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Uplifting Our Community through Public Policy During COVID-19

By YWCA Minneapolis
April 8, 2020
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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

We’re in the midst of an unprecedented and unimaginable time. We remain committed to being a resource for you and want to provide some public policy updates related to COVID-19, as well as ways you can influence the policy yet to come.

Policy Updates

From United States Congress: A $2 trillion dollar COVID-19 response stimulus package, the CARES Act, was passed last week, preceded by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

From the State of Minnesota: 

  • On March 17, the Minnesota House and Senate passed legislation for $200 million for the Minnesota Department of Health, a health care response fund and an emergency response fund.
  • On March 26th, the Legislature passed an additional COVID-19 response bill, approving $330 million for child care centers, homeless services and food banks. Additionally, it set aside money for all of the state’s Native American tribes and created a new fund of money to protect Minnesotans moving forward. The Governor has also issued several executive orders: to expand unemployment insurance, establish peacetime emergency loans for small businesses, suspend evictions in the state, inventory emergency protective equipment and have all Minnesotans observe a stay-at-home order.

Local Levels: County-level service delivery has been adapted and several closures have occurred. Hennepin County authorized $3 million for quarantining those experiencing homelessness. Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul issued local states of emergency, which authorizes collaboration with other units of government as well as requests for funding. Last week, the City of Minneapolis created a $5 million COVID-19 relief fund that is open to undocumented residents.

Ways to Support Nonprofits

Support Community Partners

  • Learn more about community-centered policy resources for now and the future here.
  • Join Jewish Community Action and the Minnesota Freedom Fund in raising bail funds for those who cannot afford it and are at increased risk, and urging the release of those in ICE detention centers.
  • Learn about Nonprofit Vote’s efforts to protect our elections as we respond to COVID-19 in the U.S. by increasing access to voter registration and early mail and in-person voting, and by making polling place adjustments for safety.

We must remember our most vulnerable populations as we support and uplift our communities. Our system is inequitable all the time, and in crisis, inequities are magnified. Let’s use this opportunity to fight for policies and build structures that will sustain us all well into the future. We stand with you!