Mitch Landrieu, E Pluribus Unum Launch 2020 Policy Agenda, “Roadmap to an Equitable Response, Recovery & Resilience” 

October 25, 2019

Ryan Berni

(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Today, E Pluribus Unum (EPU) released its 2020 policy agenda, ​Roadmap to an Equitable Response, Recovery & Resilience.​ The roadmap provides policy recommendations that center on addressing not only the current COVID-19 pandemic but also the preexisting social inequities that have plagued the United States of America since its founding. The agenda outlines overarching principles and specific policy proposals for federal, state, and local officials in three phases: COVID-19 response, recovery, and longer-term resilience. E Pluribus Unum’s policy focus is rooted in dismantling unequal access to opportunity, democracy, safety, and protection under the law, with a particular focus on how local governments can positively impact communities across the South.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a grave threat to underserved communities, exacerbating disparities that have been allowed to fester for generations,” said Mitch Landrieu, founder and President of E Pluribus Unum. “Our current circumstances must prompt a greater examination of how we treat our most vulnerable. Centering our response on policies that directly address racial and economic disparities will ultimately benefit all of us. We cannot go back to the way it was before this pandemic. Together, we can build a shared future, but only when we understand the power of equity and view it as an economic and social growth strategy.”

E Pluribus Unum’s agenda highlights that the roadmap to greater resilience and better outcomes requires an equitable response and recovery, noting that all government action must be guided by the following four principles:

●  Data and science must lead the way.

●  Our federal, state, and local governments must address this pandemic in a way that strengthens racial equity and economic equality. Disparities thrown into sharper relief by this crisis require long-term solutions, not short-term patches.

●  Local governments are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis and must be treated as partners in delivering services and policy, not as special interest groups.

● This is a time to act with courage and conviction and to make bold and lasting systemic change.

Landrieu, the former mayor of New Orleans and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, launched E Pluribus Unum in 2019. “​Roadmap to an Equitable Response, Recovery & Resilience”,​ follows EPU’s first annual report, ​​”Divided by Design: Findings from the American South​”, released in October 2019, that covered qualitative and quantitative findings from discussions with 800 people in one-on-one interviews, small groups, and random-sample focus groups to learn how southerners are impacted by race, equity, economic opportunity, and violence. EPU also commissioned a 1,800-person survey on attitudes on race and class across the 13-state region. In January, EPU released a ​2020 Policy Tracker​ that outlined relevant policy positions of the presidential candidates throughout the Republican and Democratic primaries.

The policy agenda can be found ​here.


About E Pluribus Unum

E Pluribus Unum is an initiative created to fulfill America’s promise of justice and opportunity for all by breaking down the barriers that divide us by race and class. In its first year, the E Pluribus Unum team traveled extensively across the American South to uncover and confront the challenges we face, to learn from people about what separates us and what can bring us together, and to find bold and effective solutions to tackle the modern legacy of Jim Crow so that an inclusive new South may be born. Incubated at Emerson Collective and led by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the E Pluribus Unum team is building a series of programs and initiatives to cultivate courageous leaders who are committed to realizing an inclusive vision for a new South, champion transformative policies to reverse the enduring harms of America’s Jim Crow era past for those who continue to experience them today and change narratives that perpetuate systemic and interpersonal racism in order to shift people’s attitudes and behaviors.