Generations of policies and practices—such as breached treaties, voter suppression, erosion of workers’ right to organize, and mass criminalization—have excluded vulnerable people from decision-making, resulting in government systems that don’t meet the needs of the people they purport to serve. This is not only a moral concern, but also a social, cultural, and economic liability. When entire populations are unable to fully participate in society, the enormous loss of potential affects the whole nation.
With the coronavirus thrusting the country into a public health and economic crisis, our racial and structural inequities have become even more pronounced. To foster greater inclusion and self-determination, federal policymakers must:
- Center community voice in policymaking and spending.
- Protect the right to vote and increase access to the ballot box.
- Remove barriers to organizing and include labor unions in pandemic response planning.