Principles for a Common-Sense, Street-Smart Recovery

Principles for a Common-Sense, Street-Smart Recovery

A white paper from PolicyLink recommends five principles for ensuring that federal policies aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic do not reinforce existing disparities among low-income communities and communities of color but instead advance a more equitable recovery. Principles for a Common-Sense, Street-Smart Recovery (18 pages, PDF) argues that policy makers working to mitigate the impacts of the public health crisis should 1) center racial equity; 2) put people first; 3) invest in community infrastructure; 4) focus on building an equitable economy; and 5) protect and expand community voice and power. Given that people of color are overrepresented among essential frontline workers, the uninsured, and COVID-19 cases nationally, collecting data disaggregated by race/ethnicity and implementing an intersectional race-conscious policy approach is essential to containing the outbreak and ameliorating some of the disparities it has reinforced. Policy makers also should do what they can to guarantee income, suspend debt collections and loan payments, and take action to prevent evictions and utility shutoffs; address systemic disinvestment in communities of color; provide direct support to workers and small businesses; and help catalyze growth in green jobs, equitable business opportunities, and growth across broad geographies.