Louisville Mayor Declares Racism a ‘Public Health Crisis’


Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) announced Tuesday that he has issued an executive order declaring racism a “public health crisis” in Kentucky’s largest city.

The order aims to address public safety and health, Black employment, and voter participation in several parts of Louisville after months of periodic protests sparked by the fatal, police-involved shooting of Breonna Taylor in March. The directive also urges officials to support mail-ballot voting and expanding early city voting.

“For too many Louisvillians, racism is a fact of daily life, a fact that was created and documented in our country’s laws and institutional policies like segregation, redlining, and urban renewal,” Fischer told reporters during a media briefing.

“Laws and policies that restrict the freedom of all Americans to exercise their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the mayor added. “Laws and policies that can restrict where people live, what schools they attend and what jobs they can get. And laws and policies that effectively limit the wealth they can earn and pass on to their children.”

In September, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the Anti-Racism in Public Health Act, which declared racism was a nationwide public health issue.