What’s the Key to an Equitable COVID-19 Recovery in DC?

Blog post by Peter Tatian, Arielle Jackson
April 15, 2022

Urban Institute   (NNIP Coordinator)

The greater DC region is still experiencing the pandemic’s lingering ramifications. Workers in certain sectors, often those with lower incomes, were more likely to be affected by the pandemic-driven economic downturn. And because of more than a century of racist policies and practices in employment, health care, housing, and wealth-building opportunities, people of color have borne the greatest share of the crisis’s health and economic effects—widening racial and ethnic disparities that existed long before 2020.

As local governments in the region relax some restrictions (PDF) established to prevent COVID-19’s spread, decisionmakers are increasingly considering how the DC region can recover from the pandemic while advancing equity and supporting communities.

Recently, the Urban Institute developed six memos for the DC Council that highlight local and national best practices to help guide an equitable recovery. They underscore that cross-sector, intentional effort is needed to correct inequities of the past and present, and the pandemic recovery is an opportunity to right historical wrongs and build a more equitable DC. Leaders in the following areas can develop plans based on these evidence-based best practices and recommendations.