LA County approves plan to create antiracist policies, practices aimed at helping people of color

TOPSHOT - Demonstrators march through the streets of Hollywood, California, on June 2, 2020, to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. - Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following th (Getty Images)

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in support Tuesday of a strategic plan to craft antiracist policies and practices aimed at helping Black and other people of color in Los Angeles County.

"It is incumbent upon those of us who sit in positions of authority to begin dismantling systemic racial bias within the entities for which we are responsible," said Mark Ridley-Thomas, who authored the motion. "It's no longer sufficient to support diversity and inclusion initiatives. The county has made great strides toward addressing and eliminating implicit bias; it is time to advance to the next level. The county must move to identify and confront explicit institutional racism to set the national standard and become a leader of antiracist policymaking and program implementation.”

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Noting the legacy of slavery continues to disadvantage African Americans, the motion called on the board of supervisors to declare that racism is a matter of public health and to prioritize its elimination from county policies, practices, operations and programs.

The motion also called for making legislative, policy and programmatic changes to prioritize physical and mental health, housing, employment, public safety and justice in an equitable way for African Americans.

Finally, it calls for tracking progress by reporting annually on the State of Black Los Angeles County.

The motion comes in the wake of the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis that set off nationwide protests against structural racism and discrimination, asymmetrical consolidation of power, and extreme wealth and income inequity – all of which disproportionately disadvantage Black people.

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