Evansville City Council declares racism a public health crisis

Evansville City Council declares racism a public health crisis

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Evansville City Council votes in favor of a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis in Evansville.

Some argue the document has no teeth.

Council members Kailin Moore-Morley and Ben Trockman are the sponsors. After a lengthy discussion- everyone except Justin Elpers voted in favor of it. But it was other issues that had divided the council even more.

Evansville City Council picks business back up at the Civic Center Chambers for the first time as a group since the pandemic started.

A resolution sponsored by Justin Elpers regarding riverboat revenue expenditures - allowing its use during an emergency or disaster situation.

“It just gives us another avenue to help bridge the gap because we don’t really know the certainty of where we’re going with this virus,” Council member Elpers said.

The vote -previously tabled- shot down 5 to 3. It wouldn’t be the only one of the night.

A resolution benefiting the Memorial Community Development Corporation is also denied in a 4-4 vote.

The $400,000 would help develop ten single-family homes in census tracks that are over 50% African American, part of its 50 homes initiative.

“Every now and then even the preacher has enough and tonight- I’ve had enough. I’ve struggled too long,” Rev. Adrian Brooks said. “Fought too hard. Went too many sleepless nights working to develop this city into becoming a good city, and tonight you had a chance to help us- and you didn’t do it. Now you’re going to pass this document with no statistical data, no act plan, no strategic plan.”

“I hear what you said, and I can admit that I very likely voted wrong on that,” At-large Council Woman Moore-Morley said.

All members except Elpers, however, did pass a resolution stating racism is a public health crisis in the city.

“Hell its been a crisis all my life. You didn’t have to declare it. I could’ve told you that,” Brooks said. “You could’ve called me at home. Yes, there is a crisis. Have a good evening and thank you for listening.”

Their next meeting is set for Monday, July 13.

Copyright 2020 WFIE. All rights reserved.