U.S. News & World Report: Goss: How Cities Can Recover From COVID-19 Without Leaving Anyone Behind

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 05/15/2020

Elysa Neumann, Centre for Public Impact
+1 202-630-3383
elysa@centreforpublicimpact.org

 

 

U.S. News & World Report: Goss: How Cities Can Recover From COVID-19 Without Leaving Anyone Behind

Cities can have an inclusive economic recovery after the coronavirus, but to do so, public and private investment will need to work together.

Originally published in U.S. News & World Report.

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The coronavirus will continue to have a disproportionate impact on those who had been living on a thin foundation of financial stability. A survey last year found that only 40% of Americans could pay a $1,000 expense without taking on new debt. With more than 33 million people already having filed for unemployment insurance since the start of the pandemic, the fault lines of inequality will deepen, a divide we’re already seeing run along racial lines.

As cities submit next years’ budget proposals, they must launch an inclusive economic recovery, one that both addresses the inequalities present long before the pandemic and those exacerbated because of it. But governments do not have to go it alone. In fact, they shouldn’t. Our economic future will rest on the ability of public and private investment to work together toward a shared vision of renewal. It will require investors to realize the economic potential of historically disinvested places and actualize this potential by replacing their short-term mindset with a commitment to generating returns in the long term. It will require public officials to recognize their unique role in ensuring new investment goes where it is needed most.

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There is no doubt that we will need massive government intervention to recover in the months and years ahead. Our public dollars are uniquely suited to provide large-scale emergency relief to those who need it. But as our local public officials formulate their long-term priorities and debate strategies to restart city economies, they must not exclude the communities largely forgotten during the last decade. These communities have unique assets, resilient workers and economic potential waiting to be unlocked. With deliberate planning and collaboration, public and private dollars can turn this potential into reality.

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