We’re In This Together: Life Under COVID-19

The coronavirus has changed daily life for all of us, including tech workers. For many of our neighbors, the economic consequences of the pandemic are severe.
March 18, 2020

The lower-wage workers and small businesses that are the backbone of the Bay Area’s economy are dealing with massive uncertainty and lack of stability in the face of the shelter-in-home requirements. When you add this pandemic to the existing affordability crisis in the region, many families and workers will be pushed over the edge into homelessness and worse.

For us at TechEquity, it certainly has put the issues we work on — housing and workforce & labor — into stark relief. We are already driven by a sense of urgency around solving the affordability crisis. In the face of this pandemic and the uncertainty that surrounds it, our work becomes even more important.

As the crisis disrupts our daily lives, including our ability to work, pay rent, and send our kids to school, we need to ensure working people can make ends meet. For those of us who have relative stability and privilege, we have an obligation to show up for our community in this time of great need.

Many tech companies have already stepped up, from making commitments to paying hourly contract workers their regular pay even if hours are reduced to waiving fees for restaurants that are turning to delivery platforms to stay afloat. However, this crisis is sure to deepen the cracks in our economy that was already not working for so many of our neighbors.

Tech companies and workers will need to continue stepping up in the months to come. We’re taking this into account as we plan our content calendar, our advocacy agenda, and our corporate partnership programming.

For tech workers who are looking for ways to support their neighbors and the region’s economy, here are a few things you can do right now:

  • If you’re healthy, consider volunteering at your local food bank. SF-MarinSecond Harvest in the South Bay and Alameda County Food Banks have seen a steep decline in volunteers despite an increasing need to serve the community.
  • Donate to your local food bank or to Meals on Wheels in Alameda CountySan Francisco, or the Peninsula.
  • If you’re healthy, make an appointment to give blood.
  • Donate to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s COVID-19 relief fund or the East Bay Community Foundation’s Just East Bay Response Fund.
  • Sacred Heart Community Service, a San Jose -based nonprofit, is urgently looking for volunteers who can commit 1 or 2 hours daily during the workday for the next 1–2 weeks who can assist with packing boxes of food, preparing sandwiches, and loading trucks. They ask for repeat volunteers to minimize transmission risks. Individuals who are able to commit should email Priscilla Acuna (priscilla@wpusa.org) in the next week with their phone number and a couple sentences on their interest and availability during the workday.

Now more than ever, this virus has shown us that we are dependent on each other; no matter where we come from, what we look like, or how much money we have, we know it’s time to pull together and take care of one another. This moment deeply reflects how much power we have to care for our communities, even from home.

Beyond that, we’d like to ask you to join TechEquity if you aren’t already a member. We’re still working every day to ensure everyone in the Bay can live a healthy, stable life here; this is an easy way to endorse the work we’ve been doing and will continue to do, in your name. Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to get involved — and thank you.