Frederick Aldermen Consider Resolution Against Racism

It would declare racism a public health crisis.


Frederick, Md (KM) A resolution to declare racism a public health crisis in the city of Frederick was discussed Wednesday by the Board of Aldermen.

Among other things, the measure calls on the city  to create a racial equity and social justice action plan; set up a Racial Equity and Social Justice Advisory Committee; require the Planning Commission to consider racial equity and social justice  when crafting the city’s comprehensive plan; and for the Mayor to consider how these two issues affect strategic planning and the budget process.

The resolution is sponsored by Alderman Derek Shackelford. “This is not any way to slight anyone or to diminish anyone. But this is an opportunity for us to affirm everyone,” he says.

He also said this resolution could meet with some resistance. “I know there’s people in our community that say  ‘why are we doing this?’ And I say ‘why not do this’ to people who are opposed. This is the right thing to do,” Shackelford says.

The measure received support from other board members, ,including Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak. She noted that Frederick is often in the forefront of these issues. “We put protections for gender identity in before many other local, state and national places did that,” she said. “We also moved the monument before a whole lot of that got ugly.”

Alderman Ben MacShane said this resolution would cover how city departments do business. “How really we need to be looking at our local economy; at planning; at how we develop as a city; at how we’re doing things we’re looking at already, hiring, contracting,” he said.

The resolution is expected to undergo some rewording before it comes back to the Aldermen for further discussion.


By Kevin McManus