Indy Council passes resolution declaring racism a public health crisis

City-County Building

The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday night declared racism a public health crisis in Marion County.

The three-page  resolution passed unanimously Monday night declared racism to be a public health crisis “that affects all members of the community and deserves action from all levels of government and civil society.”

It commits the council to “frank and open” discussions—to be integrated into its daily work—of race and the impact of the decisions it makes upon racial inequities in the community.

The resolution also calls on city and county officials and departments to “continue, with urgency, the review of policies and procedures for the purposes of eradicating implicit and explicit racial bias and develop instead policies and procedures that build racial equity.”

It also commits city and county departments “to collect data, disaggregated by race, on department staffing, procurement, contracting, and recipients of government intervention,” and  present that data to council and make it publicly available on the city’s website.

The resolution says the American Public Health Association found racism to be a barrier to health equity. It says the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared racism “a barrier to wellness that has a profound impact on the health status of children, adolescents, emerging adults and their families.”

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, according to the resolution, reports that multiple studies suggest that “experiences of racism or discrimination raise the risk of emotional and physical health problems, including depression, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and even death.”

The resolution says historic and systemic inequities put African Americans at higher risk of negative health outcomes, including COVID-19. Black residents in Marion County have tested positive for the coronavirus at rate nearly twice that of white residents, the resolution says. They make up 29% of Marion County’s population but account for 37% of the COVID-19 deaths.

The resolution follows a February resolution by the council that pledged to tackle racial and social disparities in the city.

“I want to thank my council colleagues who stood together tonight to address the public health crisis in our community caused by pervasive and systemic racism,” Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili said in written comments. “Our city is calling for frank, meaningful dialogue and action on the impact of systemic racism on Black lives, and tonight was another important step forward in answering that call.”

The council on Monday night also approved Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s plan to to immediately deploy nearly half of the $168 million it has received in federal coronavirus relief funds to help residents and businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.

The plan includes $20 million for contact tracing and virus testing, and $15 million for rental assistance to needy residents.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

10 thoughts on “Indy Council passes resolution declaring racism a public health crisis

  1. If this substanceless pandering is what passes for sound policy these days at city council, we are doomed. Might as well build a new, fake downtown in Carmel.

  2. The same cycle for the last 50 years. Blacks in denial of their own self inflicted would only they can fix in their own community.

    Instead of taking ownership of their crisis, they blame the rest of society of Systemic Racism.

    They is nothing no other people can do to solve there problems but nonetheless the victim mentality turns into a vindictive mentality.

    The violence and terrorism of the likes of BLM with there attachments of Socialist Marxist Communism hits the street using extortion to scare our elected leaders into submission as the pulpits sing Kumbaya and joins into the self deprivation and submission to there Communist.

    Then as always still obstinate to solve their issues per political correctness as to build personal equity as to be truly equal amongst all men in the marketplace and world, they win legislation that makes special interest concessions over all other people to the likes of Affirmative Action and billions of dollars in social welfare program as to be “equal”.

    So in a short time the proof and truth of the marketplace wins out because without the black community plugging into our system of learn to earn they leave themselves behind as the progress other people naturally passes them by.

    Once again like the last 50 yrs all the pandering legislation and Kumbayas leaves the black community flat in their own carnage because being equal but separate will always crash in a Constitutional Republic.

    Where did that get anyone? ….Back to square one to repeat the same cycle and with more impeding to the rest of society laws in the books stymieing progress for our country over all.

    Here is the aforementioned problems our elected leader cower from per the insolent arrogant pride of political correctness displayed from the black community dare ye force them to own up to it.

    https://www.prageru.com/video/the-top-5-issues-facing-black-americans/

    1. Where does the hundreds of years of systemic racism and oppression come in to the equation? You seem to be under the impression that because blacks were made equal under the law in the last century that they should be all caught up now with whites. How can you ignore the wealth accumulation and societal status that has been denied to blacks for generations?

      And your link talks about one of the biggest issues facing blacks is the victim mentality. Look at your own victim mentality! “Impeding the rest of society” “Stymieing progress for our country” You seem to think that the protests and longing for a more equitable world are harming you and your progress more than the systemic injustices faced by people of color. Try walking a mile in someone else’s shoes and see how easy it is to propel yourself forward when the society you live in is setup to hold you back.

  3. I’m from a small (18,000) town in Pennsylvania and never had thought or action by anybody at any time based on race. What has changed this society and country? In case you haven’t noticed, Cronkite, Merrill, Huntly, Brinkly no longer exist, neither does objective news. Today, it’s all negative liberal opinions. In addition, inept PARENTING, or lack thereof. Fatherless homes. And worst of all; a total disrespect of others. After the Watts riots…Rodney King was mocked when he said it all! “WHY CANT WE ALL JUST GET ALONG!” There is a terrible perversion that is destroying our country and unless some respect and leadership are initiated soon……the country is going to be just Watts!

  4. This really seems more focused on more affirmative action in government hiring and contracting at the end of the day – handing out spoils of government. Having lived in another large city where government is all about racial score keeping, it typically ends up in massive growth of government employees, inefficiency, and corruption. Which I suspect is the point.

  5. Very on point 21 R. Sadly Indy is now governed by corrupt lefties and social welfare idiots that are in the process of destroying a once great city.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.