The COVID-19 pandemic sheds light on some of the most serious divisions in communities in California. And while color communities have been hardest hit by the pandemic, job losses, economic impact and long-term health impact, it’s important to remember that they’re not new. Historically, finding well-paid jobs that provide economic security has been difficult for too many black Americans, and unfortunately this trend continues today.
Just look at the difference in the number of unemployed. In our community, the rate of black unemployment is almost twice as high as that of white Californians, and while unemployment is declining for other groups, our communities have seen little improvement.
However, as these inequalities in traditional forms of employment persist, the so-called concert economy has improved the prospects for black workers by returning power to their hands and creating opportunities to supplement their incomes on their terms. The growth of application-based work here in California has provided great benefits to the state’s black community, especially during the financial challenges posed by the pandemic. When the state’s economy entered a deep recession due to COVID-19, more than 800,000 Californians turned for the first time to app-based travel and delivery services to earn income that helped provide for themselves and their families. A 2021 report found that California-based drivers earned $ 4.2 billion in revenue in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant percentage of whom were color workers.
More than a year after Prop 22, which was approved by an overwhelming majority of voters and defended the independence and flexibility of application-based drivers, most application developers seem to be very pleased with the way the law works.
Take, for example, Chancy, a husband, father and sports coach. Chancy is also a driver for a shared trip to Los Angeles, and the flexibility of working with applications allows him to support his family while he is with his children. This flexibility is especially important for black drivers with families who need to share their childcare responsibilities and monitor their children’s distance learning while working when they are able during the ongoing pandemic. Flexibility has been essential for them to survive the challenges they have posed to lower-income families over the past two years.
The value and importance of these opportunities for profit are undeniable, especially for workers in the black community. A new study shows that drivers’ incomes have increased from $ 27 / hour to $ 34 / hour in the last two years and more than 80% of drivers are satisfied with their work. It is important that we respect their wishes and the will of the voters. For drivers, the flexibility of this work is essential to give them a chance to supplement their main income when they can, and to make ends meet in difficult times.
Unfortunately, opponents of Prop 22 are still trying to undermine the law with misinformation and multiple legal challenges. Given all the progress made for black workers, the courts in California must protect Prop 22 and ensure that the will of the electorate is maintained. The opportunities provided by application-based jobs improve profits and economic security in a way we have never seen before, giving black workers a chance to continue after so many years of spending.
The Rev. Jonathan E. Mosley is the Western Regional Directorate of the National Action Network
App-based Work Essential for Black Californians – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link App-based Work Essential for Black Californians – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel