Santa Clara County supervisors unanimously approve proposal to declare racism a public health crisis

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to pass a proposal to declare racism a public health crisis Tuesday afternoon.

The declaration was co-authored by Cindy Chavez and David Cortese.

It's the most comprehensive plan in the county's history to address racism, potentially putting an $8 billion budget behind making institutionalized reforms.

The 11-point action recommendation plan includes: reviewing policies with a racial equity lens, making educational efforts to dismantle and deepen understanding of racism, training elected officials and staff on workplace bias, promoting policies that prioritize the health of people of color, committing to conduct all human resources, vendor selection and grant management activities with a racial equity lens.

Original story follows.
------------

For the first time in Santa Clara County's history, a proposal to declare racism as a public health crisis is being presented to the board of supervisors.

The declaration was co-authored by Cindy Chavez and David Cortese.

It's the most comprehensive plan in the county's history to address racism, potentially putting an $8 billion budget behind making institutionalized reforms.

RELATED: Black Lives Matter network establishes $12M grant fund

The 11-point action recommendation plan includes: reviewing policies with a racial equity lens, making educational efforts to dismantle and deepen understanding of racism, training elected officials and staff on workplace bias, promoting policies that prioritize the health of people of color, committing to conduct all human resources, vendor selection and grant management activities with a racial equity lens.

VIDEO: Santa Clara Co. supervisors to vote on proposal to delcare racism a public health crisis
EMBED More News Videos

For the first time in Santa Clara County's history, a proposal to declare racism as a public health crisis is being presented to the board of supervisors.



"That's what this resolution calls for. It's basically not just a green light but a call to action to every department in the county. I think by the time July and August are over, this group will see a lot of changes here in Santa Clara County," said Cortese.



Cortese and Chavez joined a group of Black community leaders at the announcement of the proposal Monday morning in San Jose.

Chavez also presented a declaration of the county's official support of Black Lives Matter.

RELATED: When protesters cry 'defund the police,' what does it mean?
EMBED More News Videos

Protesters are pushing to "defund the police" over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans. Their chant has become a rallying cry - and a stick for President Donald Trump to use on Democrats as he portrays them as soft on crime.



"We are committed to equity and justice and inclusive collaboration with the Black community but also a hard stance to fight systemic racism," said Chavez.

"This is the beginning of the conversation and it's a good start and the community would like to see it go further to ensure that we have more than just words on paper," said Rev. Jethroe Moore, President of the NAACP Silicon Valley.

"From every element of this system, there is brokenness and there's injustice. There's not one part of this system where we are equal," said La Toya Fernandez with Youth Hype.

The group said they will hold the supervisors accountable to their proposal, adding a list of demands that included reparations, child welfare reform, defunding police and dismantling the juvenile detention system.

Karrington Kenney, a youth activist with Black Lives Matter, says her generation is tired of empty promises.

"I think it's time they understand that we know they're just talking, we want to see the action, we want to see the change," she said.

The resolution will be presented at Tuesday's board of supervisor's meeting along with other action proposals, added Cortese.

See more stories and videos related to race in America here.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.