As all of our communities deal with the spread of coronavirus, people will look to local governments for an efficient and bold response that protects the safety of all residents as well as the public health.
We know full well that the inequities entrenched in our society are only exacerbated in an emergency like the coronavirus outbreak. In a public health emergency, we are only as healthy as those most vulnerable, least economically secure, and least covered by our social services. As local governments across the country respond to the spread of coronavirus, they must keep in mind that economic security is fundamental to public health, and we must do all we can to keep people secure enough to take care of themselves and endure a quarantine or treatment if required.
We have compiled this resource page to aid Local Progress members in taking bold local action and staying informed of efforts underway across the country. More than ever, now is a time for us to learn from each other across communities.
Please reach out to us if you want support in your local response to the spread of coronavirus. We will endeavor to continuously update this page with resources, action items, and examples of what Local Progress members are doing across the country.
We are encouraging all Local Progress members to act as a network to advance paid leave, enact moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs, and ensure a response that protects the most vulnerable. There are, of course, many other urgent actions needed right now, many of which we’ve detailed on this page below.
To support Local Progress members in fighting for an equitable local response to this pandemic, we are committed to providing resources and opportunities for us to learn from each other and overcome this together. To that end, we’ve launched this interactive clearinghouse tool to catalog local government response efforts.
This clearinghouse tool will allow you to see an updated cataloging of local efforts all around the country to respond to the spread of coronavirus. You can sort by type of response effort and then population size or state. This is not comprehensive — it will rely on LP members and others to contribute local updates into the tool by completing this form.
- Business stabilization
- Criminal legal system
- Housing, utilities, & homelessness
- Local infrastructure & government operations
- Public health and treatment
- Schools, meals, and childcare
- Supporting immigrants
- Supporting workers and income assistance
Filter by Locality Population Size Filter by State Reset Filters
We are working with Local Progress members and our partners to compile key resources to share with you on local coronavirus response, which you’ll find bellow. Please stay tuned for more updates to this section on an ongoing basis.
Key Policy Elements: Emergency Paid Sick Time Bill
Model Bill: Paid Sick and Safe Leave plus Emergency Leave
Model Bill: Emergency Paid Sick Leave
A Guide to Investigating Local Emergency Powers
Overview: COVID-19 and School Meals
Philadelphia Resolution for Housing Moratoriums
Overview: Support for Small Business During COVID-19
National COVID-19 Messaging Guide
Overview: Accessible and Transparent Government During Social Distancing
Interventions to consider
We are tracking local responses to the spread of coronavirus and will endeavor to share those ideas here. This is not a list of vetted interventions, nor a list of model policies. Rather, it is an idea of how to respond to this public health emergency with equity, solidarity, and progressive values.
Contact us if you have ideas to share or if you have reactions or questions about this list.
For a comprehensive look at state interventions for legislators, please visit the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) resource page.
- Guarantee paid leave for public sector workers who need to stay home sick
- Enshrine protection from termination for employees who need to stay home sick, for quarantine, or take care of family
- Publicly urge corporations to guarantee paid sick leave for all workers during an outbreak, including if schools close and people need to stay home with kids
- Raise penalties on firms that violate sick leave policy or retaliate during the public health emergency
- Create an emergency leave and income support fund for people who lose income during the public health emergency
- If schools do close or other public services close, guaranteeing that public sector employees will be made whole and not get furloughed
- Ensure adequate training and supplies for medical workers and other workers in public services provision
- Ensure legal counsel is available for workers who face discrimination during the public health emergency or violation of their rights at work
Housing and homelessness
- Pass an eviction moratorium: suspend filings of eviction, suspend court appearances, and ensure marshals do not carry out eviction orders
- Pass a moratorium on utility shutoffs (including water, gas, electric, internet, and cell phone service), eliminate late fees, and implement deferred payment plans
- Create a rental assistance program for those struggling to keep up with rent payments
- Establish a plan for housing and quarantining people without access to shelter
- Dispatch medical care providers to public housing
- Prohibit landlords from charging late fees on rental payments
- Declare a public commitment in all languages spoken by local residents that immigration status is not relevant to getting treatment or government services
- Ensure that immigration status is not asked about by any healthcare providers or in any government services related to outbreak
- Take steps to ensure immigration enforcement officials do not enter hospitals or other public buildings
- Ensure that coronavirus hotlines do not ask about immigration status
Education and Schools
- In the event of school closures, establish a plan to provide meals for kids who rely on school meals
- Ensure educators and other school employees who have to stay home do not suffer a reduction in salary
Incarcerated residents and the criminal legal system
- Dispatch medical care to jails and halfway houses
- Implement emergency bail reform measures to reduce the incarcerated population
Language access and inclusion
- Ensure all materials, hotlines, and notices are provided in multiple languages
- Consult a diversity of communities especially those most vulnerable or at-risk on decision-making
- Ensure transportation access for people with disabilities
- Speak out against bigotry and stigma that arise during the outbreak
- Provide emergency funds for residents to get tested, go to the doctor, and get treatment
- Provide assistance with enrolling in medicaid and/or local health plans
- Ensure the coronavirus test and any eventual vaccine is free
- Establish a plan for how people will get treatment if hospitals become overcrowded
Small business support
- Consider utility payment relief (reducing penalties for late payments or discounts) or a moratorium on business evictions and utility shut-offs
- Explore a cash grant and interest-free loan fund for local businesses