Iowa City Excluded Workers continue their fight for COVID relief funds

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 6:03 AM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Ninoska Campos is, by its definition, an excluded worker in Iowa City. She came to Iowa from Honduras in May 2019. She’s ineligible for state unemployment or federal COVID-related income relief.

“We have been, for almost a year, working with the county people to receive this economic support,” she said.

During Wednesday morning’s Johnson County Board of Supervisors meeting, she voiced her concerns about the change in plans for COVID relief funds.

“The thing that we want to see is that they don’t play games with the immigrants, the poor people in the Latino community in Iowa City,” said Campos.

$3.5 million was originally allocated for excluded workers. That criteria have been expanded to allow more people to apply, and possibly exclude many in the Latino community.

“If they want to help another group of people, they can create another program because they have enough money, and they have enough budget to do it,” said Campos.

Manny Galvez with the Iowa City Catholic Worker house agrees. He says they understand that many more people than just the Latino community were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

“However, this tiny, tiny portion of the budget was to help these people. They worked, we were working for almost a year to ask and request this support,” he said.

Both Galvez and Campos say they plan to continue demanding change at meetings, via protests, and over email with the county until they are given the funds they feel they rightly deserve.

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