Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2020
San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition Advocates for Community Resources in Face of Catastrophic COVID-19 Crisis
Virtual press conference to showcase dire need for resources during and after the pandemic
San Francisco — The San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition (SFLPEC), a broad-based partnership working to ensure that Latinos who live or work in San Francisco are being justly represented, will hold a virtual press conference to push for fair budgeting during a time of unprecedented crisis for Latinos. The event will be held this Thursday, July 30, at 10:30 a.m. Watch.
A sobering fact reflected on the San Francisco Department of Public Health dashboard is that Latinos account for half of positive COVID-19 cases, yet represent just 15% of the city’s population. This was spotlighted by an April 2020 UCSF study in one 16-block census tract of the Mission District: The overwhelming majority of those who tested positive were Latino (95%, even though Latinos represented just 44% of those screened); and almost all who tested positive were defined as “essential” workers unable to telecommute and/or made under $50,000 annual household income.
Says Chief Executive Officer Luis Granados of the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), “As socio-economic inequities cause our community to fall ill and perish at higher rates, Latinos are also bearing the brunt of the economic pain of the pandemic. Many were the first to lose their jobs and are not eligible for federal relief. This has led to food insecurity and no money to pay rent. On the other hand, those still employed are mostly ‘essential’ workers out in public and risking their health every day. Coming home to overcrowded conditions due to the high cost of housing exacerbates the problem if one becomes infected and needs to self-quarantine. There is an urgent need for parity of resources to address this combination of complex issues that has led to a crisis of epic proportions.”
If San Francisco is looking to strategically eradicate COVID-19 from its 49 square miles, it must now be laser focused on providing the resources needed to serve the city’s Latino immigrant communities who, due to socio-economic factors, are falling ill in greater numbers. Also, Latino essential workers are employed in all parts of San Francisco. A failure to deal with COVID-19 head on in Latino communities will impact the entire city getting back to a sense of normality, where small businesses can once again fully open their doors for customers, essential workers can feel safe, classrooms teem with engaged children learning and family gatherings are once again commonplace.
States Executive Director Mario Paz of Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, “The City of San Francisco must use an equity lens when looking at the next year’s budget. This is not the time for a one-size-fits-all approach: The talk has been that there will be cuts across the board, yet in reality the pandemic has translated to a reduction in needed resources in some areas, while other areas have increased needs, especially around low-income immigrants individuals and families with children. For San Francisco’s Latino-serving nonprofits, more impactful work is already being done with the same allocation of resources as pre-COVID, and this is causing a strain. Funding must be increased at this time so that the Latino community can fairly weather this crisis.”
San Francisco’s Latino community was already operating under extreme trauma and duress before COVID-19 began to take its toll. Systemic inequities have now been laid bare. Equitable funding for programs to strengthen our families in the long term is also required so that a future crisis does not disproportionately affect our community once again.
Explains Executive Director Estela Garcia of Instituto Familiar de la Raza, “Think of our 23 Latino-serving organizations as the first responders for ‘essential’ workers. Cutting our budgets now would be myopic. We know through first-hand experience — and by reliable data — that the level of need will not diminish in the immediate future. If anything, it will continue to intensify. The scale of the solution must meet the scale of the problem. The Latino community is inherently strong, but the current crisis necessitates culturally relevant, well-funded resources for those on the ground — and who know our community best.”
Join this important virtual press conference on Thursday, July 30, at 10:30 a.m. Zoom.
About the San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition
The San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition (SFLPEC) is a broad-based, citywide coalition working to ensure that Latinos who live or work in San Francisco are being justly represented and provided with the resources they need to reach their full potentials. Our coalition, which represents members from leading nonprofit, housing, immigration, social service and advocate groups across the city, was established on the premise that the city’s budget should promote investments which empower Latino communities and reduce inequities for San Francisco’s Latino residents, particularly in the wake of the unprecedented affordability and displacement crisis.
Calle 24 Latino Cultural District
Centro Latino de San Francisco, Inc.
Colectivo del Rescate Cultural
Dolores Street Community Services
Good Samaritan Family Resource Center
Jamestown Community Center
Instituto Familiar de la Raza
La Raza Community Resource Center
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Mission Housing Development Corporation
Mission Neighborhood Health Center (MNHC)
Mission Vocational School
The Women’s Building