In this moment of crisis, a moment when we find ourselves quarantined — possibly away from families, friends, and communities — a little comfort, such as politicians appearing bipartisan in their efforts to find a solution, could mean a great deal. Yet, we mustn’t let comfort pacify us. In this moment, when the world suffers together, we must remain vigilant of policies being produced — locally and nationally. We must remind politicians that the people being hurt most in this moment are the same people who were suffering before COVID-19 exposed the weaknesses in our social-safety nets.
In Iowa, the suffering include 1.1 million people living in poor or low-wealth conditions — including 317,000 children, 160,000 uninsured Iowans, 630,000 workers making under $15 per hour, and more than 2,700 homeless people. Every policy written, discussed, and called for a vote must provide for the general welfare of all. In this moment, we are all in crisis. However, these communities were in crisis before COVID-19 and they will be in crisis after the world recovers.
COVID-19 did not create the cracks in our system, it just exposed them to many. It is what we do now that we have all seen the cracks that matters. Do we fix the cracks completely, with a living-wage, a right to a home, and a right to health care or do we just make the cracks a little harder to see again? As Iowans, we must stand together and demand more for