City of Oakland declares racism a ‘public health crisis’

The Oakland City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to declare racism a public health crisis, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. The council has allocated $350,000 to hire a consultant and data analyst in the Department of Race and Equity.

The resolution, which was prepared by the City of Lafayette’s Human Relations Commission, addresses several societal aspects reportedly affecting minority communities more than white residents.

The resolution addresses how social and material factors can influence a person’s health, which includes employment, housing, education, health care, public safety and food access.

“I think when you look at what public health is, you’re talking about the well-being of the entire community. And your community is not going to be healthy if there are people within your community that don’t have the resources or access to the resources that everyone else has. And I think when you look at the statistics, if you go through the statistics within the resolution, they very strongly support that,” said Stephen Smith, chair of the City of Lafayette’s Human Relations Commission.

The resolution referred to several statistics gathered by the YWCA of Greater Lafayette to help illustrate the need for this resolution:

“In Tippecanoe County, 11.5% of Black and 19% of Latinx residents do not have health insurance coverage, as compared to 9.3% of White residents.

In Tippecanoe County, the median infant mortality rate is 14.6 per 1,000 Black, Multiracial and Latinx births compared to 6.1% of White births.

In Tippecanoe County, the average median household income is $28,191 for Black households compared to $56,684 for non-Latinx White households

In Tippecanoe County, 40.4% of Black and 19.5% of Latinx residents live in poverty compared to 15.6% of White residents.

In Tippecanoe County, 9.4% of Latinx and 11.07% of Black residents 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher, as compared to 22.6% of white residents.

In Tippecanoe County, among people employed full-time in Tippecanoe County the employment rate for White citizens is 63.9% compared to the 44.3% for Asian American and Pacific Islander citizens.”




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