By
FPI Staff
|
June 16, 2020

Florida Policy Institute Unites With Southern Neighbors, Calls for Shared COVID-19 Response

This post was last updated on September 10, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.
On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Policy Institute (FPI) today joined fellow Southerners in unveiling a shared vision for the region’s COVID-19 response, which will inform and hold accountable policymakers and stakeholders on the social and economic inequities exposed by the global pandemic. Further, as many take to the streets to express their outrage with police brutality and racism in the United States, these organizations are committed to rebuilding an equitable South. The full list of partners can be found at SouthStrong.org.

The shared vision for the region’s response is based on respect, dignity, equity, and justice to address the public health crisis and mitigate the economic fallout. The group will prioritize coordination among neighboring states and strong public services, given the South’s history of structural racism and limited worker protection through discriminatory policies and practices.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the racial and economic disparities in our state,” said Sadaf Knight, CEO of FPI. “In order to close gaps in things like access to affordable health care and housing, Florida lawmakers must start prioritizing investment in public services over tax cuts for the wealthiest residents.”

Each of the Southern entities agreed to the following values for a response that is equitable, accountable, and transparent:

  • Health and Safety. Reaffirming the respect for health and life by guaranteeing reasonable safety at home, at work, and in public life.
  • Worker Rights. Reaffirming the dignity of all workers by ensuring a livable wage, paid leave, and the right to collective bargaining.
  • Quality Education and Childcare. Reaffirming equitable, quality education and childcare by guaranteeing that resources reach all children.
  • Just Disaster Response. Reaffirming just responses to communities impacted by disasters, both natural and human-caused.
  • Free and Fair Elections. Reaffirming the need to create and protect opportunities for all people to participate in elections and influence public policymaking.
  • Equitable Taxation. Reaffirming support for an economy that works for all, fueled by a revenue system that asks those who make the most to contribute the most.

“We look forward to working with organizations in Florida and our neighbors in other southern states to hold policymakers accountable for their response to this unprecedented pandemic,” added Knight.

FPI is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing state policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Floridians.

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