Led by a coalition of immigrant rights, labor, and climate justice groups, thousands of people marched on Washington Thursday to demand that Congress pass far-reaching pandemic recovery legislation for the entire country, particularly those hit by poverty, unemployment, and economic hardship.\r\n\r\nDemonstrators carried signs reading \u0022We Can\u0026#039;t Wait for Jobs\u0022 and \u0022We Can\u0026#039;t Wait for Citizenship\u0022 at the rally organized by the Center for Popular Democracy, Unemployed Action, Make the Road, and other national groups that are calling on lawmakers \u0022to act quickly and boldly to enact transformative changes for an equitable economy,\u0022 according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which released a report on the need to overhaul the unemployment system to coincide with the day of action.\r\n\r\n\u0022It\u0026#039;s a beautiful day for us to remind everyone in Congress that the real power in Washington comes from the people.\u0022 —Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nSens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) were among those who spoke at the \u0022We Can\u0026#039;t Wait\u0022 rally on Capitol Hill, calling for an end to the filibuster and \u0022strong legislation as part of the budget reconciliation process to meet the urgent needs of immigrants and excluded and unemployed workers,\u0022 as CPD Action, the political action arm of the Center for Popular Democracy, said on social media.\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022All of us have got to stand together and tell the billionaire class that our time is now,\u0022 said Sanders. \u0022We won\u0026#039;t wait!\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022The Biden administration has made bold commitments to deliver on progressive issues,\u0022 said CPD Action. \u0022Despite the introduction of legislation to provide a path to citizenship for all, massive proposed investments in green infrastructure and the care economy, and a commitment to putting the American people back to work in jobs that pay a family sustaining wage as a critical step towards economic recovery, immigrants and excluded workers have yet to feel any relief or recovery after bearing the brunt of maintaining critical food, care, and health infrastructure throughout the pandemic.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nThe Republican Party\u0026#039;s use of the filibuster this week stopped the Democrats\u0026nbsp;from passing the For the People Act, a voting rights package aimed at ending voter suppression, and advocates called on lawmakers not to allow the same thing to happen with pandemic recovery, immigration, and economic justice legislation.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022Our members have no patience for inaction,\u0022 said immigrant rights group Make the Road New York, outlining demands for citizenship for undocumented immigrants—millions of whom have been essential workers during the pandemic. The group also called for climate action, well-paying union jobs, and investment in a dignified care economy.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022This is the way to build back better,\u0022 the group said.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nAdvocates called on Democratic lawmakers to pass policies for working people as party leaders were discussing the need for a far-reaching reconciliation infrastructure package—including some of the proposals pushed at the We Can\u0026#039;t Wait rally—to go along with a less ambitious bipartisan deal that a group of senators reached with the White House Thursday.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022If we don’t go bold, then it’s no deal for me and my fellow progressives in Congress!\u0022 said Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-Ill.) at the rally. \u0022Leader McConnell, time\u0026#039;s up!\u0026nbsp;Joe Manchin,\u0026nbsp;time’s up!\u0026nbsp;Kyrsten Sinema, time’s up!\u0026nbsp;Joe Biden, time’s up!”\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nThe rally came as more than two dozen states cut or planned to cut enhanced unemployment benefits, which were put in place during the coronavirus pandemic and credited with helping to keep millions of Americans out of poverty.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nIn a report released Thursday, EPI joined the advocacy groups\u0026#039; call for federal action to overhaul the unemployment system, under which states are currently incentivized to exclude workers and are given decision-making power regarding the continuation of benefits.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nThe report\u0026nbsp;quoted Sharon Shelton Corpening, a Georgia-based gig worker whose unemployment benefits are set to run out next week and who spoke at the rally.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022Next week, my financial lifeline will be yanked from under me because states like Georgia have too much power to reduce, restrict, or flat out deny benefits that are literally keeping us alive,\u0022\u0026nbsp;said Corpening. \u0022Unemployed people—especially Black people in the South who face systemic racism even as jobs return—want and need to work. But this current unstable unemployment insurance system hasn\u0026#039;t\u0026nbsp;helped us get on our feet if we can\u0026#039;t\u0026nbsp;even count on UI benefits. We need federal protections and we need them now.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nProgressive leaders at the rally also called on Democrats to pass popular policies including Medicare for All without waiting for Republicans leaders to agree to the legislation or listening to claims that the federal government can\u0026#039;t afford to expand the 56-year-old program to all Americans.\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\u0022How does Congress find the money for these bold reforms? It’s a tired question,\u0022 said Make the Road New York. \u0022The answer has always been: tax the rich!\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022It\u0026#039;s a beautiful day for us to remind everyone in Congress that the real power in Washington comes from the people,\u0022 said Markey.