Frederick Aldermen Approve Resolution Declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis

The vote was unanimous.


Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick Board of Aldermen Thursday night adopted a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. The vote was unanimous.

The measure was sponsored by Alderman Derek Shackeford, who says it benefits all citizens. “And particularly our minority communities who for years and centuries have been adversely affected by racism and what’s it caused in our country, but also in our city,” he said.

Among its provisions, the resolution  commits the Board of Aldermen to “frank and open discussions” on race and the impact the decisions made by elected officials have  on racial equity and social justice. City officials and departments would also review all policies and legislation with the goal of eliminating racial bias.

“I believe the intent of the resolution is not to be anti-police, but to be pro-community,” says Alderman Roger Wilson. He also said it’s important for the community to have some uncomfortable conversations about race.

Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak addressed her comments to those who feel this type of resolution is unnecessary. “Those of you out there who are sending us notes accusing us of many different things, it’s time we acknowledged that race is not the issue   Racism is the issue,” she said.

Shortly before taking a vote, the Aldermen approved some word changes to the last clause in the resolution, which recommends the Planning Commission consider racial equity and social justice when  it comes  to preparing the comprehensives plan. Instead, the clause reads that the Planning Commission and the Board of Aldermen will consider and incorporate racial equity and social justice when preparing and adopting the comprehensive plan.


By Kevin McManus