For COVID-19 Recovery, Invest in People and Places


Invest in people and places

Helping families recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 requires far more than a paycheck, particularly when already underfunded social services and transit agencies face budget cuts. To build resilience after COVID-19, cities need to invest in people and in places. More specifically, cities need to build a community-based workforce to ramp up social services, and cities need to invest in affordable transportation options. Cities Face More Than COVID-19 Economic Devastation The economic fallout from COVID-19 is real for cities and families, particularly for Latinos, who were already drastically underpaid compared to white workers. Beyond unequal pay, Latino and low-income families face a legacy of discriminatory policies and practices that have resulted in unaffordable ...

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Study: Salud America! Increased Exposure to Latino Health Equity Content amid COVID-19


latino health equity digital content curation during covid-19 coronavirus

When COVID-19 struck, it impacted Latinos more than others. That is why Salud America!, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded national program at UT Health San Antonio, immediately applied its digital content curation model to create equitable, culturally relevant information and action opportunities to address pandemic effects on Latinos. The result? Record spikes in program website traffic and confirmation of the curation model's capacity to increase people's exposure to culturally relevant and action-oriented information for a novel topic like COVID-19, according to a new study published in the journal Health Promotion Practice. "We have shown that digital content curation is an effective, measurable public health promotion tool to disseminate awareness-raising and ...

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Building a Community-Based Workforce to Address COVID-19 Recovery, Public Safety


meeting community-based social workers amid covid-19

Too many social support tasks fall to armed police officers. As local leaders discuss COVID-19 recovery plans, they need to consider how to address these social support issues in tandem with economic issues. Many cities are exploring how to reform or reimagine police. This often includes partnering with community-based social, behavioral, and mental health services. However, community partners may lack capacity for city-wide change. That’s why cities need to build a community-based workforce to coordinate community development, help families recover from the pandemic’s economic fallout, and reform police, simultaneously. Expensive Spending on Traditional Policing Public safety is a major city expense. Of the 50 largest cities, spending on police accounts for the ...

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Transit and Compact Development are Solutions to Health Equity, COVID-19 Recovery


compact development is important for COVID recovery

Researchers are finding that population density is not associated with higher death rates from COVID-19. Unfortunately, some people still blame compact housing and transit for pandemic spikes, and use that misinformation to promote sprawling residential development and disinvestment in transit in the name of health. These are the same poor practices that have segregated neighborhoods and contributed to drastic disparities in health and wealth for a century. As city leaders respond to concerns about COVID transmission and develop economic recovery plans, they must challenge the discriminatory status quo, consider transportation expenses, and shift toward equitable, compact (not overcrowded) housing development. “Restoring urban transit networks to full force, expanding their ...

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Data: COVID-19 Unemployment Highest among Latinos, Immigrants


hispanic woman job loss unemployment amid coroanvirus covid-19

The American economy has been in freefall since the outbreak of the current novel coronavirus — and Latinos face the most widespread unemployment. Job loss is impacting Latinos and immigrant communities at higher rates than their peers during the pandemic, according to recently published data from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The pandemic is not only forcing more Latinos out of work, but it will have long-lasting ripple effects across the nation, according to Dr. Rogelio Sáenz, a professor in the Department of Demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio. "Over the last several decades, Latinos have represented the engine propelling the U.S. economy," Sáenz writes in a National Association for Community Asset Builders blog post. "While people ...

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Ohio Leaders Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis


Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) speaks about racism and protestors on the Ohio House floor on June 4 2020 Source Ohio Channel

Systemic racism makes it harder for Latinos and other people of color to get healthcare, housing, transportation, education, employment, healthy food, safe treatment by police, and more. How can cities and states take a meaningful step to address racism? Declare racism a public health crisis. That’s what cities and counties in Ohio are doing, with a commitment to: Incorporate educational efforts to dismantle racism. Review all portions of codified ordinances with a racial/ethnic equity lens. Prioritize policies that will have the most beneficial health impact on people of color. Train elected officials, staff, funders and grantees on workplace biases and how to mitigate them. “Through race-conscious policy-making, we’ve got to unwind the generations of ...

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Street Vendors Left Out of Reopening Plans amid Coronavirus


Street Vendors

Cities are increasingly recognizing the value of streets as car-less public space. For example, due to a spike in demand for outdoor space early in the coronavirus pandemic, cities around the world began closing streets to vehicles to give people walking and biking more space. More recently, cities are closing streets to vehicles to give restaurants and shops space to serve customers outdoors—in parking spaces, on sidewalks, and on streets. However, street vendors, many of whom are Latinos and immigrants with no paid sick leave and a history of fighting to serve these very spaces, are being left out of reopening plans. “They’ve been so exposed through the nature of their work and the cruelty of our society that has forced them out of the formal economy,” Megan Macareg ...

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This Latina Wants Leaders to Prioritize Childcare When Reopening after Lockdown



Without childcare, going back to work after the coronavirus lockdown is not an option for many families. But many city and state leaders are overlooking this childcare dilemma as they push to reopen businesses, even while schools remain closed amid the pandemic. That’s why Melinda Lopez is speaking up. Rhode Island, where Lopez lives, began reopening businesses on May 9. But childcare sites have to remain closed through May 30. Beyond this three-week-lag, when childcare centers do reopen, they will take fewer kids. Many moms will still be left without a spot for their child. “I’m concerned about what our women in our communities are going to do,” said Lopez, an Education Strategies Specialist with Highlander Institute, Early Childhood Adjunct Instructor at Rhode ...

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7 Reasons to Push for Paid Sick Leave Policies for During and Post-Pandemic


paid sick leave for workers

Without paid sick leave, too many Latinos are forced to choose between financial security and health. After all, just a few days of lost pay due to illness is the same as losing an entire month’s worth of groceries for some families, which fare worse during a pandemic like COVID-19. “For a typical Latino family without paid sick days, losing an average of 3.3 days due to sickness is equivalent to a family’s entire monthly health care budget or its monthly grocery budget,” according to a joint fact sheet from UnidosUS and National Partnership for Women & Families. This situation won’t just fix itself after the pandemic, either. “Lives are at stake when policies are not put in place from the top down to prevent the spread of disease or create healthy living ...

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