West Springfield to declare racism public health crisis

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The town of West Springfield is joining the fight against racism.

Mayor Will Reichelt plans to deem racism a public health crisis. The executive order will be introduced at Tuesday’s town council meeting and will need support from the council, the school committee, and the board of health.

If passed, all town departments will be urged to focus on racial equality.

There will also be a town-wide working group that will hold regular meetings, discussions, and outreach.

Mayor Reichelt told 22News, “It’s certainty a first step. It’s us a community making a commitment to tackle this issue and find a resolution for it. I mean there’s a lot of stuff out there you can read about we know there’s no easy resolution it’s not something that’s going to get fixed like that but this is a first step to establish a working group and taking the next step of addressing it as a community.”

The West Springfield schools have had a committee on racial equity for a year now. It was started in response to the nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Mayor Rechielt added he hopes to see that work done in the schools be pushed into the entire community.

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