The economic downturn is hitting Madison Latinos hard. Here’s what the city can do.

By Natalie Yahr, The Cap Times

When the coronavirus pandemic turned the economy upside down, it left Latinos disproportionately vulnerable. Some are frontline workers at heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus, while others have lost jobs in the service sectors hard hit by public health restrictions and economic downturn.

Meanwhile, help has been hard to come by, especially for those who struggle to complete English-language relief applications and those whose citizenship status makes them ineligible for some forms of government aid.

In this Cap Times Idea Fest panel, Jessica Cavazos, president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County, speaks with three locals who’ve been thinking a lot about this problem — and its potential solutions.

Eugenia Podestá, senior director of economic empowerment and entrepreneurship at Vital Voices Global Partnership, said it’s clear from the application processes and requirements — such as two years of income tax records — that government pandemic aid wasn’t designed with Latinos in mind. Read more …