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Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Montgomery County Democratic Party Resolution 2020-01 Declaring Racism a Public Health Crisis

WHEREAS, racism is a social system with multiple dimensions — individual racism that is internalized or interpersonal and systemic racism that is institutional or structural, and is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks; and
WHEREAS, race is a social construct with no biological basis; and
WHEREAS, racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals and communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources; and
WHEREAS, systemic racism is a root cause of poverty and constricts economic
mobility, negatively impacting health care, criminal justice, education, housing,
employment, food and nutrition and many more issues that determine health outcomes; and
WHEREAS, at this critical inflection point in American history, African Americans are confronting two crises — the coronavirus pandemic and police violence — that are disproportionately impacting their community and bringing racial injustice to the forefront with peaceful demonstrations in cities and small towns in every state and around the globe; and
WHEREAS, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and American College of Physicians have all stated that racism is a public health issue and condemned police violence; and
WHEREAS, Black babies die at more than twice the rate of white babies in Ohio; and
WHEREAS, Black women account for 17 percent of Ohioans giving birth, but represent 34 percent of pregnancy-related deaths in the Buckeye State; and
WHEREAS, Black Ohioans have an average life expectancy that is several years less than white Ohioans; and
WHEREAS, Democratic leaders across the state have repeatedly called attention to these inequities and demanded action; and
WHEREAS, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty has offered a resolution recognizing racism as a national crisis and the need for a truth and reconciliation process; and
WHEREAS, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, led by President Stephanie Howse, has introduced legislation that would declare racism a public health crisis; and
WHEREAS, the Montgomery County Commissioners, Dayton City Council, Franklin County Commissioners, Cleveland City Council, Columbus City Council, Hamilton County Commissioners, Akron City Council, Summit County Council, Toledo City Council and Lucas County Commissioners, among many others, have considered or will consider resolutions to declare racism a public health crisis in their communities; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Montgomery County Democratic Party Executive Committee recognizes that structural and systemic racism is embedded and entrenched in every aspect of our nation, declares unequivocally that racism is a public health crisis and calls on Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio’s legislative leaders to join in our declaration and enact equity in all state policies.

Approved on August 27, 2020

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