Solutions of the Year: Four Covid Innovations to Carry Forward

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Solutions of the Year: Four Covid Innovations to Carry Forward

December 9, 2020

The pandemic has infiltrated and upended our lives in innumerable ways. As the year wore on, Next City sought out, and reported on, the ways that such disruptions could lead to lasting reform across sectors such as housing, drug treatment, education and criminal justice reform. We published more than 200 city-by-city responses to COVID-19; in doing so, we found the helpers that have made people’s lives easier.

Join Next City as we dig into the long-term potential of four quick-pivot innovations: repurposing hotels as affordable housing; mobilizing methadone delivery during stay-at-home orders; training research librarians as contact tracers; and working with local businesses to supply incarcerated youth with books, games, and PPE to make their isolation bearable, safe and stimulating.

Roshan Abraham
Next City Equitable Cities Fellow

Roshan Abraham is a journalist whose reporting on criminal justice, housing and health has appeared in VICE, The Verge, Pacific Standard, The Village Voice, and more. A graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, Roshan was an Open City Fellow and a Witness Fellow at the Asian American Writers Workshop.

Lucy Geglio
Liberation Library

Lucy Geglio (she/her) is a Steering Committee member for Liberation Library, a volunteer led and run abolition organization that sends books to incarcerated youth in Illinois. She had served as a regular volunteer before joining the committee in early 2019. Lucy lives in Chicago and works as an accountant, specializing in nonprofit financial management.

Shawna Sherman
San Francisco Public Library

Shawna Sherman is a librarian and poet living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her almost 15-year library career, she has been a teen librarian, worked on a tech focused bookmobile and is currently manager for the San Francisco Public Library's African American Center and co-chair of the SFPL's Racial Equity Committee. Since April, she has worked for the City and County of San Francisco's emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a contact tracer and serves as a team lead in that role.

Dr. Denise Paone
NY Department of Health

Dr. Denise Paone is the Senior Director of Research and Surveillance in the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care and Treatment at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
(NYC DOHMH). She received her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Columbia University, and has more than twenty-five years of experience in the fields of public health, harm reduction and substance use
research. Dr. Paone is currently leading city-wide substance use and overdose surveillance, as well as conducting drug-related morbidity and mortality studies with an emphasis on overdose deaths and the fentanyl-driven opioid epidemic. Dr. Paone is a Distinguished Scholar at the CUNY School of Public Health, and the former Chair of the National Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) overdose sub-committee. She has published numerous research papers and peer-reviewed articles.

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