Resolution declaring racism a public health crisis passed in Evansville

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — After a heated debate, a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis passed the Evansville City Council.

The resolution passed 7-1.

“Evansville is not perfect, and city government’s not perfect. But it’s up to us to make sure that we move to a more perfect community and make sure that every resident that we have really has that chance and opportunity that they need,” council president Alex Burton said.

Councilman Justin Elpers was the lone no vote. Elpers argued while the city is not perfect, he says systemic racism does not exist in Evansville.

“Our community has a rich diversity of people. These people from different backgrounds and ethnicities own businesses, they serve on important boards and have leadership roles in our most prominent corporations. This evidence does not support systematic racism,” Elpers said.

Some people who made comments said the resolution does not go far enough.

This was the first in-person meeting for the council since the coronavirus pandemic began, and there were plexiglass barriers installed in front of the council members.

The council failed to pass a $400,000 grant for affordable housing by the Memorial Community Housing Corporation.

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(This story was originally published on June 22, 2020)

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