Dayton to declare racism a public health issue

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As the city of Dayton prepares to declare racism a public health issue, a group of community leaders has unveiled a proposal with ways to try to reduce racial disparities in several aspects of society.

The proposed multi-faceted plan includes addressing access to health care, ensuring schools have adequate resources and making fresh, healthy food available to all neighborhoods.

“We need to fully address the desert that is going on in west Dayton that is obviously as a direct proponent of some of the disparity in health that we see amongst our populations,” said Myla Cardona-Jones, a faculty member who teaches law classes at Sinclair Community College.

Cardona-Jones, who helped craft the plan, said her group is also calling for a the creation of a local anti-racism task force and wants the city to work with county and state leaders on the initiative.

“When we declared the opioid crisis a public health crisis, that task force was effective, it was very broad-based, and we found synergies that we didn’t expect,” said Matt Joseph, Dayton city commissioner.

Mayor Nan Whaley said she has spoken with officials in other cities and at the statehouse and wants to see local jurisdictions work together on this effort.

“We all don’t live in the city of Dayton, so we have to make sure that we have other leaders coming to the table as well,” Whaley said.

The city commission is expected to vote on its declaration next week, Mayor Whaley said.

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