Minnesota House declares racism a public health crisis

The Minnesota House of Representatives on Monday voted to declare racism a public health crisis.

The resolution says the House will be an active participant in dismantling racism and creates a House Select Committee on the state’s response.

"This is about advancing and promoting equitable opportunity across all of our systems, in the areas of health, education, housing, public safety, and economic and workforce development," said Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights, chief author of the resolution. "The COVID-19 pandemic and senseless murder of George Floyd have shined a light on the historical and contemporary injustices that are still embedded in our society."

Minneapolis City Council racism a public health emergency

Minnesota joins more than 20 cities and counties and at least three states — Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin — to declare racism a public health crisis, according to a release from the House. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Emergency Physicians have also declared institutional racism an urgent public health issue in statements and vowed to eradicate racism and discrimination in health care.

The Minnesota Senate isn’t expected to pass a similar resolution.