NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s Board of Health on Monday passed a resolution that names racism as a public health crisis, joining the growing list of state and local governments around the country that have done so in recent years.
The resolution calls on the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to take steps including reviewing the city’s health code to look for structural racism and find ways to make changes as necessary. “To build a healthier New York City, we must confront racism as a public health crisis,” Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said in a statement.
Since 2019, when Milwaukee County in Wisconsin was the first to call out racism as a public health issue, dozens of places around the country have followed suit. Supporters have said it’s an important step in addressing problems, while some have questioned whether the declarations will lead to real change.