Community-based organizations know how to register voters and increase census participation. Reaching out block by block, even door to door, they can be just as effective in boosting vaccination rates.
Starting in the 1930s, neighborhoods across America were redlined—marked on government maps as too hazardous, as in, too Black or too immigrant, for federal home loans. When zoning officials needed somewhere to put a new factory or freeway, those redlined neighborhoods were like a bullseye that they hit again and again.
Should Los Angeles continue to direct most resources toward creating permanent housing with services? Or should it try to rapidly add more group shelters and shared tiny homes which would allow the city to enforce camping bans in certain areas? There are compelling arguments for both approaches.
As California grapples with the question of balancing environmental stewardship with the recent renewed focus on “local oil,” lawmakers could look to local communities for the best answers to avoid future petro-disasters.
Good citizen science brings a community together and helps it prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. A RAND guide takes non-expert investigators from the early stages of defining their questions and setting their goals, through building their teams, to planning for action.
U.S. veterans are at great risk of food insecurity, but there is limited understanding of exactly how many veterans lack resources to attain adequate and nutritious food and why. If resources are to be directed more effectively, the United States needs better clarity into the magnitude of the problem.
As the United States emerges from the devastation of the pandemic, it may be time to examine the choices communities made during the last year to see how these approaches shape continued COVID-19 response and recovery and help build resilience for future pandemic response.
If policymakers were to make permanent the relaxed rules forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be a start to increased racial equity in SNAP. Given broad public support for SNAP, making benefits easier to access, particularly for those already eligible, could be a bipartisan priority.
Much of the discussion about opening schools and the economy has focused on the educational and economic effects that closures may have on the most vulnerable groups. But some of these groups still remain wary of the increased health risks of opening.
Jessica Arana, a designer at RAND, volunteers with the Auntie Sewing Squad, a mask-making effort started by comedian Kristina Wong. Arana first donated to the effort but soon became an organizer focused on minority, immigrant, farmworker, and low-income communities.
Anita Chandra, vice president and director of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being, focuses on issues of health, well-being, and equity. She is researching how to create a culture of health, how to address inequities in the U.S. health system, and disaster response and resilience, especially in the context of the pandemic.
The number of Americans experiencing food insecurity has increased since the pandemic began. And rates are higher among African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and Alaska Natives. Proactive and aggressive policy actions could help reduce the inequities in places like Pittsburgh's Hill District and Homewood neighborhoods.