Councilman Hagen hopes to introduce it in September.
Frederick, Md (KM) A bill to promote racial equity and social justice in Frederick County Government is being prepared by Councilman Kai Hagen.
He says this legislation is necessary to address systemic and institutional racism which still exist even with all of the advances in civil rights made over the past several years. “There has been progress made in some respects over time, some significant ones,” he says. “But it’s a mistake that we have solved all of our problems, that there aren’t important issues that need to be resolved.”
Hagen says local governments can do a lot of address this issue. “The basic core idea is that you’re establishing a structure that compels the county in all sorts of different ways to look at what it does through the lens of racial equity and social justice,” he says.
County government officials, such as the County Executive, would have to consider these two issues in drafting policies. “That they have to include in their rationale an evaluation or equal consideration about how that particular change will affect racial equity and social justice,” say Hagen.
The same with the County Council. “When county council member or members introduce significant legislation that might be irrelevant in any way, that it will include information as to what impact it will have on racial equity and social justice,” he says.
It would even cover planning. “If we’re going to be able to make significant additional progress, which we do need as we should, we need to be sure we’re looking at the whole system and that includes those sorts of major land use decisions and comprehensive planning,” Hagen says.
He says he’s still working on this legislation, but hopes to have it ready to be introduced to the full Council in September.
Hagen says it”s modeled after a similar ordinance in Montgomery County.
The Frederick Board of Alderman last Thursday approved a resolution which declares racism a public health crisis.
By Kevin McManus