The Mercury News

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The Mercury News

How the Bay Area’s COVID response failed Latinos

In the chaotic early weeks of the pandemic, health officers from six Bay Area counties took a bold step to slow the spread of the virus. They directed millions of residents to stay home in what amounted to the nation’s first — and at the time strictest — shelter-in-place order. But those first orders held a critical flaw: They didn’t include clear strategies to protect essential workers whose jobs made it impossible for them to stay home. In California, 55 percent of Latinos work in those front-line essential jobs, according to an analysis from the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center.

Commentary by Ken Jacobsand Kent Wong in The Mercury News

California needs labor research and education

A world-class university needs to represent the interests of all the people of California, including the vast majority of its residents who are working people. On this Labor Day 2009, we should ensure that labor research and education will be maintained and expanded to serve the needs of California and our economic recovery.