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Board directs staff to draft resolution declaring racism a public health crisis, form group focused on equity

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors directed County staff to draft a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis and form a group focused on equity.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously directed County staff to draft a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis and to form a new element group of the Countywide Vision project to promote and increase equity in San Bernardino County.

Once formed, the Equity Element Group would be comprised of community members and experts in healthcare, education, economic development, law and justice, and other fields to create a path toward promoting and increasing equity within the county.

“This is a beginning platform to start these dialogues and work together,” said Board Chairman Curt Hagman. “I am excited to work with our community to address these issues going forward.”

The Equity Element Group may be tasked with determining if there are racial disparities among our residents in the county, if campaigns and programs could be implemented to solve those issues, and identify what initiatives are already underway within County government or in the county community that can be highlighted and supported.

The issue of racism as a public health crisis came to the forefront following the global response to the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the impact of COVID-19 on the Black community.

In 2011, the Board of Supervisors and San Bernardino Council of Governments adopted the Countywide Vision, a roadmap for the future of the county with an emphasis on 10 elements, including public safety, education, jobs and the economy, wellness and housing. The Countywide Vision recognizes that each of these elements is interrelated and interdependent.

Element groups working to achieve the Countywide Vision have produced tangible results for the county community. They include the Vision2Read literacy campaign; the Vision2BActive wellness campaign; the Vision4Safety public safety campaign; and the Vision2Succeed campaign created by the jobs and economy element group.

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