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HR 1

as introduced - 91st Legislature, 2020 2nd Special Session (2020 - 2020) Posted on 07/13/2020 11:02am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A House resolution
declaring racism a public health crisis.

WHEREAS, race is a social construct with no biological basis; and

WHEREAS, racism is embedded in the foundation of America, beginning with chattel slavery
in 1619; and

WHEREAS, much of the Black experience in America has been endured under slavery and
Jim Crow, which created preferential opportunities for white people while subjecting people of
color to hardships and disadvantages in every area of life; and

WHEREAS, public health disparities have persisted for over 400 years and there are
long-standing, unaddressed disparities as well as systemic racism and other socioeconomic inequities;

WHEREAS, the American Public Health Association defines racism as a social system with
multiple dimensions: individual racism is internalized or interpersonal, and systemic racism is
institutional or structural. Systemic racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning
value based on the social interpretation of how one looks that unfairly disadvantages some individuals
and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of
the whole society through the waste of human resources; and

WHEREAS, racism is complex and it is imperative to employ an intersectional lens and
approach that considers the unique ways that racism intersects with disabilities, immigration, gender,
documentation status, and LGBTQ+ communities; and

WHEREAS, racism causes persistent racial discrimination in housing, education, employment,
and criminal justice; and

WHEREAS, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association
recognize that racism is a social determinant of health that has a profound impact across the lifespan
of an individual and that failure to address racism is an urgent public health issue that will exacerbate
and perpetuate existing health inequities; and

WHEREAS, more than 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes; and

WHEREAS, in Minnesota the highest excess death rates exist for Black and Indigenous
communities, at every age demographic; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota must address persistent disparities in health outcomes and the social,
economic, educational, and environmental inequities that contribute to them; and

WHEREAS, while there is no epidemiologic definition of crisis, the health impact of racism
clearly rises to the definition proposed by Sandro Galea: "The problem must affect large numbers
of people, it must threaten health over the long-term, and must require the adoption of large-scale
solutions"; and

WHEREAS, racism is a public health crisis affecting our entire state and a comprehensive
and intersectional approach is necessary to address the crisis, NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the State of Minnesota that it declares
racism a public health crisis; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, based upon this affirmation, the Minnesota House of
Representatives will actively participate in the dismantling of racism by:

Collaborating with the state's law and justice agencies and the community to work to ensure
public confidence that public safety is administered equitably;

Studying, evaluating, and conducting an assessment of the existing policies and practices of
the Minnesota House of Representatives through an intersectional lens of racial equity, setting
measurable goals to advance equity through these policies and practices;

Conducting an assessment related to all human resources, vendor selection, including
reviewing internal processes and practices related to hiring, promotions, and leadership appointments;

Enhancing data-driven education efforts on understanding, addressing, and dismantling
racism, and how racism affects public health, family stability, early childhood education, economic
development, public safety, housing, and the delivery of human services;

Supporting local, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic
racism, partnering with local organizations with a demonstrated track record of confronting racism,
and meaningfully engaging with communities of color;

Convening a House Select Committee on Minnesota's response to addressing racism as a
public health crisis to ensure House legislative efforts are analyzed through an intersectional race
equity lens; and

Hereby encouraging the Governor and the Senate to also adopt resolutions affirming that
racism is a public health crisis resulting in disparities in family stability, health and mental wellness,
education, employment, economic development, public safety, criminal justice, and housing.