Interfaith letter to Gov. Ricketts urging a mask mandate
(Authored by the Interfaith COVID Task Force convened by Tri-Faith Initiative)

Dear Governor Ricketts:

Grace and peace to you in this season of gratitude. We write as Nebraska clergy to share our displeasure with your decision to refuse a mask mandate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are appalled that Nebraska is one of the few remaining states without a mask mandate. Nebraskan clergy are called to seek justice and love thy neighbor and we are asking you to uphold those principles. We are disappointed in your leadership of the great people of Nebraska.

As leaders in all faith traditions, we are asking you for action for these key areas:

1. Issue an executive order mandating a face-covering requirement throughout the state
2. Issue a statewide moratorium on evictions
3. Pursue further investment in fighting food insecurity and housing crisis

Clergy and laity across the state of Nebraska will be engaging in a social media campaign using the hashtag #nebraskafaithCARES. The good people of Nebraska want to stand alongside their neighbors to bring equitable support for those who are disproportionately affected by the COVID crises. A near-unanimous cohort of medical and public health professionals believe there must be a mask mandate and we are encouraged there are more Nebraskans that share this belief.

Twenty percent of Nebraskans are currently facing food insecurity. In 2019, 2,365 Nebraskans were experiencing homelessness. We have to do better. The CARES Act has to be allocated in equitable ways to those who are the most vulnerable in Nebraska. Stronger communities mean a stronger Nebraska.

We are calling you to institute a mask mandate immediately. Your reason for not instituting this requirement is because of the low overall number of cases. Currently, our state is being drastically affected by the pandemic with over 2,000 Nebraskans being infected daily and a near-critical shortage of hospital beds. It is time for you to protect the people of this great state. Let it be so.

Signed,


Clergy and Laity from across the great State of Nebraska

Co-signed by Tri-Faith Initiative Clergy & Leadership
Rabbi Aryeh Azriel
Rabbi A. Brian Stoller
Rabbi Deana Sussman Berezin
Cantor Joanna M. Alexander
Rev. Dr. Chris Alexander
Imam Mohamad Jamal Daoudi
Wendy Goldberg, Executive Director
Erik Servellon, Deputy Director
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