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Columbus Officials To Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis

Jun 1, 2020

Columbus City council will take up the issue of racism as a public health crisis tonight, and is expected to issue a declaration, nearly two weeks after Franklin County commissioners took that step.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, city councilmember Priscilla Tyson, Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts will make an announcement this afternoon, and council is expected to vote on the declaration this evening.

Cleveland City council is considering a similar declaration this morning.  The discussions follow days of public protest sparked by the police killing of an African-american man in Minneapolis, that expressed outrage and anger over police and policy abuse of minorities.

Franklin County Commissioners labeled racism a public health crisis at their May 20th meeting, calling racism a root cause of poverty, that affects “many areas of life, including housing, education, employment and criminal justice”. 

Commissioner Kevin Boyce noted at the time that while the declaration is important, “it’s not saying anything that hasn’t been apparent for a long time.”