ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County Council passes a resolution to declare racism a public health emergency.

Last week, we heard from Councilmember Will Jawando, who introduced the resolution, which was supported by all members of the council. This is a step for the county in eliminating health disparities. Racism became a focal point for many, following the death of George Floyd, who was killed by an officer in Minneapolis. His death sparked outrage throughout many communities, including here in our region. County officials also spoke about health disparities, which have been amplified during the COVID-19 crisis, as there are currently higher numbers of cases and deaths among minority populations. “Racism has been at the heart of inequitable outcomes for African-Americans in communities of color,” Jawando stated. Councilmember Gabe Albornoz said, “We can’t expect people who are disproportionately impacted by the structural racism to continue to adjust to that structure.”

A few counties have passed similar resolutions including, most recently, Franklin County in Ohio.