The FPWA, an anti-poverty policy organization has joined forces with two other groups to release an agenda for advancing race-conscious policies in New York City.
The FPWA will work with the United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) and the Citizens’ Committee for Children (CCC) on the R.E.A.L. Equity agenda.
The agenda’s aim is to ignite action at the city, state and federal levels of government. As New York City slowly begins to rebuild in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic effects, it’s important that the agenda is adopted by mayoral candidates and city council.
“The R.E.A.L. Equity agenda aims to ensure that racism is ended and true and lasting equality in every pillar of our society is achieved by undertaking specific and targeted strategies”, Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of FPWA said in a statement. “As New York City rebuilds from the devastation wrought by Covid-19, we must ensure that racial equity is a core principle of the recovery effort.”
The pandemic showed deep racial inequities in the city including health, the economy and access to the Paycheck Protection Program for small and minority businesses.
The first step in the agenda is achieving economic equity. According to the FPWA, 40% of New Yorkers cannot currently meet their basic needs. According to the agenda, those plans include inequities in the tax code, establishing a universal basic income and addressing wage disparities
The second step is housing equity. More than 90,000 New Yorkers are currently homeless and families with children make up 70% of the city’s shelter system. The agenda will work to expand community-based homelessness prevention and aftercare support, invest in rental subsidies at the city and state level to increase housing security and shorten shelter stays. The plan will also support home ownership with low-cost mortgage assistance.
The third step will be health and behavioral health equity. Systemically racist healthcare systems have led to significant lack of access to primary and preventive care, disparate quality of care received, lack of awareness about available resources, and social and physical environmental conditions.
The agenda will provide healthcare coverage to uninsured adults and children, address racial disparities in infant and maternal health outcomes and expand affordable community-based support for older adults.
The plan also work on educational and criminal justice equity and empowering low-income communities in the city
“Racial inequities and injustices have led to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the lives of Black and Latinx New Yorkers,” Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York said in a statement. “As government leaders respond to the current triple crises in public health, economic decline, and persistent race-based discrimination, the R.E.A.L Equity agenda outlines public investments and policies that must be prioritized to advance racial and economic equity and ensure that all children, families and communities recover and thrive.”