San Diego County leaders outlined plans Thursday to launch a task force focused on equity and economic recovery in a community hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic: South Bay.
San Diego County Supervisor and Vice-Chair Nora Vargas, along with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, hosted a virtual conference to detail the efforts of the new South Bay Equity and Economic Recovery Task Force, a group that Vargas said will “work as a unified voice for the region to advocate for equity and help create a holistic roadmap that ensures all our communities are healthier and stronger.”
South Bay communities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis over the past year.
The task force will aim to address those disparities and find solutions to help the communities recover, including small businesses. The group will be made up of elected officials, educations, business and community organizations.
About a dozen local leaders joined the Zoom call. Vargas said the group has already successfully pushed for priority coronavirus vaccination status for teachers in the hardest hit zip codes in the South Bay. Better access to the vaccine is just one of the ways to a faster economic recovery, the group said.
The roadmap to recovery and equity will take effort from all.
“We’re looking to all sorts of different ways to build equity,” Vargas said at Thursday’s virtual meeting. “I think that the county – mor importantly, the government – can’t do it alone. This is going to be something that we have to do together.”
Reaching those goals, leaders said, will take more support and resources on the ground.
“We can complain about these agencies and what we’re not getting or we, as elected officials and community leaders, can take it into our hands and decide that we are going to take care of our own – and that’s what we’ve done,” Gonzalez added.