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CITY MANAGER STATEMENT
City of Ypsilanti, Michigan
June 3, 2020
TOGETHER, WE STAND AGAINST RACISM
On the evening of June 2, 2020 City Council adopted Resolution No. 2020-115A declaring racism a public health crisis in the nation. City Council declared, “Racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals and communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources, and the City of Ypsilanti’s collective prosperity depends upon the equitable access to opportunity for every resident regardless of the color of their skin”. As City Manager, I stand with City Council and employees of the City of Ypsilanti against racism of any sort in our city and organization. I will continue to fight to implement policies and solutions that promote diversity and dispel systemic and institutional racism and racial biases. Racism in any form cannot and will not be tolerated. I am committed to the solutions outlined in Resolution No.2020-115A and will work hard to assure these words become more than just words on paper. This is more than a statement, it is a call to action. We must rid ourselves of racism “in here” before we can even begin to effectively change “out there”. We must commit to exposing bigotry and inequity everywhere it exists and hold ourselves accountable for creating a world in which we want to live. (Resolution 2020-115A Below)
Frances McMullan, City Manager
City of Ypsilanti
1 S. Huron Street, 4th floor
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 483-1810 – office
(734) 483-7260 – fax
Resolution No. 2020-115A
June 2, 2020
RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF YPSILANTI:
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Ypsilanti is outraged and appalled by the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless other African Americans that have lost their lives to racial violence, and police brutality; and
WHEREAS, the City of Ypsilanti grieves with the families and communities across this nation and calls for accountability of those who perpetuate violence under the badge of law; and
WHEREAS, historic, systemic and pervasive racism and traumas of colonization and slavery make people of color, particularly African Americans and Indigenous communities in our country, fear for their families’ health, safety, and lives every single day; and
WHEREAS, racism is a social system with multiple dimensions: individual racism that is internalized or interpersonal; systemic racism that is institutional or structural, and is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks; and
WHEREAS, racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals and communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources, and the City of Ypsilanti’s collective prosperity depends upon the equitable access to opportunity for every resident regardless of the color of their skin; and
WHEREAS, racism causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life, including housing, education, employment and criminal justice; and an emerging body of research demonstrates that racism itself is a social determinant of health; and
WHEREAS, based on population percentages African Americans experience systemic inequity per capita nationally; and
WHEREAS, communities of color, working class residents, and those that suffer from disabilities, are more likely to experience poor health outcomes as a consequence of their social determinants of health — health inequities stemming from economic stability, education, physical environment, food and access to health care systems; and
WHEREAS, a contemporary example of such disparity is highlighted by the coronavirus data in Washtenaw County, 12% of the county population are African American, yet account for 34% of the diagnosis; and
WHEREAS, more than 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes; and
WHEREAS, no change will be realized until white citizens of this country stand besides those exclaiming for justice; and
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF YPSILANTI:
1. Assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting our entire country.
2. Work to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization, with the City Council and its staff leadership continuing to identify specific activities to further enhance diversity and to ensure antiracism principles across City Council leadership, staffing and contracting.
3. Promote equity through all policies approved by the City Council and enhance educational efforts aimed at understanding, addressing and dismantling racism and how it affects the delivery of human and social services, economic development and public safety.
4. Continue to advocate locally for relevant policies that improve health in communities of color, and supports local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic racism.
5. Further work to solidify alliances and partnerships with other organizations that are confronting racism and encourage other local, state, regional and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis.
6. Support community efforts to amplify issues of racism and engage actively and authentically with communities of color wherever they live.
7. To always promote and support policies that prioritize the health of all people, especially people of color by mitigating exposure to adverse childhood experiences.
8. Continue on-going racial equity training with the goal of reaching all City of Ypsilanti leadership and staff.
9. Encourage racial equity training among all community partners, grantees, vendors and contractors.
10. Identify clear goals and objectives, including periodic reports to the City Council, to assess progress and capitalize on opportunities to further advance racial equity; and
Be it Further resolved, that City Council supports all additional efforts in the City of Ypsilanti, State of Michigan, and nationwide to address racism and public health disparities due to racial inequities; and
Be it Further resolved, that the City Council of the City of Ypsilanti declares there will be zero tolerance for police brutality by the City of Ypsilanti Police Department; and
Be it Further resolved, that the City Council of the City of Ypsilanti call upon the Governor, the Speaker of the Michigan House, and the Michigan Senate Majority Leader to join with us to declare racism as a public health crisis and to enact equity in all policies of the State of Michigan.
OFFERED BY: Mayor Pro-Tem Lois Richardson
SUPPORTED BY: Council Member Nicole Brown
YES: 7 NO: 0 ABSENT: 0 VOTE: Approved