Over the years, we’ve learned from countless sustainability experts that in the climate change fight it makes sense for humans to live more densely and efficiently. Now, however, in the midst of a global pandemic, we recognize that density may have other ramifications. This week on Sea Change Radio, we dive into the Covid-19 planning policy weeds with San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney. Haney has been an outspoken advocate for more equity in this city now famous for its extreme wealth divide, so the impact of this crisis and the shelter-in-place order on those living on the margins is of particular interest to him. We discuss his work with local hotels to shelter people experiencing homelessness, the struggle to develop smart policy responses to a situation in constant flux, and what can be done to protect seniors, small, local businesses, and gig-economy workers.
Corona Virus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, is spreading, and threatening the lives of the physically vulnerable, including the elderly and people with a variety of preexisting conditions. In response, businesses, cities, and states are shutting down. The entire San Francisco Bay Area, the economic engine for much of California and the rest of the country, has been ordered to “shelter in place,” and other areas are considering similar measures. That means countless restaurants, retail outlets, and small businesses are closed. This approach should stop the spread of the disease, but what other impacts will it have? Specifically, what will it do to the economically vulnerable? Today on Sea Change Radio we are talking about poverty with Rebecca Vallas, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. We discuss the potential repercussions of pandemic policy on wage workers, distinguish between a booming stock market and authentic economic health, and talk about the plight of people truly living on the margins like prisoners and the homeless. Finally, we examine the faint possibility of a silver lining, in the way some politicians are proposing economic relief in response to this global crisis.