Lawmaker proposes declaring racism a public health crisis in Georgia

A Georgia state representative has proposed a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis in the state.

Democratic state Rep. Sandra Scott, who represents Georgia's 76th District, said in a statement that the declaration was "just the first step" toward better public health.

"Racism and health are tied together on many different fronts: where we live, go to school, the air we breathe, our income, wealth, health care, and much more," Scott said. "It is time for Black and brown people to stand up, speak out and demand better care in all areas of our life."

The resolution includes references to rates of use of force by police in Black and brown communities, exposure to racism's effect on stress hormones, and more.

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Scott is asking state officials to develop plans to tackle racial inequalities and engage communities in working toward coming up with solutions to the problem. 

Organizations including the American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, and more have already declared that racism is a public health issue.

Last year, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners passed a similar declaration, the only one of its kind in Georgia so far.

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