Testimony of the New York Civil Liberties Union before THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE and THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY regarding The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Minority Communities

May 18, 2020
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The New York Civil Liberties Union submitted written testimony to the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly regarding the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities in New York, and solutions to mitigate that impact.

Racial disparities apparent in the tragic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are not novel or isolated or uniquely occurring phenomena. They are concrete evidence of the racism in our systems and institutions – and they stand for the hard truth that rampant systemic racism is a killer. While there are remedial actions government officials can take immediately, many of the longer-term systemic changes that must be undertaken to protect New Yorkers of color are already pending legislative action, some just waiting for a vote. Civil rights are human rights; civil rights preserve human lives and livelihoods. And in the glaring light of this pandemic, we see more clearly that many New Yorkers are unable to access or exercise the rights and liberties that translate into the ability to live a full life – a divergence that all too often erupts along racial lines.