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San Diego County passes plan to help minority communities with coronavirus relief

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 20:24:17-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass two plans that are aimed at helping the racial divide.

The first is a plan that will rely on a collaborative, data-driven equitable response to coronavirus. The goal is to help communities hit the hardest by the pandemic, which tend to be minorities.

In a letter written by Chair Nathan Fletcher and Vice Chair Nora Vargas to the rest of the board, it is stated that the views and public comments of previous members of the board did not align with the data driven guidance from county health leaders. The letter goes on to say the virus has disproportionately impacted communities of color, especially in the Hispanic and Latino community, asking that future funding be fairly allocated to the areas hit the worst based on numbers, which would benefit the minority communities.

That vote passed unanimously 5-0.

“I think it is a step in the right direction,” said JoAnn Fields, Asian Pacific Islander Initiative Government Public Relations Director.

Fields called into the meeting to have her voice heard, saying she supports the passing of this plan, but requesting the board alter the text of the plan to include verbiage also supporting the Filipino/Asian Pacific Islander communities, who she says are impacted as well.

“The only way to show we have a need is through data but if we’re not identified in the data to collect information for our communities, it’s like we’re invisible,” said Fields.

She added that this move, along with the board unanimously passing a statement that declares racism a public health crisis, are a good first start for the newly appointed board. Her hope is that the followthrough is as good as the plans.

“We love to hear it but actions speak louder than words so we will see these actions move forward, hold them accountable,” she said.

Related: San Diego County to increase enforcement of health orders against businesses not complying

After the 5-0 vote that declared racism a public health crisis in San Diego, Chair Fletcher and Vice Chair Vargas issued the following joint statement.

“Declaring racism a public health crisis is an important step forward that begins to move our County in a new direction. This legislation is more than just a statement of our values, we are backing it up with substantive policies designed to tackle systemic racism, and remove the barriers that prevent diversity, equity and inclusion.”