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File #: 11490-20    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Motion Status: Approved
File created: 5/1/2020 In control: Chief Clerk
On agenda: Final action: 5/5/2020
Title: Motion of the Council of Allegheny County recognizing racism as a public health crisis.
Sponsors: Olivia Bennett, DeWitt Walton, Anita Prizio, Paul Klein
Attachments: 1. 11490-20 Attachment - Condensed.xlsx
Motion of the Council of Allegheny County recognizing racism as a public health crisis.

WHEREAS, race is a socially constructed hierarchical categorization scheme with no biological basis that was created and is maintained to privilege those classified by their heritage, phenotype, linguistic traits, and other social markers as White; and,

WHEREAS, racism is a social system with multiple dimensions, individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural, and is the stratification of resources (including but not limited to public infrastructure, educational opportunities, first responder services, commercial contracts, individual job offers, healthcare, interpersonal social capital) across the hierarchical racial classification scheme such that Whites, as a collective, maintain more material, political and cultural resources than groups classified as people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous populations; and,

WHEREAS, racism manifests in distinct ways across other social classifications (e.g. gender, class, (dis)ability, immigration status) it collectively reinforces the racial hierarchy which weakens the strength of the whole society through unrealized human resources and social strife; and,

WHEREAS, racism causes persistent racial discrimination in housing, education, employment and criminal justice; and an emerging body of research demonstrates that racism is a social determinant of health; and,

WHEREAS, more than 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes; and,

WHEREAS, in the 2019 study “Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race,” for example, the University of Pittsburgh found that “[f]or Pittsburgh's Black women, 18 out of every 1,000 pregnancies end in a fetal death. This is compared to only 9 out of every 1,000 White pregnancies…By itself, this inequality is startling. Yet, even more striking is the fact that Pittsburgh's Black fetal mortality is higher than Black fetal mortality in 94 percent of similar...

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