Zip Code Economies Season 1.5: Under Pain Lives Hope

Recently, we launched a special edition of Zip Code Economies, a podcast series by the San Francisco Fed that puts a human face to micro-economies within the nine Western states of the 12th District. Across five episodes, SF Fed President Mary C. Daly reconnects with some of the most memorable people featured in Season 1: Pastor Bains from East Palo Alto, CA; Will Unga from Salt Lake City, Utah; Lahela Williams from Honolulu, Hawai’i; Louis Sanchez from Firebaugh, California; and Najmo and Nefiso Abdi from San Diego, California. Their conversations center on how people are processing the COVID-19 pandemic and recent racial and social injustices, as well as how they’ve held onto hope during the past year.

Watch the trailer for Zip Code Economies 1.5: Under Pain Lives Hope (video, 01:28 minutes)


[ Gentle background music ]

ON SCREEN TEXT: “States appeal for more coronavirus vaccine doses as the US death toll moves past 400,000” –CNN

[ Crowds chanting ]

ON SCREEN TEXT: “Floyd protests are the broadest in U.S. history… people have held protests in all 50 states and D.C.” –Washington Post

ON SCREEN TEXT: “In 2020, big businesses got bigger. Small businesses died.” –Business Insider

ON SCREEN TEXT: “8 Minutes and 46 Seconds: How George Floyd was Killed in Police Custody” –New York Times

ON SCREEN TEXT: “Racial inequities in L.A. COVID vaccine rollout raise concern” –Los Angeles Times

ON SCREEN TEXT: “Small businesses are quietly dying by the thousands during the coronavirus pandemic” –Chicago Tribune

ON SCREEN TEXT: “Unemployment Claims Remain High as Millions Still Struggle to Find Work” –The New York Times

ON SCREEN TEXT: “COVID-19 cases drop, but variants point to dangers ahead” –The Hill

ON SCREEN TEXT: “U.S. Surpasses 25 Million Coronavirus Cases, a Staggering Tally” –The New York Times

ON SCREEN TEXT: “More people in U.S. have died from Covid-19 than were killed in WWII” –NBC News

[ Crowd chanting ends ]

ON SCREEN TEXT: Under Pain Lives Hope

Mary C. Daly: Why do you still have hope?

(University of Hawai’i building)

Lahela Williams: I wanna be able to look back and see that we actually moved the needle.

(Close-up of Lahela Williams’s hands holding a sign that says “lahui.” Ms. Williams holding the “lahui” sign in front of a wall with the Hawaiian Community Assets logo.)

Lahela Williams: But while doing that, we also got more intimate and close to one another, just as human beings again.

(Close-up of mural with mountains, a sunrise, and family walking within a circle inside an East Palo Alto Police badge. Close-up of mural with a blindfolded woman blowing wind from her mouth.)

Pastor Paul Bains: When you get down or you get out or you’re feeling bad, we never retreat, we only reload.

(Pastor Bains seated at a desk. Pastor Bains standing next to a book shelf with a basketball and stones that say “compassion” and “faith,” while holding a sign that says “forgiving.”)

Pastor Paul Bains: We reload with more patience. We reload with more love, more perseverance.

(Front of Firebaugh Fire Department building. Mural of Latino figures in the cafeteria of Firebaugh High School.)

Luis Sanchez: Having come from a community like this, being an immigrant myself,

(“Welcome to Home of the Eagles” sign at Firebaugh High School. Luis Sanchez at his desk.)

Luis Sanchez: I feel like a lot of these students know and understand the place that they’re in, but they refuse–they refuse to be stagnant, they refuse to be stuck.

(Mr. Sanchez standing in front of a bookshelf holding a sign that says “Amazing!”)

[ Dramatic music ]

(Cloudy, blue sky behind a flagpole with the U.S. and California flags.)

Mary C. Daly: 2020 made me afraid that we were gonna lose hope.

(Mural in San Diego that says “Love City Heights.” Najmo and Nefiso Abdi, former Reality Changers students. Building signage for Salt Lake City School District Innovations Early College High School Career & Technical Center.)

Mary C. Daly: So, I went out and asked the people of Zip Code Economies.

(Zip Code Economies logo. Photo of Will Unga.)

Mary C. Daly: And you are, like me, gonna be so encouraged, so appreciative, and so inspired. Please listen.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Zip Code Economies Season 1.5 – Launching March 1, 2021 |

[ Music ends ]

To listen and subscribe to the podcast, visit or look for Zip Code Economies on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you stream your podcasts.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the management of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.