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Excluded workers coalition demands changes to distribution of COVID-19 relief funds, stating current plan is unfair

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 6:25 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - People with the Iowa City Excluded Workers Fund Coalition are demanding changes to how Johnson County allocates the most recent federal stimulus money.

During Monday night’s Johnson County Board of Supervisors joint entities meeting, protesters met outside to get their opinion noticed.

Johnson County will have $3.5 million dollars from the stimulus money. To apply for assistance, people must meet certain income and employment requirements. That criteria has been expanded to allow more people to apply.

Those who qualify will be selected through a system where people who can show multiple economic hardships are prioritized.

Excluded workers are frustrated that there won’t be enough funds to go around to everyone who really needs them.

Manny Galvez, a member of the Iowa City Catholic Worker House, was at the meeting Monday night.

“The Latino community and the immigrant community is going to feel like it’s cheated. Obviously, we want to have everybody receive support. But this is a specific program for us, for excluded workers, and I feel like they look so bad,” he said.

In an open letter directed to the Joint Entities of Johnson County, the Excluded Workers Fund Coalition called the plan an “exclusionary, casino-style lottery system.”

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