Introducing the Just Economy Pledge

Public policy is complicated. But our goals are clear.

It’s long past time for a Just Economy. Our economic and social fractures were devastating before COVID, and the pandemic was a painful reminder that inequality isn’t simply about how much stuff you have. It’s about life and death.

The anniversaries last week of the police murder of George Floyd, and this week of the Tulsa Race Masacre, were yet more reminders: America needs to recover – not only from COVID, but from an economic system and a culture that has from its beginning valued some lives over others. 

Now there’s a choice. We can “get back to normal” or we can move forward and do better.

I choose better.

America should not only promise but deliver to all Americans opportunities to build wealth and live well. 

The Just Economy Pledge is a starting point: a set of 11 core principles to help us get there. I hope you’ll sign it, then share it and tell everyone you know that they should too.

It’s a roadmap, a guide to shape and unite us around the nation we want, not the one we inherited. It addresses inequality and basic human needs for food, water, housing and health, and modern needs for education, income, financial services, information, democracy and control over personal data.

Sign and share the pledge here: www.justpledge.org

Why sign? Because even though business, finance, government policies and everyday life are complicated, we can be clear about our goals. We can be clear about what we expect from government and business leaders.

Just Economy Pledge graphic

NCRC members and supporters are already deeply committed and champions for a Just Economy in their communities. We know that.

The pledge is a first step to unite and activate many more people, and then to persuade government and corporate leaders, boards and investors to commit to the pledge, and fulfill it, and then hold them accountable through their actions.

We need to rebuild and revive devastated communities, shore up and regain trust in essential institutions and systems, and when we do we need to create a new normal that is unlike the old. The old normal wasn’t built for everyone. It was indefensible.

For some, that’s an alarming, wrong and almost sacrilegious view of American history, when that’s told as a tale of White Christian European arrival, endurance and triumph. On the ground, individual and generational struggles, glaring inequalities between rich and poor, Black and White, immigrant and native, and brutal inhumanity have been part of our story from the beginning. They still are. The consequences of bias and injustices in the past shape the present and will cascade into the future until we do something about it.

We can. We can unite around clear goals, and they are easy to express even if making and enforcing laws, transforming business practices and community life and untangling the future from the past is complex and difficult.

So please join me and sign the pledge. Then share it. Everywhere. Urge your family, friends, policy and business leaders to commit to a Just Economy with you. Talk about it at work and at home. As more people sign and commit, we’ll be able to reach and mobilize more people to speak out on critical issues, and to hold our leaders and institutions accountable.

Andrew Nachison is NCRC’s Chief Communications and Marketing Officer.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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