Advocates applauded Congress’ three trillion dollar Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act back in March, but know that much more needs to be done for the Black community as a result of COVID-19. Consequently, the Black to the Future Action Fund has published the new policy platform “COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Plan for Black America.”
The plan addresses four key points impacted by the pandemic—the economy, healthcare, housing and democracy rights—that could help flatten the curve and the playing field, as highlighted on the Black to the Future website. Some examples of the plan’s recommendations include putting cash directly into the hands of people and canceling student loan payments, rent, mortgages and evictions, plus public utilities and internet costs. The Black to the Future Action Fund is pushing Congress and the public to back these proposals and to adopt the plan immediately.
In stressing the urgency to quickly deal with COVID-19’s devastating impact on the Black community, the organization wrote:
For too long, Black people have had to work twice as hard to barely get half as far in America. The rules of the economy, our democracy, and our society are rigged—and as a result, Black communities are falling further behind. This pandemic has exposed the failings of a government that was never intended to protect Black people. We are dying from COVID-19 at higher rates, the Black unemployment rate is the highest it has been in a decade, and as we near one of the most consequential presidential elections in recent history, voter suppression remains a cause for concern—even during a pandemic.”
In a call-to-action, Black to the Future Action Fund founder Alicia Garza emphasized in a YouTube video the need to stay focused on COVID-19. “As millions take to the streets to demand an end to police terror against our people, the ‘Rona continues to attack and devastate our communities,” Garza said. "We are infected at higher rates, we make up the majority of deaths in major cities across the country, and…the Black unemployment rate is the highest it’s been in 10 years.”
Watch the video below of Garza as she explains how the “COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Plan for Black America” could strengthen the HEROES Act as well as actions the public can take to support its passage, courtesy of the Black to the Future Action Fund. To learn more about the plan, visit the website here.