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October 15, 2020

Rep. Kirkpatrick Office Hosts COVID-19 Task Force, Concerns of Eviction Rise

AZ02 Weekly Task Force Shares Frontline and Federal Updates  

(TUCSON, A.Z.) — The Office of Rep. Kirkpatrick released the following statement on this week’s COVID-19 Task Force meeting. Since May, the task force has had weekly conference calls to discuss the economic and health impacts of COVID-19 throughout Southern Arizona and provide federal updates.  

The weekly agenda includes an introduction from Rep. Kirkpatrick’s legislative and outreach team with federal updates on healthcare, small business and labor policies. After congressional policy updates, the industry-wide group takes turns speaking about their organization’s experiences on the frontlines and share areas of need.

On this week’s Task Force call, labor leaders raised concerns about the upcoming expiration of the governor’s moratorium on evictions. The executive order issuing the moratorium was extended in July, and is currently set to expire on October 31st. 

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we cannot afford a homelessness crisis amidst a global pandemic and national economic crisis,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “Additionally, Arizona has had record-breaking heat this year. Arizonans simply cannot survive outside of their homes. It’s time for our state leadership to once again extend this moratorium.” 

“I’m so appreciative that members of our community continue to take time to speak to Rep. Kirkpatrick and her staff,” said Outreach Director Billy Kovacs. “This week we gained insight into struggling nonprofits, and we were updated on the small business relief grant program. We can better serve our district with these critical briefs.”

Members of the task force include Vice President of Tucson Medical Center Julia Strange, State Representative Dr. Randy Friese, Associate Professor & Program Director, Public Health Policy & Management, Dr. Joe Gerald, Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Francesco Garcia, Chiricahua Community Health Centers Director Dr. Jonathan Melk, Cochise County Health Department Director Carrie Langley, Copper Queen Hospital CEO Robert Seamon, El Rio CEO Nancy Johnson, Southern Arizona Veterans Hospital Director Jennifer Gutowski, Tucson Metro Chamber Director Amber Smith, Local First Arizona Director Michael Peel, Pima Council on Aging Director Mark Clark, Southern Arizona Leadership Council CEO Ted Maxwell, and Tucson Mayor Romero’s Chief of Staff, Elaine Becherer.

Task force member biographies are available upon request. 

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