DENVER — Denver residents spoke and City Council members listened on Monday night, voting unanimously to proclaim racism a public health crisis.
Councilwoman Jamie Torres wrote the proclamation.
"You’re seeing a public health crisis combined with COVID-19, along with a community tired of racism," Torres said.
The proclamation claims racism can fall under a public health crisis because it meets the definition: It affects large numbers of people, threatens health over the long-term and requires the adoption of large-scale solutions.
"It carries over into how we sentence, how our criminal justice system operates, how our juvenile system operates, how our schools operate," Torres said.
The councilwoman recognizes the proclamation has no legal standing but is hopeful it leads to legislation down the road and for now, starts a conversation.
"We can talk about police brutality, we can talk about unjust systems, but if we don’t acknowledge that racism still sits at its core, then we’re missing the point," Torres explained.