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Legislation #: 190679 Introduction Date: 8/15/2019
Type: Resolution Effective Date: none
Title: Expressing the Council’s commitment and support for Kansas City to achieve racial equity and transform systems and institutions impacting the health of our community.

Legislation History
8/15/2019 Filed by the Clerk's office
8/15/2019 Referred to Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee
8/21/2019 Hold On Agenda (8/28/2019)
8/28/2019 Immediate Adoption
8/29/2019 Adopted as Substituted

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190679.pdf Authenticated 183K Authenticated
190679.pdf Other 86K Handouts
Racial Equity Resolution (190679) KCMO Health Outcomes by Race.pptx Other 5040K Staff Presentation

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Expressing the Council’s commitment and support for Kansas City to achieve racial equity and transform systems and institutions impacting the health of our community.


WHEREAS, the City of Kansas City aims to contribute to an equitable city and region, where all residents- regardless of their race, ethnicity, neighborhood residence, Zip code, or other characteristics, are fully able to participate in Kansas City’s economic vitality, contribute to the City’s readiness for the future, and are connected to the City’s assets and resources; and


WHEREAS, there are significant disparities within communities of color in Kansas City pertaining to economic growth, preparedness for the 21st Century economy, and connectedness to the City’s assets and opportunities; and


WHEREAS, communities of color in Kansas City are more likely to be jobless; have higher rates of poverty and racial gaps continue to persist in the labor market, and at nearly every level of educational attainment, people of color have worse outcomes than whites; and


WHEREAS, there is a looming skills and education gap for the region’s and City’s African American and Latino populations making it more difficult for them to access job opportunities; and


WHEREAS, the number of disconnected youth that are not working or in school is on the rise, and rates are highest among African American and Latino youth; and


WHEREAS, communities of color in Kansas City are facing significant health challenges including lower life expectancy rates, experience higher rates of obesity and diabetes, and have on average higher rates of mental health conditions including, trauma, PTSD, depression, and substance abuse as compared to the general population; and


WHEREAS African Americans are more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population, and untreated mental health problems can lead to and/or perpetuate the financial, educational, social, emotional, health and other problems previously stated herein; and


WHEREAS, communities of color are disproportionally impacted by social determinants of health including inequities in transportation, social isolation, higher rates of evictions, healthy and affordable food access, poor air quality, higher rates of violence and fewer affordable and safe places to live, walk, bike or run, experience increased exposure to lead, lack of access to affordable mental health services, and inadequate health and mental health education; and


WHEREAS, race is social construction with no scientific basis; and


WHEREAS, racism is a social system with multiple dimensions, including individual racism which is internalized or interpersonal and systemic racism, which is institutional or structural and is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks; and


WHEREAS, systemic racism unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and depletes the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources and erosion of the common good; and


WHEREAS, institutional racism causes persistent racial discrimination in housing, education, employment, transportation, health care and mental health care, and criminal justice and an emerging body of research demonstrates that institutional racism is a social determinate of health; and


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


WHEREAS, the local legacy of racism, such as racially restrictive covenants, resulted in communities of color being more likely to experience social isolation, experience higher housing burdens, especially for those who are renters, and people of color live with the long-term effects of historic racial discrimination resulting in economic disinvestment; and


WHEREAS, the life expectancy for a black male living in the 64128 Zip code is 68, while a white female living near the Plaza can expect to live to be 85 years old, a nearly 20-year difference between people who live just 10 minutes apart; and


WHEREAS, the Kansas City Health Commission, as outlined in the Community Health Improvement Plan, is committed to achieving health equity and addressing social determinates of health; and


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


WHEREAS, with the support from community partners and the Kansas City Health Department, it is the City of Kansas City’s responsibility to address racism, including seeking solutions to reshape the discourse and actively engage all citizens in racial justice work; now, therefore,




Section 1. That the City Council expresses its commitment and support for a comprehensive assessment of the City’s interracial policies and procedures to address public health disparities due to racial inequities throughout the region and the City of Kansas City.


Section 2. That the City Manager or his designee is hereby directed to develop and present to the Council a comprehensive plan that incorporates the following policies, procedures and priorities:


a.                   Assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting our entire society;


b.                  Assess internal policies and procedures that ensure racial equity is a core element of Kansas City, led by the City Manager, Mayor and Council, in collaboration with the Kansas City Health Department and other relevant parties;


c.                   Continue to create an inclusive organization identifying specific activities to increase diversity across its workforce and in leadership positions;


d.                  Incorporate inclusion and equity into organizational practice, increase educational trainings/activities to expand employees’ understanding of how racism affects individuals, the health of marginalized populations, and provide tools to assist members to engage actively and authentically with communities of color;


e.                   Advocate for relevant policies that improve health and mental health in communities of color, and support local, state and federal initiatives that advance racial equity while also encouraging individual employee advocacy and self-examination; and


f.                   Encourage other local, state, and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis.