In an effort to address generational inequities that perpetuate racial disparities across city services, the Los Angeles City Council has unanimously voted to adopt an “Antiracism” motion, calling upon the Civil and Human Rights + Equity Department to produce a Racial Equity Audit of City programs, policies and practices; and to develop a plan that addresses barriers to economic stability, specifically among African Americans.
“As leaders of a city as diverse as Los Angeles, it is our responsibility to ensure the equitable distribution of city services and resources. But in order to do that, we must have the tools in place to effectively examine the ways in which we have unwittingly fallen short. Only when we are clear on our flaws, can we course-correct,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas, who introduced the motion along with Councilmembers Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
“We have reached a critical turning point and if we are ever to reconcile with the past wrongdoings done to the Black community and tackle race relations, it is our duty to push for measures that ensure there is a more equitable and fair distribution of services that addresses systemic inequities to erase color-lines,” said Councilman Curren Price. “We cannot sit back and watch history continue to repeat itself. We want to put an end to the cycle here and now.”
Capri Maddox, who serves as Executive Director of the city’s Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department, also known as LA Civil Rights said her agency was grateful for the opportunity to support the initiative.
“Systemic racism didn’t come out of thin air – it came from centuries of policies that separated Black communities from their wealth, their health and their freedom,” Maddox said. “But just as our country designed a system of inequality, we can also build a future of inclusion and justice – and Los Angeles is showing the way.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti agreed.
“There is no question that work remains to close the racial gaps that exist in our country when it comes to wealth, health, and education,” Garcetti said. “The motion builds on the equity work we’re doing in Los Angeles, and I’m proud to work alongside Councilmembers who are committed to confronting structural racism and fulfilling America’s promise to all its people.”