I think we learned a lot from watching how the COVID crisis went down, as movements. There was a massive amount of organizing that came out of that and won big things—and built infrastructure in communities. And it will take time in some regards to have that mature and to be able to collect that reaction to a crisis and fight for the long-term enduring power that we need in order to not have something like COVID and the reaction happen again.
Even though it was so hard in some ways to build movement infrastructure during COVID, it is enduring.
And I think it was really incredible to see—actually, a huge amount of tenant organizing, as Davarian [Baldwin] was mentioning, a lot of it grew out of the [COVID] crisis, and it’s growing still now.
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So while the federal government, while [President Joe] Biden wants to say,
“Yes, COVID is over, everyone pull your masks off, everything is okay, and…we don’t need these social services in the same way,” I think that there’s actually still—even though it was so hard in some ways to build movement infrastructure during COVID—it is enduring and there is additional power that is being built right now that emerged and was seeded by people realizing that they had to fight for their neighbor.
And even some of the stuff like some of the Amazon unionizing, I think, comes out of COVID-19 working conditions and seeing that “oh my gosh, they are not going to show up for us when the crisis happens.”
And so, yes, right now, it may not feel like we’re seeing those systemic or structural changes in the same way, but I imagine that in the years to come, we are going to continue to see the power that was built by movements come to fruition and gain the wins that we deserve.