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The Fight to Combat Structural Racism

Armond Budish giving a speech

“Minorities, especially Black people, have been negatively impacted by racist practices in almost every aspect of their lives—healthcare, housing, access to healthy food and water, and general quality of life. We are looking outward and inward to see how our programs, policies and practices as a County may positively or adversely affect these populations, and we have brought together community leaders to help us create this change.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish

Racism Is a Public Health Crisis.

The County passed legislation in July declaring racism as a public health crisis—and this declaration expresses our intent to address the impact of racism in our community.

In Cuyahoga County, Black people represent:

  • 30.5% of the population
  • 40% of COVID-19 diagnoses
  • 45% of all hospital admissions
  • 45% of COVID-related Intensive Care Unit admissions.

The Citizens’ Advisory Council and the County Equity Commission have been directed to review, focus, and provide recommendations to reduce the disparity between Black and white people when it comes to:

  • Healthcare
  • The criminal justice system
  • Healthy food
  • Safe and affordable housing
  • Well-paying jobs
  • Business ownership opportunities
  • Quality transportation
  • Educational opportunities
  • Safe places to be active

Read the legislation.

The Citizens’ Advisory Council on Equity

The Advisory Council on Equity is made up of 15 outstanding community leaders. These individuals all have a breadth of experience and expertise will offer key insights and recommendations to make the County a more diverse and equitable place.

The Advisory Council on Equity will provide a status report no later than December 31, 2020, including any changes to County policies, procurement, structure of County government and the Cuyahoga County Code.

Cuyahoga County Equity Commission

The County Equity Commission brings together leaders from various County agencies to examine current County policies and protocols, how they affect different populations, and how they can be improved and accessible for all. This will be tackled through extensive research on what is being done across the country, listening to others, and continuing to educate each other.

We are taking a hard look at our organization and how we interact with our community.

  • Of the services we provide, how accessible are they for people of color?
  • What services do not yet exist that would help people of color and the community as a whole?
  • How do our policies and protocols affect some populations in more advantageous ways than others?

This is positive, much-needed work that will continue over the coming months.

Racism, Inequity, and Public Health: Cuyahoga County's Response