Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has signed an executive order declaring racism a public health crisis. During the virtual press conference, the Louisville mayor explained how racial injustice has taken a toll on the city. Fischer noted that the Black poverty in Louisville is nearly triple that of the city's white communities. Also, the percentage of Black residents who own homes is less than half that of white residents.
“For too many Louisvillians, racism is a fact of daily life, a fact that was created and documented in our country’s laws and institutional policies like segregation, redlining and urban renewal,” he said.
“Laws and policies that restrict the freedom of all Americans to exercise their constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Laws and policies that can restrict where people live, what schools they attend and what jobs they can get. And laws and policies that effectively limit the wealth they can earn and pass on to their children."
Through the newly signed executive order, the Louisville Metro Government will seek to address the following areas: public safety, children and families, Black employment, Black wealth, housing and neighborhood investment, health and voting.
“These reforms will require a strong commitment and a lot of work,” Fischer stated.
“But I believe it can be done — in part because when I look around Louisville and talk to people from every neighborhood and background, I sense a greater and broader understanding and desire to address racial equity than ever before.”
The city of Louisville has been at the center of the country's unrest following the police killing of Breonna Taylor. Led by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a grand jury did not indict any officer for the murder of Taylor. Instead, former officer Brett Hankinson was charged with wanton endangerment for firing shots into a nearby apartment. Ultimately, the city reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor's family.
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