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County leaders introduce ordinance to advance racial equity, improve health outcomes

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County leaders and the Office on African American Affairs (OAAA) introduced on Wednesday, Feb. 26 an ordinance that commits the county to advancing racial equity and eliminating health disparities.

If passed, a news release says the ordinance commits Milwaukee County government to identifying and addressing policies, practices and power structures that, whether intentionally or unintentionally, work in favor of white people and create barriers for black and brown people. The ordinance will ensure racial equity is a top priority of Milwaukee County government and remains larger than any one government leader.

The news release says Milwaukee County will initially focus on five areas to transform the services it provides and create a system that works for all residents. Milwaukee County will:

  1. Build a more diverse and inclusive workforce in which employees reflect the diversity of the community at all levels and where differences are welcomed and valued.
  2. Ensure a diverse array of Milwaukee County employees at all levels are involved in designing equitable programs and services that meet the needs of the community.
  3. Design Milwaukee County services to meet residents’ needs, rather than asking residents to fit their needs into existing Milwaukee County services.
  4. Track and analyze data to better understand the impact of County services and find solutions accordingly.
  5. Generate new sources of revenue and implement additional efficiencies to address the structural deficit.
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