Media Advisory, May 12, 2020


Jean Su, (415) 770-3187,

Virtual Town Hall to Explore Why Congress Must Fight for Power, Water, Broadband for All

Elected Officials, Teachers, Advocates to Call for Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs

WASHINGTON— A virtual town hall featuring teachers, advocates, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) will lay out why Congress should include a national moratorium on utility shutoffs in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.

What: A virtual town hall about the urgent need for the inclusion of a utility shutoff moratorium and long-term funding in CARES 2. The event will focus on the need to improve utility services, make them affordable and keep them publicly owned. Hear from people on the frontlines of utility shutoffs and those fighting for protections.

When: Tuesday, May 12, 8 to 9 p.m. ET / 7-8 p.m. CT / 5-6 p.m. PT

How: Register here to get the zoom information

Who: Panelists will include:

Senator Jeff Merkley

Representative Debbie Dingell

Bri Knisley, Tennessee campaign coordinator of Appalachian Voices

Nayyirah Shariff, executive director of Flint Rising

Representative from Baltimore Teachers Union and/or Somos

Mayor Steve Callaway from Hillsboro, Oregon

Why: Congress will return to Washington, D.C. soon to start negotiations for the CARES 2 package, the second stimulus to provide coronavirus relief to our communities across the country. At the same time, families are struggling with utility shutoffs — losing basic and essential services such as power, water and internet service, due to unaffordable bills.

Millions of people have lost jobs and wages, and the economic impacts of coronavirus will continue to hit people hard in the months to come. People cannot safely stay at home without electricity, water or internet. Just last month more than 830 groups across the country signed on in support of these demands.

Convening organizations include Food & Water Action, the Center for Biological Diversity, Corporate Accountability, Appalachian Voices, Partnership for Southern Equity and Democracy Collaborative.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.