RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — The Riverside City Council Wednesday adopted a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.

The unanimous vote came at the end of a meeting that started Tuesday evening and lasted more than nine hours. Councilman Chuck Conder was not in attendance.

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The resolution, introduced by Councilwoman Gaby Plascencia, calls on the city to:

  • Enhance diversity and ensure anti-racism principles across the city’s leadership, staffing and contracting;
  • Promote equity and enhance educational efforts aimed at understanding, addressing and dismantling racism and how it affects human and social services, economic development and public safety;
  • Advocate locally and at the state and federal level for relevant policies that improve health in communities of color and support initiatives that try to dismantle systemic racism;
  • Solidify alliances and partnerships with organizations confronting racism and encourage other local governments to recognize racism as a public health crisis;
  • Support community efforts to amplify issues of racism and engage with communities of color;
  • Promote and support policies that prioritize the health of all people;
  • Institute mandatory racial equity and implicit bias training for all city leadership and staff;
  • Encourage racial equity training for all community partners, grantees, vendors and contractors; and
  • Identify goals and objectives to assess the city’s progress.
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“In light of recent worldwide events, it is imperative that the city of Riverside take a stand to declare racism as a public health crisis affecting our entire city,” Plascencia said in her report to the council.

The resolution comes after a month of unrest following the death of George Floyd, a 42-year-old Black man, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

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The city of Riverside follows San Bernardino in declaring racism a public health crisis. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors adopted their resolution June 23 following two meetings with faith leaders, activists and members of the Black community.