Archives: Voices

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, April 18, 2022

The tax fairness edition. COVID-19 cases are on the rise in a majority of states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. — in some cases, sharply. Thankfully, we are not seeing any increases in deaths or hospitalizations. Meanwhile, it is that time of year when Americans are asked to settle up with the IRS. Well – some of us are asked to settle up. We now know that the wealthiest Americans, along with large corporations, profited greatly during the pandemic and are not required to pay their fair share of taxes.

Resilient But Not Recovered: After two years of the COVID-19 crisis, women are still struggling 

You may have heard a lot lately about the nation’s recovery – despite inflation woes, wages are surging and we’re witnessing the lowest unemployment rates in years. But recovery from a pandemic-related recession is not at all equal. It discriminates on the basis of race, income level, industry, and even geography. And in this case, it particularly discriminates on the basis of gender.

A Pandemic of the Poor

As our country approaches 1 million deaths from COVID-19, it can feel impossible to wrap our heads around such a devastating figure. But it’s essential if we want to treat the pre-existing conditions that made it so deadly. In the beginning, many thought the pandemic would be “a great equalizer,” since the virus doesn’t distinguish between rich and poor. But the tragic reality is that our economic and public health systems do discriminate.

How virtual learning led to racial inequity in education achievement gaps 

As families continue to navigate the pandemic, Black and Latino students remain at risk academically. One critical reason involves virtual learning. Early on, virtual learning was viewed as an innovative and necessary response to school closings. Students couldn’t be in the classroom in the pandemic’s early days, but they could still learn, the thinking went. But it did not always work out that way. 

Lessons about poverty in America’s heartland

I grew up poor. My single-dad grew up poor. And now, even as entrepreneurs — the embodiment of America’s “can-do” spirit and the engine of our economy — my partner and I are only just making ends meet. I’ve had to learn a lot about poverty over the years — the endless toil, the insufficient health care, the exposure to polluted environments. It grinds down the body and the spirit. But I’ve also learned that suffering can be transformed into powerful movements for change.

CHN celebrates the “very good news” of Biden Administration’s ending inhumane rejection of asylum seekers 

The Coalition on Human Needs applauds the announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it is terminating its Title 42 public health order that suspended the rights of people from even making a claim for refuge in the United States, effective May 23. This is very good news for thousands of desperate people.  It also affirms the rule of law and the urgent need to carry out federal policy in accordance with human rights.  

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, April 1, 2022

The move aside, omicron AB.1 edition. New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to decline, and deaths and hospitalizations are way down. But the decline in new cases is not nearly as sharp as it was two weeks ago – just 12 percent, compared with 43 percent in mid-March. And some states, including New York, are now reporting an increase in new cases. All of this comes as omicron AB.2, a subvariant of its predecessor and more infectious, has emerged as the dominant variant in the U.S.

Across the country, contract airport workers tell CEOs: Low pay and poor benefits won’t fly 

Mohamed Osman, a wheelchair agent at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, works seven days a week, sometimes from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. His job is demanding – occasionally he walks nearly 12 miles a day. But Mohamed, a Sudanese immigrant and father of four, is paid such low wages he is barely able to support his family. He depends on tips from generous passengers to help get by, but there is no guarantee how much – if any – he will receive in tips each shift. 

The Biden Budget would protect us now and invest in our future

President Biden’s new budget makes vital investments in our future, while providing economic and public health protections needed now. His comprehensive plan recognizes that, despite unprecedented growth, the many dislocations beyond any family’s control are currently putting economic strain on our people. The Biden budget offers protection from those dislocations in the short term and builds lasting economic security and opportunity. Congress should follow its lead in enacting an economic package now and crafting funding plans consistent with the President’s vision soon.