Connecticut Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis

June 2, 2021

Legislation passed by the House this week recognizes that structural and systemic racism has a significant impact on the social determinants of health, leading to vast health disparities in our state.

“We know there have been studies, for example, that indicate that people of color are treated differently by medical professionals, that they sometimes are given different prognosis, different suggestions for health care therapy and remediation and they often have different outcomes and not as good,” said Jonathan Steinberg of Westport, House Chair of the Public Health Committee.

Among other impactful measures included in the omnibus bill to support accessible health care, SB 1 includes a provision to declare racism a public health crisis and assemble a panel to study the effects of racism on our health care system.

“Racism has been a public health crisis since the founding of this country. Not just last week. And not just throughout the summer of 2020,” said Rep. Brandon McGee who represents Windsor and Hartford, and serves as the House Chair of the Housing Committee.


Rep. Geraldo Reyes of Waterbury, Chair of the legislature's Black & Puerto Rican Caucus said: "To be in this chamber and to say that racism doesn’t exist or that racism isn’t real? You didn’t walk in the Reyes family shoes. You didn’t walk in the shoes of people that look like me, who were dirt-poor in the city of Waterbury when we were made to feel that we were less-than.”


You can read the CT NewsJunkie article on this legislation here.