CITY: ‘Deeper Than Racism’: Jackson Declares ‘Classism’ a Public Health Crisis


To attract more funds to counter the impact of socioeconomic factors on health disparity, the Jackson City Council unanimously declared classism as a public-health crisis on June 9, saying it is recommitting itself to improving the quality of life and health of the underclass.

While introducing the resolution, Ward 4 Councilman De'Keither Stamps said what the City faces is deeper than racism with regards to the health and other sectors.

"Several cities around the country are approaching the federal government and the Center for Disease Control to look at issues inside their communities," he said. "Delaware just received partnership with CDC on racism and public health. In the city of Jackson, we have a situation where people don't have appropriate services, and it’s deeper than racism."

He said the resolution will facilitate a partnership with the CDC, thereby increasing the resources available to the City from grants "on a more robust scale.”

The council listed class-based inequalities ripe for attention. They include crime rate, social capital, education, transportation, employment, food access, health behaviors, socioeconomic status, environmental exposure, access to health services housing and public safety.

"The City of Jackson is committed to directly addressing inequalities, including systematic data-driven focus on poverty, economic mobility, and other factors that impact the social determinants of health," the resolution states. "Minorities are impacted more greatly by challenges and inequalities in many areas."

Ward 5 Councilman Charles H. Tillman said the resolution has the potential to draw money for development in housing, transportation, education and health sectors. "A lot of money will be coming to this city," he said.

Council President Virgi Lindsay of Ward 7 said the resolution addresses a crucial issue facing the city.

Classism, as stated in the resolution, is ranking people based on economic status, family lineage, job status and level of education. The

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