On May 30th, Councilmember Will Jawando tweeted that he would be introducing a resolution declaring Racism a public health emergency in Montgomery County following the murder of George Floyd and the unprecedented number of protests around the region.
Today, backed by the full council, the resolution was introduced. In the resolution, Jawando called out some striking disparities between Black and White residents of Montgomery County.
Compared to White residents, Black residents experience dramatically higher rates of unemployment (7.5% v. 3.3%), poverty (11.2% v. 4.0%), dropout (6.3% v. 2.1%); and lower rates of homeownership (42.5% v. 73.2%), college attainment (44% v. 65%), and annual household incomes ($73,000 v. $119,000). Further, Black residents are twice as likely as their share of County residents to be arrested (43.9% v. 19.8%).
As part of the Resolution, the Council would commit to understand how racism has influenced previous legislative work and work towards creating new policies that would work to remedy the harm.
See statements below from Councilmembers Will Jawando, Nancy Navarro, and Gabe Albornoz.