Ong and Diaz on Supporting Latino and Asian Communities During COVID-19

Paul Ong, research professor and director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, and Sonja Diaz, director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, co-authored an opinion piece for NBC News about the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on communities of color. Their research suggests that Latino and Asian neighborhoods will be most affected by the predicted loss of 1.6 million jobs in California by this summer. Furthermore, they argue that “Latino and Asian workers disproportionately rely on low-wage jobs where the most layoffs in the wake of COVID-19 are occurring.” They write that the CARES Act stimulus packages are not enough to protect these vulnerable households, especially undocumented immigrants and service workers who hold multiple part-time jobs. Ong and Diaz recommended that states create “recovery programs focused on those who are highest at risk of not receiving federal COVID-19 relief” so that no one is left out of the recovery.


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