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Clark County declares systemic racism a public health crisis

The Clark County Commission declared Tuesday that systemic racism is a public health crisis “causing the single most profound economic and social challenge” facing the county and state.

In standing with Nevada lawmakers who passed a nearly identical resolution in August, commissioners essentially acknowledged that racism continues to be a pervasive issue that has been magnified by the pandemic.

The resolution highlights that the coronavirus crisis has disproportionately affected minorities, pointing to racial and ethnic disparities in the health care system and a digital divide.

The resolution is symbolic, but commissioners expressed support for initiatives to dismantle racism in areas where it exists, whether it be in social services, economic development, public safety or elsewhere.

County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, who requested that county lawmakers vote on the resolution, said last week that the county could set an example with zero tolerance for racism in the workplace before mulling other anti-racist efforts.

The city of North Las Vegas adopted a similar resolution in September, also joining a growing number of jurisdictions across the U.S. to make such a declaration.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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