Orange County Declares Racism a Public Health Emergency

The Orange County Board of Supervisors declared racism a public health emergency on Tuesday. The vote was 4-0.  Two Republicans and two Democrats voted to support the resolution. One supervisor, Don Wagner, was absent. 

The vote follows a surge in hate crimes across the county. Last year, hate crimes jumped 165% in the OC, with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as the most heavily impacted group. 

The resolution directs the county to "work to promote an inclusive, well-informed, and racial equity and justice-oriented governmental organization that is conscious of injustice and unfairness through robust trainings and continuing education to expand the understanding of how racial discrimination affects individuals and communities most impacted by inequities."

Orange County joins a number of other SoCal counties that have declared racism a public health emergency. These include Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino.