A Common-Sense, Street-Smart Recovery
From Hurricane Katrina to the 2008 financial collapse, we have seen how recovery efforts that do not deliberately solve for issues facing low-income communities and communities of color only serve to reinforce existing disparities. As we navigate our way through the COVID-19 crisis, we need a Common-Sense, Street-Smart Recovery to build an inclusive economy and equitable nation that works for all. To realize the promise of equity, leaders must be dedicated to the full set of principles outlined below.
As the current public health and economic crisis continues to impact people around the world, we now know that across the United States, people of color are bearing the brunt of the effects of COVID-19. Centering racial equity must be at the core of this recovery.
During the last recession, corporations received massive bailouts while continuing with risky practices that undermined the strength of the economy, making us unprepared for the current shock from COVID019. Congress has started down this path once again, creating a half trillion-dollar fund to bail out corporations while millions of people are out of work. We can only fully recover by prioritizing people over profits.
For an equitable and lasting recovery from the coronavirus crisis, we must rebuild our physical infrastructure – food systems, water, housing, transit, and roads – as well as social infrastructure – the trusted network of nonprofit, cultural, philanthropic, and local institutions that help our communities function.
In addition to exposing our extreme inequality, the pandemic has also revealed our interconnectedness: we are only as safe as the least protected among us. In a diversifying country, dismantling structural racism and ensuring economic security for all is the right thing to do and the necessary thing to do. Equity is our path to a strong next economy.
A top-down recovery will not capture the long-term knowledge, wisdom, and experience that residents and community leaders have. Community engagement is more important than ever as residents are uniquely positioned to be the agents and owners of community change.