Transit and Compact Development are Solutions to Health Equity, COVID-19 Recovery


compact development is important for COVID recovery

Researchers are finding that population density is not associated with higher death rates from COVID-19. Unfortunately, some people still blame compact housing and transit for pandemic spikes, and use that misinformation to promote sprawling residential development and disinvestment in transit in the name of health. These are the same poor practices that have segregated neighborhoods and contributed to drastic disparities in health and wealth for a century. As city leaders respond to concerns about COVID transmission and develop economic recovery plans, they must challenge the discriminatory status quo, consider transportation expenses, and shift toward equitable, compact (not overcrowded) housing development. “Restoring urban transit networks to full force, expanding their ...

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San Bernardino County Is 1st in California to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis


diverse fists to declare racism a public health crisis

In San Bernardino County (50% Latino), the Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 this week to make it California's first county to adopt a resolution to declare racism as a public health crisis, the L.A. Times reports. The resolution recognizes that racism "creates unfair disadvantages to some individuals and communities" and "results in disparities in family stability, health and mental wellness, education, employment, economic development, public safety, criminal justice and housing." In addition, the resolution commits to action, according to the report: Enhance diversity in the county workforce; Study existing county policies and practices "through a lens of racial equality to promote and support efforts that prioritize health for people of color"; Plan collaborations ...

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Latinos Stand in Solidarity with ‘Black Lives Matter’


Black Lives Matter Solidarity Latinos Stand

Since the founding of this country, Latinos, African-Americans, and all people of color have experienced harm at the hands of an unjust system. With the death of George Floyd at the hands of those meant to protect and serve, millions have taken to the streets to protest systemic racism across the U.S. Latinos, who are experiencing a rising burden of hate crimes, discrimination, and anti-immigrant sentiment, have joined in the Black Lives Matter cause to advocate for change — not just in African-American neighborhoods, but in all communities of color. “It’s not just black people being murdered by police. Hispanics are dying, too,” Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), told El Paso news station WWLP 22. “It’s not only one bad ...

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Black Lives Matter Advocates Push for Grocery Store in an Oklahoma Food Desert


Black Lives Mater advocates meet with oklahoma city leaders for a grocery store

In a move that shows how social movements can address local health, Black Lives Matter advocates are helping push for a grocery store in a food desert in Oklahoma City (14.6% Black, 19.2% Latino). The advocates brought a demand for a store to city leaders. They met with Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, Homeland grocery store President and CEO Marc Jones, and economic developers to discuss plans for building the 30,000-square-foot store to a local food desert on the Northeast side of the city, according to Patrina Adger of KOCO News. The area's only grocery store closed down about a year ago. This left neighbors with little access to fresh fruits and vegetables. "Obviously it's just this huge unmet need [for healthy food options] for a number of years," Jones of Homeland told ...

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Does Racism Qualify as a Public Health Crisis?


racism as a public health crisis prejudice stereotype

Unlike a pandemic or emergency, there is no epidemiological definition for public health crisis. Experts at the Boston University School of Public Health tried to solve this. They explored the distinction between immediate and important and how politics, perceived risk, and affected groups shape the concept of a crisis. For example, they juxtaposed the number of deaths caused by terrorism and by gun violence with action taken by the U.S. government. Between 2001 and 2013, 3,380 Americans were killed by terrorism and 406,496 Americans were killed by firearms on U.S. soil; yet the U.S. spent trillions on the War on Terror and failed to pass gun control legislation. They conclude that people often confuse the immediate and the important, and that the important often fails to receive ...

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