Allegheny County Council Recognizes Racism as ‘Public Health Crisis’
Ashley Murray, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, May 5, 2020
Allegheny County Council members spent much of their roughly 30-minute regular meeting expressing support or concern on a symbolic motion to designate racism as a public health crisis.
The motion’s language drew on data from the 2019 city-commissioned report that revealed staggering disparate health and economic outcomes across race and gender in Pittsburgh compared with its counterparts across the U.S. That University of Pittsburgh report became the basis of Pittsburgh City Council’s similar declaration.
While the motion passed 12-3, several members took issue with language in the bill.
“I do have a problem with the language. It seems that they’re calling out whites as a collective and claiming that whites are responsible for this … racial classification scheme and things like that,” said Sam DeMarco, the Republican at-large member of council. “And I’m sorry, that language, I just can’t support it. To the folks on the right, we believe that white privilege is something that’s just something created by the left to try to create division.”