Cleveland’s City Council is considering declaring racism a public health crisis.
According to WOSU, Councilman Blaine Griffin says the issue still impacts society today, bringing life expectancy down due to centuries of racist policies.
“You have Jim Crow laws,” Griffin says. “You have redlining that many of our communities have experienced. We believe that all of these activities – that were government-sponsored activities – have led to the lack of affordable housing, poor housing conditions, health disparities, educational gaps.”
The ordinance will be reviewed by the city’s finance council prior to a vote. If permitted, Griffin says a coalition of civil rights and community organizations will work together to understand the problems resulting from racism and address them with public policy.
The NAACP, Urban League of Greater Cleveland, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Birthing Beautiful Communities, YWCA of Greater Cleveland and First Year Cleveland are organizations in consideration.