Coming Back Better


The coronavirus had disproportionate economic and health impacts on low-income workers and workers of color and deepened existing inequities along lines of race, class, and gender. In response to the pandemic, most state and many local governments convened task forces of cross-sector leaders to advise on how to respond to the public health and economic crisis. To understand the promise and success of these task forces in relation to racial equity and worker justice, we analyzed the scope, approach, and early outcomes of taskforces in all 50 states and 70 cities. We found that while community and labor representatives on a few task forces succeeded in advancing policies that will benefit low-income workers and workers of color, the majority failed to meaningfully engage with advocates or advance recovery solutions that centered equity. To ensure that future crisis-response task forces advance policies that build an economy that works for all, we must provide meaningful supports to allow advocates and directly impacted community members to participate in decision-making guided by equity principles.