Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance notes that people-centered policies need to connect across multiple issues to be effective
BOSTON — Efforts to combat the impact of coronavirus must be based on intersectional initiatives addressing housing, child care, and education issues if Massachusetts is to successfully combat the pandemic, members of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance (MCRA) said during a press conference held today.
“COVID-19 has brought socio-economic inequalities into sharp focus. Much of the damage suffered by our communities is being compounded by long-standing structural issues,” said Al Vega, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health and member of MCRA. “This crisis has revealed just how interconnected these disparities are.”
The press conference was led by the Homes For All Coalition. Alliance speakers outlined a series of events to be held over the next two weeks in locations ranging from Boston to Lynn, to Northampton. The policies outlined included rental and mortgage relief for families impacted by COVID-19; worker health and safety protocols; enacting school reopening models that provide better leadership, guidance, and planning from the state; and helping parents access affordable childcare.
Members agree the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable people in the Commonwealth has exposed deep, systemic inequities in Massachusetts, which already faces the sixth-worst income inequality in the country.
“While all these things are happening, billionaires are continuing to make billions, and the choice is clear. We COULD have homes for all, good schools for all, and quality healthcare for all, but that is a path we must choose and to make that choice we need legislators to back people over profit,” said Rose Webster-Smith, Program Coordinator, Springfield No One Leaves.
Most of the communities hit hardest by COVID-19 and the related economic fallout are and will be hourly workers who are losing pay, people in the service, care, and hospitality industries, temp workers, small business owners, gig economy workers, new immigrants, and other fields dominated by women and people of color.
Christopher June Zizzamia, Community Labor United Senior Researcher and MCRA member testifying next to MCRA’s Just Recovery House
About the Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance:
The Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance is a coalition of organizations from across the state coming together to provide a Platform for Immediate Relief and a Vision for a Just and Healthy Recovery in Massachusetts.