near the beginning of the pandemic that COVID-19 would be a long-term problem.
“[The pandemic] started almost a year ago, and at the time the congresswoman recognized that it was going to be a long-term issue—it wasn’t going to be fixed in a couple months—and she at the time called for long-term solutions and long-term ways to help the American people,” Mendoza said.
“We’re a year in, and she continues to fight for those bold solutions to help people out,” including rescue payments, he added.
Lazo said she believes that $2,000 is significant enough to help cover expenses for needy residents. “It’s a number that we think is doable,” she said.
According to Lazo, the new stimulus will likely have a threshold income, so families making over a certain amount of money will not receive any funds.
“So we will have money left over, we will have more available for more than one check, and $2,000 we believe covers the essentials,” she said. “In California, you’re lucky if you have a house for $2,000 in terms of a mortgage or rent payment. So it’s still not enough.”