Milwaukee County leaders introduce ordinance to advance racial equity

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee County leaders want to make sure that race doesn't play a role in the health of county residents. They think a new ordinance could help.

In 2019, Milwaukee County was listed as the 71st healthiest county in Wisconsin out of 72 counties. 

According to the Department of Health Services, a white person in Milwaukee County lives almost 14 years longer than a black person. And the infant mortality rate for African American babies is nearly three times higher than it is for white babies.

The ordinance introduced Wednesday is an effort to even out health outcomes.

"We want health disparities removed. We want treatment disparities removed. We want people to have the opportunity within Milwaukee County to be as healthy as anyone else," said Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Willie Johnson Jr.

How do you do that? Training is one key. 

The ordinance also commits the county to evaluating the impact of budget decisions on black and brown communities. 

The full County Board is expected to take up the proposal in the spring.

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