Hillsborough Commission Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis


TAMPA -- The Hillsborough County Commission voted unanimously to declare racism a public health crisis Wednesday.

The resolution references disparate health outcomes for Black residents, including cases and deaths of COVID-19. The pastor of a local church brought it to the commission's attention.

The Commission's only African-American member, Les Miller, voted for the resolution but in his statement suggested that it resolution smacked of politics. It was introduced by commissioner Pat Kemp, who like Miller sits on the board of HART, the county transit authority. Miller complained that the HART board had twice passed over opportunities to hire an African-American to head the agency. In the first instance, the white person selected for the job left under a cloud over purchasing issues.

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