ST. LOUIS – Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones and Ald. Annie Rice (8) joined St. Louis workers to talk about the difference $500 would make in the lives of working families across the City. Mayor Jones’ $80 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) direct relief proposal originally included $5 million in direct financial assistance for St. Louis residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis before President Lewis Reed stripped the provision in the current version at the Board of Aldermen.

A recent study outlined how federal direct payment dollars reduced food insecurity and lowered rates of financial instability. We can do it again here in St. Louis,” said Mayor Tishaura Jones. “People need to be able to buy groceries, to pay off car payments, to have the chance to get back on their feet. $500 for thousands would go a long way towards helping make that happen.”

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Elected leaders and working people urged President Reed and the rest of the Board to restore the $5 million, which would cover one-time $500 payments for thousands of St. Louis families.

"An extra $500 could help my family a lot," said Nicole Rush, Krab Kingz worker and leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union, "I could use that money to finally move into a place of my own or to maybe use some of that towards getting a car. We’re on the frontlines still risking our lives because the pandemic isn't over. It's time we're included in COVID relief and this is an opportunity to finally recognize us."

Mayor Jones outlined her initial $80 million proposal one month ago, stressing the urgency of boosting vaccination rates, keeping families in their homes and improving public safety. Now, as Missouri tops the country in COVID-19 deaths and the federal eviction moratorium likely expiring on July 31, Mayor Jones again emphasizes the need for decisive action after Friday’s abruptly adjourned Board of Aldermen meeting.

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