Petition to Governor DeSantis and Members of the Florida State House and Senate to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

Governor DeSantis and Members of the Florida State House and Senate

We are petitioning the Governor and the Florida State House and Senate Members to declare racism a public health crisis.

This declaration would call on the state of Florida to ensure that public safety is administered equitably, advances equal opportunity, and dismantles racism.

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It would also seek to establish in state government an Office of Racial Equity that would work to develop in all state agencies a statewide Racial Equity Framework providing guidelines for inclusive policies and practices that reduce racial inequities, promote racial equity, address individual, institutional, and structural racism, and establish goals and strategies to advance racial equity and address structural racism and racial inequities.

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"In July 2020, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HR 1 declaring racism a public health crisis. The resolution calls on the state to dismantle racism by studying existing policies, supporting initiatives that advance equal opportunity, and ensuring that public safety is administered equitably. Several other states introduced similar resolutions declaring racism a public health crisis — California (SB 17), Missouri (HCR 14 and HCR 27), Arizona (SCR 1017), Virginia (HJ 537), Connecticut (SB 55), New York (S 2987 and J 3206), Georgia (HR 78), New Jersey (AR 175), and Tennessee (HJR 10). These resolutions would establish working groups and outline specific measures for jurisdictions to take against the public health crisis (e.g., educating state personnel about how racism impacts individual and population health).

Now is the time for the members of the Florida House and Senate to take action and show up for the community on this public health crisis.

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Works cited:

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials: https://www.astho.org/StatePublicHealth/How-States-Are-Addressing-the-Public-Health-Crisis-of-Racism/02-23-21/

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220SB17

https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2021/01/30/floridas-coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-reveals-racial-divide-in-tampa-bay/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-vaccine-florida-wealthy-white-patients-poor-black/

https://www.kff.org/policy-watch/early-state-vaccination-data-raise-warning-flags-racial-equity/



Sponsored by
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Fort Lauderdale, FL

To: Governor DeSantis and Members of the Florida State House and Senate
From: [Your Name]

We are petitioning the Governor and the Florida House and Senate Members to lead on values and in the creation and declare racism a public health crisis.

We are calling on the state of Florida to ensure that public safety is administered equitably, advances equal opportunity, and dismantles racism.

​"In July 2020, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HR 1 declaring racism a public health crisis. The resolution calls on the state to dismantle racism by studying existing policies, supporting initiatives that advance equal opportunity, and ensuring that public safety is administered equitably. Several other states introduced similar resolutions declaring racism a public health crisis — California (SB 17), Missouri (HCR 14 and HCR 27), Arizona (SCR 1017), Virginia (HJ 537), Connecticut (SB 55), New York (S 2987 and J 3206), Georgia (HR 78), New Jersey (AR 175), and Tennessee (HJR 10). These resolutions would establish working groups and outline specific measures for jurisdictions to take against the public health crisis (e.g., educating state personnel about how racism impacts individual and population health)."

Additionally we would ask that you consider advocating like California to "establish in state government an Office of Racial Equity, an independent public entity not affiliated with an agency or department, that shall be governed by a Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council. The bill would authorize the council to hire an executive director to organize, administer, and manage the operations of the office. The bill would task the office with coordinating, analyzing, developing, evaluating, and recommending strategies for advancing racial equity across state agencies, departments, and the office of the Governor. The bill would require the office to develop a statewide Racial Equity Framework providing guidelines for inclusive policies and practices that reduce racial inequities, promote racial equity, address individual, institutional, and structural racism, and establish goals and strategies to advance racial equity and address structural racism and racial inequities. The bill would also require the office, in consultation with state agencies and departments, to establish methodologies, a system of measurement, and data needs for assessing how state statutes, regulations, and practices contribute to, uphold, or exacerbate racial disparities, and to prepare an annual report that evaluates and reports on progress in meeting statewide goals and policies established under the Racial Equity Framework."

"The bill would require the Governor to direct the Secretary of each state agency to adopt and implement the Racial Equity Framework through each agencies’ Racial Equity Action Plan, which would be adopted by each state agency and integrated into the agency’s strategic plan. The bill would require the office to provide technical assistance to agencies during development of the Racial Equity Action Plan, to review and approve each agency’s Racial Equity Action Plan, and to provide technical assistance to agencies implementing strategies for racial equity consistent with the Racial Equity Action Plan. The bill would require the Racial Equity Action Plan to be posted publicly on each agency’s internet website. The bill would require each agency to prepare an annual report on the agency’s progress towards goals set forth in the Racial Equity Action Plan and to submit the report to the office, the Governor, and the Legislature."

Now is the time for the members of the Florida House and Senate to take action and show up for the community on this public health crisis.

Works cited:
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials: https://www.astho.org/StatePublicHealth/How-States-Are-Addressing-the-Public-Health-Crisis-of-Racism/02-23-21/
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220SB17​​