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    Center on Policy Initiatives

California COVID-19 Worker Resources Clearinghouse

A collaboration between CASE and FOWW

Our Vision:

We are in an unprecedented moment that demands bold action. We can and must take care of each other today, and we can also seize the opportunity to address the root causes of the challenges that this health and economic crisis have laid bare. Our goal is not simply to return to “normal” as long as normal means insecure and unstable work, and families not being able to make ends meet.

Work can and should provide working people with stability and safety, and the opportunity to contribute and connect with each other. It should be a place where we are treated fairly and with respect. Good jobs can enable us to provide for ourselves and our families, and to join together to ensure that our communities thrive in a just and inclusive economy. These qualities are important every day, and in times of crisis we must commit even more to making them a reality. 

Why do we need a short term and long-term strategy?

Too many working people, especially people of color, have been pushed into unsustainable work that pays impoverishing wages in working conditions that disempower them, while corporations place profits over people and capital over community. Insecure work has affected the ability for people, families, and communities to be financially, physically and fiscally sustainable. And that was before an economically disastrous pandemic hit. 

Now, underpaid workers are either out of work, or fear the loss of income and health insurance, with the social support/insurance systems that we should be able to depend on suffering from years of lack of investment. Corporations and the wealthy have prioritized their profits and wealth, extracting from workers and their families and communities, weakening our government institutions, thus setting the stage for too many of us being vulnerable in the face of this virus. This is a moment that exposes the precarity and insecurity that characterizes work and life for too many people and communities. 

The wealthy and powerful have been successful at making us believe that there is not enough to go around, that individual effort and hard work are what allows people to get ahead, and that the inequality we live with is just the way things are and will always be. They have had too much influence over the rules of the economy, and on what we believe is possible. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. Working people have always fought to improve our workplaces and communities in California, and our current crisis demands we step up again. Worker centers, unions, and other community-based organizations in California must come together to ensure our policy solutions prioritize working people in the short-term, and lay the groundwork to transform our current status quo. 

The Path Forward:

We must all work together to support and protect each other. Our interconnectedness and responsibility to each other have never been clearer. We already have the resources we need as a society to respond to this crisis, and build after this crisis – we need to demand that we use our collective resources to benefit all of us. A real solution means that everyone has the resources, opportunities, and protections they need to survive and thrive, today and tomorrow and in ten years

We need short-term solutions to the pain people are experiencing today, and we need to orient the change we seek today to the long-term change we will continue to bring about together. We need a policy shift, as well as a shift in the balance of power and who gets to decide. Our response now must not replicate the longstanding pattern of corporate interests getting to dictate our solutions. Our response must be led and informed by our communities.

Workers and worker advocacy organizations have a unique and critical role to play in developing the solutions that will move us all forward. Workers organized into and with powerful institutions can shift us toward an economy of sustainable shared prosperity and power. California can play an important role in leading by example, in showing other states and the federal government a model of how we can take care of each other. We can respond to this crisis and plan for beyond it with a vision for California where all who live and work here have what we need to thrive. 

Updates

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PLEDGE TO VOTE

MY VOTE COUNTS

5 County Supervisors get to decide how to spend over $6 billion dollars of public funds each year.

This election, we have the chance to elect 3 of the 5 Supervisors. Will you vote?

PLEDGE TO VOTE

MY VOTE COUNTS

5 County Supervisors get to decide how to spend over $6 billion dollars of public funds each year.

This election, we have the chance to elect 3 of the 5 Supervisors. Will you vote?