Download a PDF of the resolution here.

Passed by the Washtenaw County Democratic Party Executive Board on 2/16/2021

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic is the most profoundly dangerous health crisis to face our planet in over a century, and

WHEREAS, while COVID-19 does not discriminate based on location or race, the impacts of this virus do, and

WHEREAS, Michigan communities with higher populations of Black residents experience some of the highest levels of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19, and

WHEREAS, while Black residents of Washtenaw County experience COVID-19 infection rates (13%) commensurate with their population percentage (12.3%), the percentage of Black residents who are hospitalized (27%) and who die from COVID-19 (23%) are nearly twice their population percentage, and

WHEREAS, structural, systemic, and environmental racism each contributes to increased COVID-19 comorbidities in Black communities such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes, and

WHEREAS, Black residents of Washtenaw County are less likely to have access to quality healthcare than residents of other races, and

WHEREAS, Black residents of Washtenaw County are more likely to lack access to the internet where they can learn about COVID-19 and sign up for vaccinations, and

WHEREAS, due to the terrible legacy of racially-based medical maltreatment such as the Tuskegee Experiment, Black Americans are more likely to distrust vaccines, and

WHEREAS, achieving herd immunity through widespread vaccination of ALL residents of Washtenaw County and beyond is essential to defeating COVID-19, and

WHEREAS, Black Americans are owed reparations for the stain of slavery in America and for centuries of oppression and discrimination in all areas of society, and

WHEREAS, it is important to distinguish between EQUITY vs. EQUALITY when discussing our County’s COVID-19 response because equality demands everyone be treated the same, while the impacts of this pandemic are NOT equal and require an equitable response as a result of disparities and disparate impacts, and

WHEREAS, the Washtenaw County Democratic Party (WCDP) is committed to listening to Black leaders, centering their voices, and following their leadership, particularly on issues that impact Black communities in Washtenaw County and beyond.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, the WCDP Executive Board calls upon the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners to quickly develop COVID-19 response policies that explicitly ensure Black communities receive EQUITABLE treatment that will promulgate throughout the Washtenaw County Health Department as well as the broader, distributed network of service providers, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, to rectify the imbalance currently being experienced due to their policies, the WCDP Executive Board calls on public health officials, medical systems (e.g. Michigan Medicine, IHA, Trinity Health, etc.), and other organizations involved with distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations (such as pharmacies) and other pandemic-related services to work to implement equitable policies by developing an enhanced COVID-19 response for Black residents of Washtenaw County, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the WCDP Executive Board defines equity at any given time in vaccination rates as a minimum of the hospitalization or fatality rates, whichever is greater, among Black Washtenaw County residents as a proportion of their population in the County, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the WCDP Executive Board commits to being a partner with policy makers and service providers throughout the County, providing resources in terms of volunteers, programming, and assistance in the implementation of EQUITABLE policies governing the County’s COVID-19 response.