Albion Leaders May Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis
Albion City Council members are mulling over what may be a tough question. At stake is whether they want to declare racism a public health crisis within the city boundaries.
They wouldn’t be alone if they vote for the declaration. Many communities throughout Michigan have already done that. Councilmember Jeannette Spicer presented the resolution dealing with racism and the declaration to the Council. She says she wants Albion to be at the forefront of the issue in Calhoun County. Spicer’s proposal is similar to the approach approved by the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners. It spells out defining phrases for racism and then lays out some methods the city should adopt to reverse racism in the community. The Battle Creek Enquirer quotes Spicer as saying, “I want my colleagues to basically get on board and support the resolution because I see it as an opportunity for change to happen in Albion. It's time to take clear actions, and they can be far-reaching to help our city move forward."
Her resolution defines racism in part as, “… a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks.” While not in disagreement, the resolution has been tabled by the Albion City Council in order to give the city’s leaders more time to add or subtract to the overall message. Spicer’s proposal lays out a half dozen methods she believes the city should use to reverse racism in Albion, everything from promoting improved training and procedures for the city police department, to reviewing all city laws and regulations to ensure the city’s Black community is not unfairly separated from services and programs to promote health and racial equity. The city council may put the resolution on the next agenda if for nothing else than a reminder to the city that the issue is being dealt with pending potential revisions and a council vote.