McGee Asks Bd. Of Health To Declare Racism a Public Health Emergency, Crisis

Mayor Thomas M. McGee announced today initial steps to strengthen efforts to eliminate systemic racism within the City of Lynn through policy creation, systemic change, and increased community conversations.

“Systemic racism adversely affects the Black Community and Communities of Color every day, said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “Absolutely no one should live in fear of the act of simply living because of the color of their skin. We must listen and learn from those who have endured far too much, and take concrete action to update and reform our policies. I look forward to continuing the dialogue with members of our community to rid our City of hatred and inequity that has permeated throughout our society for too long. That starts by acknowledging that racism is a public health emergency and acting accordingly.”

Mayor McGee, along with Lynn Public Health Director Michele Desmarais, have submitted to the Board of Health a “Joint Order Declaring Racism an Emergency and a Public Health Crisis in the City of Lynn.” The Order is on the agenda for the Board of Health’s next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 30th.

“The City of Lynn is committed to reviewing our policies and working to enact the necessary changes to address the public health disparities and the barriers to healthcare that the Black Community and Communities of Color experience,” said Director Desmarais.

Additionally, Mayor McGee has signed on to the “Mayor’s Pledge” issued by the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. The pledge asks mayors from across the country to commit to the following actions: “review our police use of force policies; engage our communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in our review; Report the findings of our review to the community and seek feedback; Reform our community’s police use of force policies.”

“While these are steps that will move our City in the right direction, there is still a long way to go. Addressing structural racism requires a long term focus and continued efforts from my office and through all levels of city government. I look forward to engaging with my fellow Lynners in this critical work.” McGee said.

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