COVID-19 is a public health crisis of a magnitude we have not experienced in our lifetimes. It is exposing the depravity of a system that is designed for the wealthy and powerful, at the expense of everyone else’s health and safety. This economy — which has always failed working people and marginalized communities — is fragile and buckling under the weight of people’s urgent needs in this moment.
For now, we want to share some actions, resources and reflections from NEC members on this moment:
- NEC staff pulled together a detailed roundup of COVID-19 Emergency Funding Sources for grassroots groups and nonprofits, as well as a landing page where we’ll be collecting member resources & COVID-19 organizing and policy wins.
- Hundreds of mutual aid networks are popping up across the country, introducing thousands (and potentially millions) to values and possibilities of the solidarity economy.
- The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives is helping cooperative businesses prepare for the difficult months ahead with a regularly updated landing page.
- Springboard for the Arts’ landing page with resources for artists.
- Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) shared this legal template for those anxious about paying rent in the coming weeks and months.
- Poor People’s Capaign’s University of the Poor is very clear on How We Meet This Crisis by building disciplined, capable and independent organizations and leaders.
- Democracy Collaborative has helped organize a national sign-on letter calling for a moratorium on electricity and water shutoffs which NEC signed and 500+ others signed.
- People’s Action’s bold set of demands to guarantee housing in the wake of this crisis.
- Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) has set up a relief center for restaurant workers.
- The Center for Economic Democracy (CED) wrote an open letter to the solidarity philanthropy community urging they materially support their grantees where possible.
- Highlander Center gathered folks online for a #spiritualsoiree, offering healing spaces online, like sharing radical queer black poetry for this moment.
- Organizers from the #PlatformCoop movement shared a crowdsourced tech handbook, with resources ranging remote work, to fighting misinformation about the pandemic.
- Foundation for Intentional Community is hosting an online conversation about how intentional communities can respond in the face of this pandemic.
- Icarus Project is offering a skillshare for activists to interpret COVID-19 data.
- Center for Popular Economics organized people’s economists to share information and demystify how economic institutions are responding via the hashtag #WTFed.
- Common Good launched a mutual aid website for members to post and view offers and needs.
- Post Growth Institute published this resource on how privileged communities can rebalance the world in the face of COVID19.
Still there is much left for us to do. This crisis is just beginning to unfold and we cannot ignore the crisis of the system for another day.
In moments like this, things that had been considered impossible or “too expensive” can become common sense: the Great Depression birthed the original New Deal. But progress is by no means guaranteed: the Wall Street bailouts followed the 2008 recession.
This is a fork in the road moment and those in power want nothing more than to return to “normal,” a status quo that was already failing millions. They will work tirelessly to prevent transformation that challenges their power over the system. We must stop them.
Our work now is to fight like hell for the transformative changes that our communities need. This is work NEC members are uniquely positioned to do, because we’ve already been doing it.
The need has always been there. Now, even as we face the tragic losses of this moment, we have a chance to take a massive leap forward — toward a new economy.
Let’s come together like our lives depend on it.
Stay tuned for more from us in the coming weeks as we move together to figure out what this work looks like. We will be listening deeply to what’s needed from NEC in this moment, and we want to hear from you. Use neweconomy.net/about/contact-nec to send us your thoughts!
In the meantime, may we face the unknown of tomorrow, knowing that we’re all in this together. Be safe.
In solidarity, always,
The NEC staff team