Austin (KXAN) — Racism in Austin is a “public well being disaster,” the Austin Metropolis Council declared on Wednesday.
Council members accredited a decision making the declaration — asking town supervisor to handle racism, along with asking state leaders to take comparable actions.
“Racism is actually killing Black and brown folks,” Council member Natasha Harper-Madison mentioned. “It’s a public well being disaster and its past time to deal with it as such.”
The decision cites a definition of disaster from the Boston University School of Public Health disaster should “have an effect on massive numbers of individuals, it should threaten the well being over the long-term, and it should require the adoption of large-scale options.”
The decision itself says that town of Austin’s total prosperity is dependent upon equal entry to alternative for each resident “whatever the colour of their pores and skin.”
It additionally acknowledges the 1928 Grasp Plan — a Jim Crow metropolis coverage — created a “negro district” and resulted within the intentional restriction of assets for the Black neighborhood, “the residual results of that are nonetheless skilled immediately.”
This 1928 coverage pushed Black and Hispanic Austinites to the a part of town that’s now the realm east of I-35.
The decision additionally states that racism in Austin causes persistent discrimination and drawbacks, together with in areas of housing, schooling, companies, employment and felony justice.
The doc factors to an increasing number of analysis that signifies racism itself is a social determinant of well being.
Citing census knowledge, the decision notes that whereas white Austin residents expertise a poverty fee of 9.1%, Black residents expertise a poverty fee of 22.9% and have incomes which can be 55% of the median revenue of their white neighbors.
Particularly, the decision directs town supervisor to proceed efforts to advance race fairness in Austin and to determine methods to reinforce variety and ensure that anti-racism rules make their means into management, metropolis staffing and contracting.
Austin Metropolis Supervisor Spencer Cronk can also be directed so as to add to instructional coaching and actions for workers “aimed toward understanding, addressing, and dismantling racism.”
The decision additionally calls on Cronk to advocate regionally and thru the Nationwide League of Cities in addition to the Texas Municipal League for insurance policies that enhance well being and assist to dismantle systemic racism.
Cronk is being requested to report again to the Council yearly on these advocacy efforts.
Moreover, the decision asks town’s Fairness Workplace to evaluation advice’s from the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities and make suggestions in schooling, housing, well being, finance, and civil and felony justice.
Lastly, the Council is asking on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Texas Speaker of the Home Dennis Bonnen, and Texas Lawyer Normal Ken Paxton to affix in declaring racism as a public well being disaster and to “enact fairness in all insurance policies of the state of Texas.”