McDuffie Urges DC Government to Plan Coronavirus Response Through the Lens of Racial Equity
Building on years of leadership on racial equity, Councilmember McDuffie urged his Council colleagues and Mayor on March 23 to address these concerns in District’s response to COVID-19
Washington, DC – Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Chairman Pro Tempore and Chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, urges the leaders of the District government to view the ongoing coronavirus response efforts through the lens of racial equity. Councilmember McDuffie emailed his Council colleagues and Mayor Muriel Bowser on March 23, 2020 to call on them to craft any policies and programs enacted in response to coronavirus through the lens of racial equity.
“History demonstrates that inequitable government responses to disasters have led to recoveries that exacerbate existing disparities and contribute to the displacement of individuals and businesses in communities of color,” McDuffie wrote, “As the coronavirus spreads and the public health emergency persists, I hope that we will continue to work collaboratively, paying special attention to the impact that this disease and the response to its spread may have on communities of color as well as on minority- and women-owned businesses.”
In the last week, data has revealed large disparities in the impact of coronavirus on the African American community, including DC. Tragically, 52 District residents have lost their life to COVID-19. And while the DC population is 46% Black, 72% of the deaths from COVID-19 were Black Washingtonians. (latest data as of Sunday, April 12)
Councilmember McDuffie has been a leader in DC and on the Council on racial equity. Among many other efforts, he introduced and championed the Racial Equity Achieves Real Change Act (B23-0038, formerly known as the Racial Equity Achieves Results Act) and spearheaded the Council’s successful efforts to attain membership in the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE).
“While many experts are conveying coronavirus warnings as though they will impact Americans equally, it is more likely that this pandemic will hit the poor, communities of color, and minority-owned businesses the hardest.”