By Umeirra Savan
Recent legislation supported by Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman passed City Council and will protect workers, business owners and our must vulnerable citizens.
“The COVID-19 crisis has hit us all, but low-income and Black and Brown communities have been hit hardest. The crisis has exposed the gross and deadly disparities in health, housing, employment, business and education,” said Landsman.
“We have to keep everyone safe, healthy and financially secure. We can only do that by ensuring core public services are protected and that our response to the crisis recognizes these disparities. The actions we take now and as we continue to recover must address these disparities,” Landsman said.
Despite opposition from some on City Council, the following protections were passed by the Council with Landsman’s leadership:
- Broad Worker Protections – Legislation requesting that the Cincinnati Health Commission issue an order for all businesses to provide staff screenings and essentials (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer), safety measures when handling food and transactions, and safe social distancing protocols. We need to keep all of workers safe, especially as the economy begins to reopen.
- Support for Black and Brown Businesses – Legislation to help businesses that may not have the capital or capacity to secure federal loans recognizing that current rules prevent the most vulnerable businesses from getting the financial help they need. To help keep these businesses succeeding, now and after the crisis is over, we asked the administration to work with the African American Chamber, MORTAR and others to develop a plan and to deploy resources for some of our most important but financially vulnerable businesses.
- Protecting our Most Vulnerable Citizens – Legislation that directs the administration to reevaluate its recommended human services cuts as it relates to food, shelter, health and violence prevention. By passing this motion, the administration has the support it needs to protect services to those who need it most: low- and no-income families, children and seniors.
Landsman also joined efforts to track COVID-19 data by race and ethnicity.
“By studying the makeup of those affected, we can further understand the impact of the virus within the Cincinnati community. Additionally, through a data-driven response, we can create better solutions to mitigate this risk,” Landsman said. “We hope to work with Interact for Health, the Center for Closing the Health Gap and others to better ensure that essential information about COVID-19 reaches the most affected groups: low-income and Black and Brown communities.
“We will recover and rebuild, but we must do it with a focus on all of our residents and a commitment to eliminating these disparities. We must also work together, across everything and anything that might divide us. I am committed to this new way forward and will continue to fight for justice, fairness and equality,” Landsman said.