JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A St. Louis area state representative introduced a House bill that would declare racism a public health crisis.
Missouri State Representative Kimberly-Ann Collins, who's a Democrat, introduced and filed House Resolution 27.
According to a release from Collins, the bill has been introduced in light of the physical, emotional and mental harm caused by racial bias to Black and brown people of Missouri.
In the resolution, Collins stresses the impact of racism on health as evidenced by disproportionately high rates of incarceration, lack of quality education, poverty, homelessness and chronic illnesses among Black and brown people.
“There are policies in the State of Missouri as well as in the United States that disenfranchise and limit people of color from achieving a high quality of life and fully participating in society,” Collins said. “I’m committed to molding public policy that provides a public health and equity lens when it comes to marginalized communities.
“It is important that as a state we champion policies and programs that build on improving the health equity of communities of color.”
The resolution also calls on Missouri Governor Mike Parson to work with groups in the state to promote racial equity.
“I believe it is important to support local, state and federal measures to dismantle systemic racism by partnering with organizations and groups that challenge racism head on,” Collins said.
Collins represents the following neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis: O'Fallon, Penrose, College Hill, The Ville, Greater Ville, Vandeventer, Lewis Place, Central West End, West Pine-Laclede and The Grove (District 77) in the Missouri House of Representatives.