Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County Supervisors Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis

The Board of Supervisors also at its Tuesday meeting unanimously approved a resolution to support Black Lives Matter and its mission to pursue justice and equality

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Santa Clara County supervisors unanimously approved resolutions supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and declaring racism as a public health crisis.

The decisions were made during a Tuesday Board of Supervisors meeting.

"A resolution is only as good as the actions that follow it," Supervisor Dave Cortese said in a statement. "The first step is stating the problem and then moving forward. We will need the commitment of all our departments and the community to carry out what has been stated in the resolution."

Cortese and Supervisor Cindy Chavez presented the proposals on eliminating racial inequities during a news conference Monday outside the County Government Center.

"I want the Black community here to know that we hear them, see them, and support them," Chavez said.

Cortese also proposed the county declare Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., a countywide holiday beginning on June 19, 2021.

In the wake of mass protests over the killing of George Floyd and an outcry to rid the U.S. of systemic racism, Cortese says it is significant that Juneteenth be added to the county’s observances.

Cortese was asked by local civil rights leaders to initiate the county holiday proposal, his office said.

Designating Juneteenth as a county holiday would reflect "how far we’ve come, but also establish a new beginning as to where we must now go," Cortese said in a statement.

Community activists said they will hold county leaders accountable for their proposals.

Meanwhile, some said the resolutions will spark a new set of conversations that many in the South Bay said has been needed for decades.

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