WHEREAS, there is clear data that racism negatively impacts the lives of people of color throughout the United States; and
WHEREAS, the majority of the 400 years of black America’s experience was under slavery and Jim Crow law which allowed preferential opportunity to some while at the same time subjected people of color to hardship and disadvantage in all areas of life; and
WHEREAS, still now, racism, not race, causes disproportionately high rates of homelessness, incarceration, poor and unequal education negative health outcomes and economic hardship for people of color; and
WHEREAS, racism thrives on systemic, institutional and interpersonal levels, all of which operate throughout time and across generations; and
WHEREAS, racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals within communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals, and saps the strength of the whole society through waste of human resources, and Twinsburg’s collective prosperity depends upon the equitable access to opportunity for every resident regardless of the color of their skin; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization defines “public health” as the “art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society” and those efforts “aim to provide conditions under which people can…be healthy, improve their health and well-being, or prevent the deterioration of their health.”; and
WHEREAS, the United States Office of Disease Prevention recognizes that discrimination negatively impacts health outcomes; and
WHEREAS, the Social Determinants of Health are the social and material factors that influence health outcomes, impact life-long outcomes beginning even before birth; and
WHEREAS, studies have determined that racism negatively impacts the Social Determinants of Health, including, but not limited to, social capital, education, transportation, employment opportunities, access to food, health, socioeconomic status, environmental exposure, access to health services, housing, public safety and equal treatment from law enforcement; and
WHEREAS, the negative repercussions of historical racism, including, but not limited to, discriminatory lending practices known as “redlining” impact current outcomes regarding access to healthy food options, economic security, educational opportunities and achievement, rates of lead poisoning and infant mortality; and
WHEREAS, research indicates that adverse childhood experiences are disproportionately experienced by black children when compared to white children thus having negative impacts on academic, behavioral, and physical outcomes of black children; and
WHEREAS, statistics show a national disparity between black and white infant mortality rates and the State of Ohio consistently ranks among the worst states concerning infant mortality rates and in Summit County alone black infants are two times more likely to die before their first birthday compared to white infants. These infants are also three times more likely to die from complications of having a low birth weight compared to white babies. Finally, black mothers are twice as likely to receive prenatal care too late or not at all when compared to white mothers; and
WHEREAS,on any given day 70%-80% of the children in the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center are children of color and minority children are 60% more likely to be detained by law enforcement compared to white youths; and
WHEREAS, in Summit County the rate of poverty for black residents is more than three times that of white residents and the median income of white residents is over twice that of black residents; and
WHEREAS, the rates of chronic disease such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, mental health and depression are twice as high in black residents; and
WHEREAS, the life expectancy of black residents of Summit County is nearly 6 years lower than that of their white neighbors; and
WHEREAS, this Council recognizes that racism is a public health crisis that affects all members of our society both on a local level and nationwide and deserves action from all levels of government and civil society; and
WHEREAS, this Council supports the establishment of a Special Review Committee to determine how best to address the issues set forth herein and to:
1. Seek solutions to reshape the public discourse and actively engage all citizens, City employees and Public Officials in racial justice work; 2. Work to build alliances with organizations that are confronting racism and encourage partners to recognize racism as a public health crisis; 3. Promote racially equitable economic and workforce development in Twinsburg; 4. Continue to promote racially equitable hiring and promotion of all positions of employment within the City’s workforce; 5. Review existing City policies and recommend changes designed to promote racial equality;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Twinsburg, County of Summit and State of Ohio:
SECTION I: That this Council declares racism and its effects to be a public health crisis and that a Special Review Committee shall be established to determine and make recommendations on the issues set forth herein on the best action steps this Council and the City can take in order to promote racial equity in the City of Twinsburg.
SECTION II: The Special Review Committee created herein shall consist of up to three (3) members of Council, the Mayor, the Law Director, two (2) members of the Police Department and up to seven (7) residents of the City as appointed jointly by the Mayor and Council.
SECTION II:It is found and determined that all formal actions of this Council concerning and relating to the adoption of this Resolution were taken in an open meeting or meetings of this Council and any of its committees that resulted in such formal action, were in meetings open to the public and in full compliance with all legal requirements, including without limitation, those set forth in section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.
SECTION III:That this Resolution shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by law.
The City of Twinsburg will be accepting applications for appointment to this special committee. Applications must be received by Friday, August 14, 2020 by 4:30 pm to be considered. If you have any questions you may contact Shannon Collins, Clerk of Council by email at email@example.com