Introduction to Issue 3

The chickens come home to roost. 

We are two months into “lockdown,” but three and a half months into the public health crisis as more and more evidence of the Trump administration’s denial and dithering during February and March come to light. The “handful of cases” dismissed by the president has now become almost 80,000 lives lost. In this issue we turn our attention to the complete politicization of the public health crisis as Trump orders America back to work, overruling his own public health experts and tweeting support for the intimidation of state legislators by angry, misinformed, and even armed protesters (Non-Violent? Civil? Disobedience? A Critique of the Anti-Lockdown Protests?).

The half hearted insufficiency of relief efforts comes to light (Update on Unemployment Compensation in the Pandemic and Did you get your Economic Stimulus Check?). The national affordable housing crisis we were already experiencing is about to become more acute as two or three months of rent come due, “relief” checks are garnished by the government,  and discrimination against those in recovery or re-entry rages unchecked. (The (Un)Affordable Housing Train Wreck is Here - Let’s Build a Grassroots Agenda to Deal With It).

Yet there is resilience, and there is hope. (Coping With Stress Amid COVID 19 Crisis and Hope) Across the nation,  grassroots people, forced to choose between safety and their jobs, are organizing, in spite of their differences, to demand more government funding and relief from “rent slavery”. Grassroots organizations are proposing ideas for action, as well as educating themselves and the public.

As one author put it, “The world will not be the same after the pandemic… and neither will we.”

 

Allen Schwartz