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County’s COVID-19 equity task force lays out priorities for region-wide response


Read the full article by Andres Lopez-Villafana in the San Diego Union-Tribune here.

The county’s Regional COVID-19 Taskforce for Equitable Recovery held its first meeting on Wednesday outlining several priority issues to ensure that people of color and underserved communities recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 30 elected officials, nonprofit leaders, school officials and community organizers participated in the meeting, which was livestreamed on Facebook.

The task force plans to handle environmental, economic, health and educational inequities, as well as child care needs and voter participation.

“We want to take the inequities and ... start talking about how do we address them in ways that we can start moving government in a more progressive direction,” said county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who convened the meeting. “I view this as something that we will be at for the long haul.”

Members discussed taking different approaches to reach people who don’t usually follow COVID updates from the county or who don’t have access to TVs to watch them on the news. They also discussed how to address virus testing and geographic disparities.

The Regional COVID-19 Taskforce for Equitable Recovery was created June 17, in response to calls from the Invest in San Diego Families Coalition for county leaders to look at pathways to COVID recovery through a racial and equity lens. Invest in Families is made up of several social services and advocacy organizations that serve low-income and diverse communities.

The task force Wednesday picked subcommittee chairs and decided to hold its next meeting July 29 at 2 p.m. The meeting will probably be online.

Members of the task force include some elected officials, community leaders and representatives of the San Diego Families Coalition, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, the Center for Policy Initiatives, the Climate Action Campaign and the Environmental Health Coalition.