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Resolution Declaring Racism As Public Health Crisis Passes Committee

The resolution will go to the full council on June 3.
Cleveland City Hall

Cleveland City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee met Monday to pass a resolution declaring racism as an issue of public health.

The resolution was introduced earlier this year as a way to support and promote policies to address infant mortality and access to health care, as well as seek solutions to racial health disparities.

Urban League of Greater Cleveland President and CEO Marsha Mockabee said these issues have always been relevant, but it’s even more meaningful to have the conversation as protests against police brutality take place across the country.  

The protests were spurred by the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for at least seven minutes, causing Floyd to say “I can’t breathe.”

"We have been experiencing in our communities for far too long the inability to breathe because the systems have not been accessible to us in the same way that they have for others,” Mockabee said.

The resolution’s sponsor council member Blaine Griffin says the coronavirus pandemic has also made this an important issue, because black Americans are dying at a higher rate of COVID-19.

"This isn't something where we're just reacting towards the tragedies that we've seen over the last week with George Floyd, and also the other tragedies that we've seen in our city and across the nation this past week,” Griffin said.

The resolution will now go to the full council during their June 3 meeting.

lisa.ryan@ideastream.org | 216-916-6158