Cuyahoga County will consider resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis on Tuesday

Cuyahoga County will consider resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis on Tuesday
(Source: Cuyahoga County)

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - The county is expected to consider a resolution during Cuyahoga City Council’s meeting Tuesday declaring racism as a public health crisis.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Cuyahoga County Council will introduce and refer the legislation to the Human Resources, Appointments, and Equity Committee.

The resolution addresses structural/systemic racism and the disparities between Black and White people specifically in healthcare, the criminal justice system, healthy food, safe and affordable housing, well-paying jobs and business ownership opportunities, quality transportation, educational opportunities, and safe places to be active.

“Black people have long faced numerous challenges in healthcare and in an endless number of other public health areas, including higher rates of disease, less access to healthcare, shorter life spans, and poorer health conditions,” said Budish in a released statement. “Cuyahoga County has once again been reminded how Black people are disproportionately affected by health crises, most recently with the COVID-19 pandemic. Declaring racism as a public health crisis expresses our intent to address the impact of racism on public health throughout the County.”

The county said Black people only represent 30.5 percent of the population but represent 40 percent of the County’s COVID-19 diagnoses, 45 percent of all the hospital admissions, and 45 percent of all the Intensive Care Units admissions related to COVID-19.

With this declaration, Cuyahoga County Council and Budish will direct the County Equity Commission and the Cuyahoga County Citizens Advisory Council on Equity to review, focus, and provide recommendations to reduce the disparity between Black and White people when it comes to healthcare, the criminal justice system, healthy food, safe and affordable housing, well-paying jobs and business ownership opportunities, quality transportation, educational opportunities, and safe places to be active, with a status report no later than December 31, 2020.

The County Equity Commission and the Cuyahoga County Citizens Advisory Council on Equity will provide regular updates to the County Executive and the County Council, including the Human Resources, Appointments and Equity Committee.

Cuyahoga County will implement policy changes in response to the findings or recommendations from the County Equity Commission and the Cuyahoga County Citizens Advisory Council on Equity.

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