When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alabama in March 2020, it didn’t just cause massive human suffering and economic disruption. It also revealed suffering and disruption that have long existed and that policymakers have long neglected – or even perpetuated.
COVID-19 has laid bare deep racial inequities in Alabama’s economy and social system that have left our state unprepared to meet the needs of its people in this disaster. As the workers predominantly on the front lines, women and people of color bore the brunt of the economic meltdown. They also simultaneously have suffered greater exposure to the virus that caused it.
Alabama has a weak safety net for struggling families and an approach to economic growth that all too often leaves workers underprotected and underpaid. This ongoing policy legacy has exacerbated the damage that the virus has wreaked on the state’s working people.
In The State of Working Alabama 2021, Alabama Arise explores COVID-19’s significant and negative impacts on the state’s workforce. We also look ahead to outline a state and federal policy agenda for repairing the damage – not by repeating the policy mistakes of the past, but by charting a new path toward a more equitable economy marked by broadly shared prosperity.
Connecticut Voices for Children released their Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022. Versions of this document have been developed throughout the 25 years of the organization’s history. As the state experiences the convergence of a health crisis, an economic recession due to that crisis, and a contentious and long-overdue conversation on race, the “Book” has been refreshed given Voices’ new, strategic aim toward economic justice and these unprecedented times. The Issue Briefing Book 2020-2022 is designed to be a starting point for shared knowledge around the research and recommendations that are fundamental to family economic security and the undergirding fiscal and economics, with the hope of advancing shared action.
Abridged Brief | Full Brief
Whether we are born here or moved here, we all value that Virginia is a great place to raise a family. Immigrants move to Virginia for many of the same reasons as people born in other areas of the United States — job opportunities, good schools, and thriving communities. And Virginia’s immigrants are critical contributors to the state’s economy and communities, adding new energy and ideas everywhere from struggling mill towns seeking a second wind to the worker-hungry tech corridors. Immigrants in Virginia today are typically well educated, long-time residents of the United States, with many becoming U.S. citizens and raising children of their own.
THE VACATION RENTAL INDUSTRY has exponentially expanded with the growth of online home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb, Flipkey, and Homeaway. The state of Hawai‘i alone hosted approximately 23,000 vacation rental units (VRUs) in 2017, meaning one out of every 24 of our housing units is a VRU.
While not every city has adopted such a comprehensive strategy, Hawai‘i’s counties have the opportunity to model their ordinances off successful VRU regulations from around the world. Appleseed finds that the most effective VRU ordinance:
- Holds platforms liable for illegal transactions on their websites;
- Requires platforms to provide data on VRUs to cities;
- Imposes meaningful fines;
- Focuses on bringing major offenders and commercial hosts into compliance;
- Empowers neighbors;
- Limits the number of units a host may rent and nights a unit may be rented;
- Bans VRUs from operating in inappropriate types of housing; and
- Provides clear restrictions on Non-Conforming Units (NCUs).
Commercial operators already dominate our VRU industry: as of November of 2018, 73.5 percent of Hawai‘i hosts operate multiple listings, and 84.8 percent of Hawai‘i listings are entire homes or apartments. VRU conversion will not go away on its own; the financial incentive to operate VRUs is so great that only powerful enforcement tools can save our valuable housing stock. It is imperative that our counties employ enforcement strategies that will help, not hurt, our residents.