[Excerpt of feature article by Tom Condon, CT Mirror, 10/12/2020]

"In the time now referred to as “pre-COVID,” cities were coming back to life. Young people and some retiring boomers were moving in, here and across the country, enjoying new apartments, restaurants, entertainment venues and transit options. Cities were reclaiming their historic role as the economic and social centers.

But this urban revival was uneven. Many downtowns flourished but nearby neighborhoods still struggled with poverty, unemployment and crime. In response, some cities initiated policies aimed at including the distressed areas in the downtown revival, a notion called “inclusive growth.”

Connecticut was more than ready for such policies; it was — and is — one of the most dramatically unequal states in the country. By almost every metric, from employment and housing to health care and life expectancy, the predominantly minority urban poor were getting the short end of the stick. Nearly 20% of Black and 23% of Hispanic residents lived in poverty before the pandemic, compared to 6% of whites, according to a major report by the New Haven-based nonprofit research firm DataHaven.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic recession made a bad situation worse.

Black and Hispanic residents have contracted COVID-19 and died from it at much higher rates than whites, according to the DataHaven analysis. The reasons include inadequate access to health care, preexisting conditions, crowded housing and risky face-to-face jobs.[....]"