Long before COVID-19, frontline communities (Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities) lacked equitable access to basic needs, such as healthcare, housing, jobs, healthy food, safe environments, and quality education. The pandemic showed us how deep these inequities go.
In 2021, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services contracted Front and Centered, Statewide Poverty Action Network, and People’s Economy Lab (the Just Futures project partners) to lead a leadership committee made up of frontline community members (the Just Futures Community Leadership Committee) in envisioning and recommending how the State could advance equity in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frontline communities are the foremost experts on their lives, and they want and deserve to participate in creating a just and equitable economy, from setting measures of success to implementing policy.
Together, after a series of community listening sessions, the Just Futures project partners and Community Leadership Committee designed the Cornerstones of Collaborative Governance for a Just and Equitable Future–a framework rooted in democracy, self-determination, sustainability, and equity towards shared economic well-being for all Washingtonians.