Rethink, Reimagine, Rebuild: Greenlining’s Initial Response to the COVID-19 crisis
Like many groups across the country, at Greenlining, we are sorting through the complexity of the COVID-19 crisis. We want you to know that you are not alone. We are with you, and fighting to turn this crisis into an opportunity to build a better world.
The COVID-19 crisis has put all of our health in danger and shut down huge sectors of the U.S. economy. It has created urgent, short-term needs, which Greenlining is already working to address. But the coronavirus pandemic has also underlined the U.S.’s longstanding pandemic of inequality and given us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to address it.
Over the next year, we must:
- Rethink our economy and how it has created such glaring inequity;
- Reimagine how we run our government and our businesses in order to provide security and opportunity for all; and
- Rebuild our core public and private institutions to ensure no American is left behind.
COVID-19 is a threat multiplier: The pandemic makes inequity worse, and inequity worsens the health crisis. In the face of threat multipliers, we must be opportunity multipliers and ensure our solutions are multi-issue and intersectional. Right now we are focused on the immediate crisis and the impact on people losing their incomes or without access to health care.
We have been fighting for a federal economic relief and stimulus package that puts workers and families ahead of big corporations. With schooling and jobs being pushed online, our Technology Equity team is laser-focused on the digital divide that leaves so many in communities of color behind. We’re pushing for increased access to health care and food programs, protections for renters, and a moratorium on utility disconnections.
We have already begun to work with the governor and legislature and will fight to protect small businesses in communities of color to ensure that they don’t just survive this crisis, but thrive. We will continue to push the state to invest in projects to fight climate change that deliver immediate economic relief to low-income households and that generate accessible jobs and contracting opportunities so we can put hard hit residents to work building a just and sustainable California.
But that is — and must be — only the beginning. It is time to rethink everything. This is our time to think big and to take steps to build an equitable future that promises access to economic opportunity for all.
Too many voices are saying we must get back to business as usual as soon as possible, but we should not aim for things to bounce back to “normal” after this crisis ends: Normal is what got us here.
This is our moment to collectively rewrite the story of what our world will become and what is possible when we work together. It demands that we let go of failed systems from the past and employ innovative strategies, so that we can build a new tomorrow together. We look forward to working with you to meet this challenge.