Everyone say “thank you, Cori Bush.”
After she slept on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building and inspired others to protest, as well, the Centers for Disease Control introduced a targeted eviction moratorium. The new “temporary” moratorium lasts until October 3. It covers counties with a high rate of COVID-19 spread, with CBS reporting that it covers 80% of U.S. counties, or roughly 90% of the nation’s population.
Bush slept on the stairs of the Capitol building in an act of protest. She continuously called on Congress to return to session and extend the moratorium after a game of political hot potato passed the authority to extend the order from the CDC to the White House to Congress and then back to the CDC.
Much of the confusion was due to a Supreme Court ruling that determined President Joe Biden could not extend the previous moratorium through executive action. Biden warned the order could "face obstacles" in a press conference with national reporters on Tuesday.
Some of her colleagues joined Bush on the steps as the weekend continued. Bush insisted on extending the moratorium, recalling her own story with eviction and sleeping in a car with her two young children before she was a congresswoman.
When the moratorium was announced last night, many took to Twitter to thank Bush. Congress members, such as Adam Schiff (D-California) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), applauded Bush as the one who made it all happen.
This eviction moratorium will keep millions of people in their homes.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) August 3, 2021
And it wouldn’t be possible without leadership from @RepMaxineWaters, @RepCori, and so many others.
Now, we must seek permanent solutions to help our unhoused neighbors.
Because we can, and must, do better. https://t.co/XryAovqczt
Mayor Tishaura Jones also tweeted a thank you to Bush. The mayor also acknowledged in a statement last night the work Bush did over the weekend will impact St. Louisans for the better.
The people of the St. Louis region elected @RepCori to represent their best interests in Congress, and today she demonstrated the power of direct action by achieving what some considered politically impossible.— Mayor Tishaura O. Jones (@saintlouismayor) August 3, 2021
I’m proud to have her voice in DC. #EvictionMoratorium https://t.co/TNQsOCf8Uv
“The people of the St. Louis region elected Congresswoman Cori Bush to represent their best interests in Congress, and she has demonstrated the power of direct action by achieving what some considered politically impossible,” Jones said in a statement. “I am so proud to have her voice in Washington, D.C, as we fight together to build a better St. Louis for everyone.”
In a press release, Jones also said the temporary reprieve gives the city time to take action and get people the help they need. She announced yesterday the city will host in-person rental assistance clinics to help residents use the resources offered.
These clinics will also need volunteers, so the city is also asking for interested individuals to apply.
There are currently 3,000 pending eviction cases in the city of St. Louis. A representative from United Way said the total number of calls from July 1 to August 2 “related to information or resources for rental assistance” in both St. Louis city and county sat at 1,678. Of those calls, 865 were in the city and 813 were from the county.
“Keeping families in their homes and off the streets plays a key part in helping stop the spread of COVID-19,” Jones said in a press release. “If the federal government won’t act, the City will, allocating funds to expedite applications and partnering with providers to set up in-person clinics to help connect residents with the resources they need.”
The city will partner with the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council for in-person assistance clinics on August 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Another clinic will be hosted on August 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Louis Community College Forest Park.
Residents in need of rental and utility assistance can also dial 211, call 800-427-4626 or email [email protected], according to the mayor's office.
Bush never forgot about St. Louis in her fight at Washington, D.C. In a tweet, she said she missed and loved the Lou.
"It's the honor of my life to bring our St. Louis energy to the steps of the U.S. Capitol in our movement to save lives," Bush wrote.
Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]