We are driving programmatic, systems and policy change that leads to healthy communities and economic prosperity for all.
Ensuring that employees can stay home when they’re sick is critical to protect the health of our workforce and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Since the arrival of the pandemic, we’ve worked diligently to expand paid sick leave policies for all Bay Area workers. While several emergency paid sick leave laws have been passed in recent months, important gaps remain in policy, education, and enforcement.
To address these gaps, we’ve launched a new resource that provides recommendations for local government action. BARHII’s emergency paid sick leave analysis was developed in partnership with legal experts at Legal Aid at Work and the California Work & Family Coalition.
In the few short months that COVID has disrupted our nation, more people have died from COVID than have died in the Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars; the S&P 500 plummeted from an all-time high; thousands of businesses have closed; and unemployment—particularly among low income workers—has skyrocketed to a level not seen since the Great Depression. The cost of this outbreak has been disproportionately borne by communities of color.
This dare not become, and should not be, the future’s new normal. Now, more than ever, public health must rise together to leverage their present power to correct the injustices of the past, and create a future that is equitable and just. BARHII has put together a rolling recovery plan where response and recovery are occurring simultaneously. Our plan is designed to use early warning indicators from our core team, BARHII and Rise Together members, and real time data to adjust our recovery strategy. Equity needs to happen in the decision making process, not just the outcomes.
In the words of Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, this moment calls for “a disproportionate investment in populations and groups that have a disproportionate impact.” We need integrated policies and investments to mitigate the multiple co-occurring crises our communities are experiencing.
Equity means creating policies and funding priorities that center the needs of the most impacted by COVID-19. It means ensuring that resources match the need. Equity also means including the voices of the most impacted in decision making about the priorities outlined here, to ensure local approaches address community needs and build power in disenfranchised communities. This must include the prioritization of Black, Latinx, and Pacific Islander communities as well as other groups that experience higher rates of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, as well as systemic bias and discrimination, including the unhoused, undocumented, and those living in detention facilities as well as individuals with arrest and conviction histories.
BARHII has created a COVID-19 Equity Investment Guide to highlight actions and best practices that counties and local health jurisdictions can adopt into their Health Equity and Investment plans. We recommend considering the actions identified in this guide as a suite of necessary actions—not a menu of options.
10 Public HealtH Departments WITH 200+ PARTNERS
We're leveraging the power of 9 counties and health departments to create health equity and economic opportunity through action, systems change, and expanding possibilities for Bay Area residents.
Alameda | Contra Costa | Marin
Napa | San Francisco | San Mateo
Santa Clara | Solano | Sonoma
"Addressing poverty can in part be done at the local level, but the bigger question is what will it take to build a broader base of constituent interest to win? The constituent base to win and glued together is at the regional level—aligning local and county programs and budgets in a regional context that can also impact and inform legislative action at the state level. That is why we need Rise Together."
Senior Fellow, PolicyLink