The coronavirus pandemic has caused disproportionate health and economic hardship for low income and minority communities in the US. While economic stimulus packages have offered short-term relief, more long-term and structural policy options are needed. Difficult policy choices lie ahead, as public and governmental leadership at the local, state, and federal levels seek solutions to the socioeconomic ramifications of the pandemic. Choosing affordable policy solutions will be crucial for promoting health and welfare. Engaging communities most affected by the pandemic in setting priorities for policy spending options will foster legitimacy and acceptability of policy decisions.
One feature of public deliberation to date has been the importance of face-to-face discussion. There is little track record of public engagement in virtual meetings. The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has made face-to-face deliberations impractical and unsafe.
In “Priorities of Communities after Covid,” we will modify the CHAT exercise for use in virtual group meetings that combines video conferencing software with an online game board. We will prepare a version of the CHAT exercise that presents communities most heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic a menu of interventions. In this version of the exercise participants will have 12 spending option categories: Work, Transportation, Health Insurance, Internet, Food, climate, Supplemental Income, Neighborhood, Housing, Legal, After-High School Education, and Preschool Through 12th-Grade Education. We will test and use the modified CHAT exercise with small groups from low-income and minority communities.